I have MDZS crossover fanfic Idea. I started it myself, with one chapter and I would like to share it and share the fic Idea as a whole if anyone is interested in also writing their version of it. Let me know.
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MTL edited by Plain Heyoka
I DO NOT OWN the copyrights to Tiān Guān Cì Fú. This fan translation is strictly NOT FOR PROFIT.
CHAPTER 30: Poking the Ghost King, the Crown Prince Seeks His True Face
"CRIMSON Rain Sought Flower?" Xie Lian asked.
"Your Highness the Crown Prince," responded Hua Cheng.
Xie Lian turned around and said with a smile, "This is the first time I've heard you call me that."
The red-robed teenager sat on the mat, propped up one leg, and likewise smiled. "How does it feel?"
Xie Lian thought about it for a moment and said frankly, "It seems that... doesn't feel quite the same as when others call me that."
Hua Cheng said, "Mm, what's the difference?"
Xie Lian tilted his head, and narrowed his eyes slightly. "It's hard for me to say, it's just..."
Others call him "Your Highness" either without emotion or as a matter of business, such as Ling Wen. And most of the time, others call him "Your Highness" with a sense of contempt, just like calling a very ugly person beautiful. It was deliberate, with a touch of sarcasm.
However, when Hua Cheng called him "Your Highness", these two words were cherished to the utmost. Therefore, although he couldn't describe it, Xie Lian felt that when Hua Cheng called him "Your Highness", it was different from when others called him "Your Highness".
"At Mount Yujun, the groom who took me away was you, wasn't it?" Xie Lian asked.
The smile on Hua Cheng's lips deepened. Only then did Xie Lian realize that there seemed to be an ambiguity in this question and hastily rephrased it, "I mean, the one who took me away at Mount Yujun in the guise of a groom was you, wasn't it?"
Instead, Hua Cheng said, "I wasn't disguising myself as a groom."
Well, if that was the way of saying it, that was true. At that time, the young man didn't lie to him about being the groom, he didn't say a word at all. He just stopped at the door of the sedan chair and held out his hand. It was Xie Lian who went with him!
"Alright," Xie Lian said. "Then, why did you show up at that time at Mount Yujun?"
"There are only two answers to this question," Hua Cheng replied. "First, I came specifically for His Highness; second, I was passing by and had time to spare. Which do you think is more credible?"
After calculating the number of days Hua Cheng had spent with him, Xie Lian said, "Which one is more credible I dare not say... but you really seem to have a lot of time on your hands."
His entire person and gaze circled around Hua Cheng, back and forth, and after a long time, he nodded. "You're... quite different from what the rumors say."
Hua Cheng changed his posture, but still with his hand propping his cheek, gazing at him. "Oh? Then how did His Highness learn that I was the Crimson Rain Sought Flower?"
Xie Lian was filled with thoughts of the rain of blood pattering down on the umbrella, that tinkling silver chains, that cold silver vambraces, and thought to himself, 'You weren't very serious about hiding yourself.' He said, "No matter how I tested you, you're impeccable, so you must be a Supreme. You're dressed in red like maple and blood, omniscient, omnipotent, and are dauntless. With such an aura, other than the Crimson Rain Sought Flower who makes the gods and goddesses of Heaven turn pale and shudder in fear at the mere mention of his name, I can't seem to think of any other candidate."
Hua Cheng smiled. "Then, should I take that as a compliment?"
'Can't you tell that it was?' thought Xie Lian.
Hua Cheng's smile faded and he added, "Having said all this, why doesn't His Highness ask me what purpose I have in approaching you?"
"If you didn't want to tell me, you wouldn't have told me if I had asked, or what you told me wouldn't have been the truth," replied Xie Lian.
But Hua Cheng said, "That's not necessarily true. Besides, then you can kick me out."
"You're so powerful," Xie Lian said. "Even if I kick you out now, if you really wanted to do something bad, wouldn't you just come back with a new skin?"
The two were looking at each other and smiling when the brief silence in Pu Qi Shrine was suddenly broken by the sound of a rattling. The two looked in the direction of the sound, and there was no one there, only a small black clay pot rolling on the floor.
That was the same small clay pot in which Banyue had been kept in. It had originally been placed on the edge of the mat casually by Xie Lian, but somehow it fell over on its own and rolled to the door, where it was stopped by the wooden door made by Hua Cheng, and knocked against it repeatedly. Fearing that it would just smash itself to pieces, Xie Lian went up and opened the door. The little clay pot then rolled all the way to the grass outside.
As Xie Lian followed it, the little clay pot rolled onto a patch of grass and stood upright. It was obviously just a clay pot, but it gave the illusion that it was looking up at the stars.
Hua Cheng also came out from within the Pu Qi Shrine, and Xie Lian said to the clay pot, "Banyue, are you awake?"
Fortunately, when they returned from the Gobi, it was already late into the night. Otherwise people would have probably made a fuss had they seen Xie Lian standing outside in the dead of night, asking "what's up?" to a clay pot.
After a long while, a muffled voice came from that small clay pot, "General Hua."
Xie Lian sat down next to it. "Banyue, you came out to see the stars? Do you want to come out of there to see?"
Hua Cheng stood aside, leaning against a tree. "She has just left Banyue City, so it's better for her to stay inside for a while longer," he said.
After all, Banyue had stayed in the Kingdom of Banyue for over two hundred years prior, so it might be difficult for her to adapt to a sudden change of place. "Then you'd better stay inside there for a while longer to recuperate," Xie Lian said. "This is where I cultivate, so you don't need to worry about anything else."
The clay pot shook twice, not sure what it was trying to express. After a moment of consideration, Xie Lian said, "Banyue, in fact, this time it's not even anything to do with you. Your scorpion-tailed snakes were..."
"General Hua, I couldn't move at that time, but I heard it all," said Banyue.
At that, Xie Lian froze. Only then did he realize that at that time, Pei Su only blocked Banyue's ability to move, not her consciousness. "That's fine."
If she heard it all, fine.
"General Hua, what will happen to General Pei Junior?" the clay pot asked.
Xie Lian had his hands tucked in his sleeves. "I don't know. But... if you've done something wrong, you have to be punished."
After a period of silence, the clay pot shook twice more. Finally, it became clear to Xie Lian this time that the shaking was actually a nod.
"Actually, General Pei Junior isn't that bad of a person," Banyue said.
"Is that so?"
"Mm," Banyue said. "He helped me once."
Somehow, Xie Lian's mind suddenly remembered more.
Banyue had often been beaten up, and in the words of the other Yong'an children, she "had a face that deserved to be beaten up".
It was only after he had known her for a long time that Xie Lian realized this. No matter how many beatings Banyue received, she would never tell anyone about them. It wasn't until one day when Xie Lian saw a group of children pushing her face into the mud that he realized where those bruises on her face had come from.
But when she was asked again some time later, all she remembered was that she had to wash and return the handkerchief that the boy who pulled her out of the mud puddle had lent her to wipe her face, and nothing else.
She didn't remember any of the people who had beaten her, but the ones who had saved her once, she remembered for the rest of her life.
Banyue added, "Although Ke-Mo always scolded me for being under his spell and that I was simply being used, whether he used me or not, I knew that it was my own will to open the city gates."
Xie Lian didn't know what to say, except that a part of his heart suddenly softened.
After a while, he patted the clay pot and said, "Alright, it's over. By the way, Banyue, Hua Xie is a fake name, and I have long since stopped being a general, so you can stop calling me General Hua."
"What should I call you then?" Banyue asked.
Well, that was also a problem. If Banyue were to call him Your Highness in all seriousness, it would feel a bit strange. Xie Lian didn't care about his address either, and hastened to change the subject. "Well, you can go ahead and call me General Hua whatever you want." Only, there was a real one here with the surname Hua, so it might be a bit confusing if Banyue kept on calling him General Hua. But on second thought, it occurred to him: Of course, "Hua Xie" was a fake name, taking the first word of the title "Flower-Crowned Martial God" as his surname. But wasn't "Hua Cheng" a fake name, too? It was also weirdly interesting that they happened to pick the same surname for their fake names.
[「花 」Huā — flower; blossoms]
At that moment, he heard Banyue say again, "I'm sorry, General Hua."
Xie Lian turned back around and said a bit glumly, "Banyue, why do you keep apologizing to me?" Did he really look that piteous in the eyes of others at first glance?
"I... want to save the common people," Banyue said.
Xie Lian, "..."
"General Hua, that's what you said at that time," Banyue said.
Xie Lian, "???"
He hurriedly pressed the clay pot down. "Wait, wait!"
"Wait for what?" Banyue asked.
Xie Lian glanced at Hua Cheng, who was standing with his arms crossed under the nearby tree, and whispered, "Did I really say such a thing at that time?"
This phrase, which he had been so fond of saying when he was a teenager, shouldn't have been mentioned at all in the following hundreds of years. When he first heard them again, Xie Lian felt that the shock was a bit too much to accept. Banyue, however, said, "General, those were your words."
Still trying to struggle, Xie Lian said, "No, I don't think so..."
"Oh no, you did say them," said Banyue earnestly and coldly. "Once, you asked me what I wanted to be when I grew up. I said, 'I don't know'. You said, 'How come you don't know what you want to be when you grow up?' I asked, 'What about you, General Hua?' You then said, 'My dream as a child was to save the common people!'"
So that was it. "Um! Banyue, why would you remember such an offhand remark so clearly!" Xie Lian said.
"Was that an offhand remark?" Banyue said. "But, General Hua, I had thought you said those words very earnestly."
Xie Lian was helpless. He looked up at the sky and said, "Haha... really? Maybe. What else did I say? I don't even remember."
Banyue said, "You also said, 'Do what you think is right! Nothing can hold you back! Even if you fall down a hundred times into the muck, you have to be strong and get up!'. Lots of them. Something like that."
He didn't need to look back to know that it was definitely Hua Cheng under the tree who heard all that and laughed out loud.
Xie Lian couldn't even cover the clay pot anymore and thought to himself, '...What a load of crap... Why do I always say things like that? ...That's not who I am... Is that who I am?'
"But I don't know what's right anymore," Banyue said.
At those words, Xie Lian was stunned.
"I was trying to save the common people like General Hua said," Banyue said. "But in the end, I destroyed the Kingdom of Banyue."
"And it seemed like no matter what I did... it all turned out badly," she said confusedly. "General Hua, I know I didn't do a good job, but can you tell me exactly what I did wrong? What exactly am I supposed to do to actually do as you've said... to save the common people?"
"I'm sorry, Banyue," Xie Lian said. "How to save the common people... I didn't have the answer to this question back then, and even now I still don't have the answer."
After a moment of silence, Banyue said, "General Hua, to be honest, I feel that I simply don't know what I've been doing for the past two hundred years. What a failure."
Hearing her say that, Xie Lian became even more depressed, and thought, 'Then wouldn't that make me even more of a failure? I've been muddling along for eight hundred years..."
Xie Lian and Hua Cheng returned inside the Pu Qi Shrine after leaving Banyue alone in the clay pot to gaze at the stars to calm down.
After closing the door, Xie Lian suddenly said, "Banyue stayed at Banyue Pass of her own free will, not because she became a Savage and was stuck there."
She always remembered that it was she who opened the gates, and never gave the excuse that she did it for the greater good of the people. In order to let the soldiers of the Kingdom of Banyue vent their resentment and depart this world sooner, she allowed Ke-Mo to lead them to capture and kill her over and over again.
Xie Lian shook his head. "In fact, if General Pei Junior really wanted to get rid of those Banyue soldiers and didn't want to be discovered by the Upper Court, he could have secretly sent his incarnation down to the mortal realm to purge them. Why did he have to use such a method?"
"The power of an incarnation would be diminished," Hua Cheng said. "You've seen that incarnation of Pei Su, Ah Zhao. It couldn't take care of so many Banyue soldiers at once. So, it was easier and faster to dissipate their resentment by feeding them the living."
"Why did he have to do it so fast?" asked Xie Lian.
"Perhaps it was to get your little friend, Banyue, hung fewer times less painfully," replied Hua Cheng.
After a moment of silence, Xie Lian said, "What about those mortals?"
"To heavenly officials, the lives of mortals are of course no better than those of ants," Hua Cheng said indifferently. "Pei Su is a typical example of a superior heavenly official. As long as he wasn't discovered, killing a few hundred people was no different to him than crushing a few hundred bugs."
Xie Lian glanced at him. Remembering the time when San Lang had killed all the Banyue soldiers at the bottom of the pit in a split second after leaping down into the Sinners' Pit, he turned around and said, "The power of an incarnation would be diminished? I see your incarnation is quite powerful."
Hua Cheng, however, raised an eyebrow at him. "Of course. But I'm the real one."
Xie Lian turned his head and was slightly taken aback. "Huh? This is your true form?"
"Authentic through and through," replied Hua Cheng.
Upon uttering those words, blame it on the expression on his face which seemed to be saying, "Please, test it out for yourself." And so, before Xie Lian could even realize what he was doing, he had already raised a finger and poked Hua Cheng on the cheek.
After the poke, Xie Lian then jolted to his senses and cried out loudly in his heart that he was in trouble.
He was merely curious about what the skin of the Supreme Ghost King would feel like. But he didn't expect his body to react faster than his mind and poked him! How extremely outrageous!
Suddenly being poked in the face, Hua Cheng seemed to be slightly taken aback as well, but he was always calm and his expression recovered quickly. Rather, he didn't say anything, but raised one eyebrow even higher, as if waiting for Xie Lian's explanation, while the smirk in his gaze was unmistakable. Xie Lian, of course, couldn't come up with any explanation. He looked at the finger and hid it unobtrusively, saying, "...Not bad."
Hua Cheng finally burst out laughing, crossed his arms and asked with his head tilted, "What's not bad? You think that this skin of mine is not bad?"
"Yeah, it's very nice," answered Xie Lian heartily. "But..."
"But what?" Hua Cheng asked.
Xie Lian stared at his face for a while, looking at it attentively. Finally, he said, "But, can I see what you really look like?"
Since he had just said "this skin", it meant that although this body was the original, the skin wasn't the original. This teenager's appearance wasn't his true face.
This time, Hua Cheng didn't answer immediately and lowered his arm. Perhaps it was only Xie Lian's imagination, but he felt that Hua Cheng's gaze had darkened a little, and his heart couldn't help but tighten slightly.
THE voice came from above everyone's heads, and Xie Lian immediately looked up and asked, "Which eminent lord is here?"
There was no answer, but a strange sound came. Whirring and whistling, it sounded like a howling wind. When the sound got closer, Xie Lian was finally sure — it was indeed the wind howling!
The gale came so suddenly and so intensely that before Xie Lian could figure out what was going on, his body had already lurched and he was floating up!
This sudden gust of wind blew from above straight into the bottom of the Sinners' Pit, and actually swept everyone up into the sky!
Xie Lian grabbed San Lang, who was closest to him at once, and said, "Watch out!"
San Lang turned his hand over and grabbed him too, his expression unchanged. Xie Lian only felt a moment of dizziness, his body rose at a great speed into the air, paused in the air, and then all of a sudden rapidly began to drop. He hastily tossed out Ruoye and coaxed in the midst of this chaotic moment, "It's alright, it's alright. Quick, good Ruoye, come out first and save the day!"
After a couple of gentle pats, Ruoye finally flew out. However, the surrounding area was empty and bare. Except for the large Sinners' Pit below, it was impossible to find anything to grab onto. Ruoye flew about once, and then retracted. Feeling helpless, Xie Lian had no choice but to adjust his own landing position in the air. In the past, he would probably have fallen three feet head-first again. But this time, as he was about to hit the ground, San Lang smoothly gave him a hand and he actually landed upright. He was still a little incredulous when his boots touched the ground steadily and safely. But this incredulity was soon washed away. As soon as he landed, he saw a black-clad figure stumbling over in front of him.
Xie Lian took a good look at it and exclaimed with slight joy, "Nan Feng!"
Sure enough, it was Nan Feng. Only, it was already a disheveled Nan Feng. It seemed as if he had rolled in the dust a dozen times and then thrown into a throng of beasts, and had been trampled on all night. His clothes were torn and tattered all over, and he was in such a terrible mess. Hearing Xie Lian call out to him, he only raised his hand for a moment and silently wiped his face, unable to even speak. Xie Lian gave him a hand and asked, "What happened to you? Did you get beaten up by those two girls?"
Before he could finish speaking, he saw two figures following Nan Feng, walking over. One was none other than the white-robed female cultivator, her horsetail whisk* resting on her arm, greeting him with a smile. "Greetings, Your Highness the Crown Prince."
[*Please refer here about horsetail whisk: https://daoistgate.com/understanding-the-horsetail-whisk/]
Even though he didn't know who the other person was, Xie Lian had to be polite, but he didn't know how to address her. So, he also raised his hand in greeting with a smile and said, "Fellow Taoist."
The black-clad woman, on the other hand, gave him a cold glance, not paying much attention to him. But she stalled slightly when her gaze swept up to San Lang, and stopped for a moment as if she found him very suspicious.
The gust of wind just now brought everyone up from the bottom of the pit. Those two walked past Xie Lian and headed straight towards Pei Su. When Pei Su looked at the visitors, he wasn't surprised. After all, he had already seen these two in the city once before when he was disguised as Ah Zhao. He knelt in place, bowed to the white-clad female cultivator, and whispered, "Lord Wind Master."
Upon hearing those words, Xie Lian froze.
And all this time he thought this was a demon spirit and ghost from somewhere. How could he have known that she was actually a heavenly official from the Upper Court? The same Wind Master who scattered a hundred thousand merits in the telepathic array!
But when he thought about it, there was nothing wrong. At that time, the white-clad woman said something like, "Where are all those people hiding? Do I have to find them and kill them one by one?", which made him think that they weren't good people. But in fact, this "people" really didn't necessarily refer to them, but also might be referring to the "Banyue soldiers". It was only his preconceptions that made him think that the other party's every move carried a sinister and bizarre aura.
Xie Lian inevitably held an inexplicable sense of awe and veneration for this heavenly official who offered a hundred thousand merits at the drop of a hat. He said to Nan Feng, "Why didn't you tell me earlier that this was the Wind Master? I even guessed that she might be a snake spirit or a scorpion spirit or something. That's a bit rude."
Nan Feng's face darkened a little. "How would I know that was the Wind Master? I've never seen the Wind Master looking like this before. The Wind Master has obviously always been... never mind."
Xie Lian understood. Probably this was the Wind Master's fake skin appearance, didn't dig into it, and said, "What brings the Lord Wind Master here to the Banyue Pass?"
"Here to help," Nan Feng responded. "Just now they were wandering around Banyue City, looking for those Banyue soldiers."
And Xie Lian then remembered that the first time he had inquired about Banyue Pass in the telepathic array, amidst all the awkwardness, this Wind Master had suddenly scattered a hundred thousand merits and distracted the attention of the others. So the Wind Master might have noticed what he was asking at that time.
Over here, he was pondering, and over there, the Wind Master squatted down in front of Pei Su, saying, "Xiao Pei ah, I heard everything."
Pei Su lowered his head. "Do you admit that you have lured all those passers-by into the Banyue ruins in the past two hundred years?" asked the Wind Master.
Having been caught in the act, Pei Su didn't argue and answered quietly, "It was me."
"Why?" the Wind Master asked.
After a pause, Pei Su replied, "Lord Wind Master has long suspected, can't you guess why?"
"Is it because these dead souls are ironclad proof that your hands were stained with blood when you were a human, it might turn out to be a hindrance for you to climb higher in the future one day?" said the Wind Master.
Pei Su didn't confirm or deny it. Xie Lian, who had been listening on the side, couldn't help but ask, "If anything, why didn't you just kill them? Why is it necessary for you to use the living to cast as food in order to appease their resentment? How is that any different from quenching one's hunger with another's flesh and blood?"
But San Lang said, "He couldn't."
And rightly so. In the Upper Court, every move of a heavenly official like Pei Su was watched by countless pairs of eyes. There were many things that couldn't be done directly. One couldn't descend in their true form and simply kill all these resentful soldiers, nor could one send troops to exterminate them. It was supposed to be a cover-up, so wouldn't too much commotion draw everyone's attention to it? The most that could be done was to send an alter ego* like Ah Zhao down stealthily.
[*「分|身」 fēn shēn — sub|body or separate body. The machine translation suggested "clone" or "doppelganger", but here I'll just go with "alter ego".]
Borrowing the scorpion-tailed snakes that Banyue was so good at manipulating to go out and bite people and lure them in to feed to the resentful spirits, so that their grievances would dissipate, was undoubtedly the perfect way to carry out the dirty work indirectly.
"Your General Pei wouldn't do such a thing," the Wind Master said. "This time, I'm afraid you've gone a little too far."
As a heavenly official of the Upper Court, he had released his alter ego to cause chaos at the Banyue Pass for nearly two hundred years, leading countless passers-by to be led astray and fallen into the hungry mouths of the Banyue soldiers, which couldn't be considered a trivial matter in any case. Pei Su hung his head and said, "This junior knows."
The Wind Master waved her horsetail whisk. "Good that you know. Run it through your own mind and let's talk about it more up there."
"Yes," said Pei Su quietly.
After she had finished talking with Pei Su, the Wind Master stuffed the horsetail whisk into the back collar of her Taoist robe, got up, and again grinned at Xie Lian with a cupped-hand salute. "Your Highness the Crown Prince, I've heard a lot about you for a long time."
This was a formal greeting. To Xie Lian, "I've heard a lot about you" wasn't a very nice word, but it was just a kind of inconsequential polite remark anyway. So, Xie Lian smiled and said, "No, no, no. Lord Wind Master is the one I've heard so much about."
"I'm sorry for what happened before," said the Wind Master.
Xie Lian was startled. "Before? What happened before?"
"Didn't you guys get caught in a sandstorm in the desert earlier?" asked the Wind Master.
Xie Lian thought of it in a trance and still felt his mouth was full of sand. "Yes."
"That was me who started it," the Wind Master said.
"The intention of starting that sandstorm was to keep you away from the Kingdom of Banyue," the Wind Master explained. "But to my surprise, you didn't get blown away. Instead, after a lot of detours, you guys still managed to find your way here."
The more Xie Lian listened, the more he felt that something was wrong. Starting a sandstorm to prevent them from going to the Banyue Pass, this thing suddenly came up again out of nowhere. What did this mean?
He remained motionless, not answering a word, listening to what the other party had to say. The Wind Master added, "But, Your Highness, you should stay out of this matter."
Xie Lian glanced at Banyue, who was curled up on the ground, and a bad premonition came over him.
He was originally worried that if this matter was brought to the attention of the Upper Court, the heavenly officials would arbitrarily add or omit a few words at will. Once they changed the truth, it would become a case of Xiao Pei's innocence and Banyue would take all the blame. At this moment, the Wind Master suddenly appeared halfway and asked him to stay out of this matter. Wasn't it more like trying to cover up for Xiao Pei?
Therefore, he calmly took a step forward without a word and stood in front of Banyue, saying in a gentle voice, "But I have already taken care of this matter, so it's no use trying to keep my nose out of the way at this point, right?"
The Wind Master smiled a little. "You can rest assured. You can take the Guoshi of Banyue with you first."
This was unexpected. Xie Lian was slightly stunned as the Wind Master added, "Well, we've heard the whole thing up there just now. Although this Guoshi of Banyue has reached the Savage level, I wandered around the city and saw her trapping the Banyue soldiers into the formation she had set up. I also saw her releasing the mortals caught by the soldiers, not harming them, but saving them. The only ones I'm going to take away are General Pei Junior and Ke-Mo, so you don't have to worry about who I'm dragging in to take the blame."
Xie Lian was relieved. "I'm deeply ashamed! It was me who was overly concerned."
The black-clad woman, however, looked as if she couldn't bear to stay here for another minute and said from aside, "Are you done? If you're done, then let's go."
"It's normal for you to be so worried," said the Wind Master. "After all, many of the underhanded practices in the Upper Court are indeed bad."
The Wind Master exclaimed, "Boo! What's the rush? The more you rush, the more I'll talk!" Having said that, she turned back and took out a folding fan from her waist, saying, "Your Highness, if there's nothing else, shall we meet again in Heaven?"
As soon as Xie Lian nodded, the Wind Master flicked open the fan. On the front was written the character "风" in a skew, and on the back side was painted with three clear lines of flowing wind. Presumably this was the Wind Master's magic weapon. She fanned forward three times and backwards three times. Suddenly, another gust of wind arose from the level ground. The wind was blowing sand and stones, and Xie Lian raised his sleeve to shield his eyes. When the gust of wind passed, the two women, Pei Su and Ke-Mo all disappeared, leaving only Xie Lian, San Lang, Nan Feng, and Banyue curled up on the ground.
Xie Lian lowered his sleeve, confused. "What's the situation?"
San Lang walked over idly. "A pretty good situation."
Xie Lian looked at him. "Is that good?"
"It's pretty good," San Lang replied. "The Wind Master is helping you by telling you to stay out of it."
Nan Feng also came over. "Yes. You've already done enough in this matter, so the only thing left to do is to go to the Emperor and inform him. You should leave the tattletale alone."
Xie Lian understood. "Because of General Pei?"
"That's right," Nan Feng answered. "This time, you've completely offended General Pei."
Xie Lian smiled. "I expected to offend at least one of them anyway, but it doesn't seem to matter much which one."
Nan Feng frowned. "Don't take this as a joke. Other than the Palace Hall of the Martial Emperor, the most powerful martial god is the Palace Hall of Ming Guang. General Pei thinks highly of Xiao Pei and has been trying to get Pei Su to kick Quan Yizhen down, so he'll definitely come after you."
"Are you talking about Quan Yizhen the martial god of the West?" Xie Lian asked.
"That's him," replied Nan Feng. "Quan Yizhen is also a newly appointed official, very close to the period when Pei Su ascended. He's young and a tad... but also pretty powerful. General Pei intended for Pei Su to take over all of his believers in the West. Pei Su is also quite competitive and has been doing well in recent years. But now you've pulled a stunt like this, I'm afraid Pei Su will be out of luck. I wonder if he'll be demoted. In case he gets demoted, you'll have to suffer great bad luck, too."
Xie Lian rubbed his forehead and inwardly decided to be more careful when eating, drinking and walking in the future. San Lang, on the other hand, disagreed. "There's no need to worry. Pei Ming is too proud of himself to play dirty."
Nan Feng gave him a look, and Xie Lian added, "What about Lord Wind Master? She told me to stay out of it, meaning she's in charge of lodging the complaint? In that case, wouldn't that mean she'd offend General Pei instead? No, it's better to call her back... Nan Feng, do you know what Lord Wind Master's telepathic array password is?"
But Nan Feng said, "You don't need to worry about the Wind Master. General Pei dares to touch you, but he won't touch her. Although she's younger, she's doing much better than you."
Xie Lian's silence wasn't so much because he received a blow, but rather, he was just thinking to himself, 'Is there anyone in Heaven who is worse than me? I don't think so.'
San Lang snickered. "The Wind Master has someone to back her up, so of course she's doing well."
"Are you talking about the black-clad woman beside her?" Xie Lian asked. "I'd say she's a powerful person, too."
"No," San Lang replied. "But the one in black is indeed a formidable figure, and should also be one of the Five Elemental Masters of Wind, Water, Rain, Earth and Thunder. It's not advisable to offend."
The Wind Master could raise a tornado on the level ground, so she naturally had great spiritual power, while the woman in black was clearly superior. Xie Lian recalled how the woman seemed to have perceived something questionable about San Lang and felt slightly uncomfortable, saying, "I agree with you."
However, there was one more thing that he didn't think he needed to say. Xie Lian thought, 'You don't always do well even if you have someone to back you up.' Back in the day, the person who backed up the Crown Prince of Xian Le was the Heavenly Emperor Jun Wu, the number one Martial God of the Three Realms in a thousand years. Yet, he was still a failure, wasn't he?
Xie Lian picked up the bamboo hat that he had dropped on the ground, patted it and sighed in relief to see that it wasn't flattened. He put it back on his back, looked at Nan Feng and asked, "Have you been chased and beaten by those two lords all the way here?"
Nan Feng answered with a darkened face, "Yes. Fought all the way."
Xie Lian patted his shoulder. "You've worked really hard." After saying that, he suddenly remembered that there was another one who had also worked quite hard, and turned back to ask, "Where's Fu Yao?"
"Wasn't he watching over those who were poisoned?" Nan Feng responded.
He hadn't seen Fu Yao since they were blown out by the gale. In fact, Xie Lian hadn't seen him since Ah Zhao had shown up. If he hadn't run off since then, he must have run off when the gale had picked up.
Xie Lian wasn't too worried about him, guessing he just didn't want to get into this mess, so he quickly slipped away. But once he heard Nan Feng mention "poisoned", he realized with a start, and both of them exclaimed simultaneously, "Shan Yue herb!"
"No hurry, dawn has just arrived," San Lang said.
However, they couldn't afford to be in "no hurry" when it came to saving lives. Even if it was still far from twenty-four hours, who knew what might happen along the way? At that moment, Xie Lian picked up Banyue on the ground and dashed madly all the way towards the palace.
When he reached the palace, he laid Banyue down and went up and gleaned a few large handfuls of Shan Yue herbs. The mud-buried face was still on the ground, only a pile of white bones and a mangled, bloody face remained.
If it were in the past, Xie Lian would probably have dug a hole and buried it. But for one thing, he was in a hurry to save someone, and for another, the man had been buried in the soil for more than fifty years, so he must have never wanted to go back. But the merchant's dead body had disappeared, too. Xie Lian stopped and was wondering when San Lang picked up a small clay pot from the palace and came out. Xie Lian took a look and immediately said, "Good, San Lang! Thank you so much!"
Right now Banyue was too weak to wake up, so Xie Lian put her away into the clay pot. The group plucked the herbs and finally hurried back. At this point, just eight hours had passed since they had encountered the scorpion-tailed snakes.
When they arrived at the place where Fu Yao had drawn the circle, several people were still honestly staying in the circle, not daring to go out and wander about. The old man had taken the pill given by Nan Feng, and his injury was under control. Then, after applying the Shan Yue herbs on his wound, he was able to walk after some rest. Only, Xie Lian thought it wouldn't be necessary to tell him what the fertilizer for the Shan Yue herb was.
After a while, the crowd settled down and began to wonder anxiously. "Where's Tian Sheng? Why aren't they back yet?"
Earlier, Xie Lian was in a hurry to pick herbs to save a life. Since there wasn't a single Banyue soldier left in the ruins, he didn't have time to care about Tian Sheng and the others. He was about to turn back when he heard a young boy's voice shouting as he ran closer and closer. When he turned around, it was none other than Tian Sheng. The boy was clutching a handful of Shan Yue herbs, followed by two merchants, both panting for breath.
When asked, it turned out that Banyue had swept a bunch of soldiers down into the Sinners' Pit, and had taken Tian Sheng and the merchants away. Tian Sheng and the merchants were originally scared half to death, but who knew that Banyue brought them down from the pit, showed them the way and let them go. They fled and hastened to pick the Shan Yue herbs, buried the merchant's body and rushed back with all their might, but they were still a little behind the pace of Xie Lian and the others.
All in all, it was only when the caravans were escorted out of the Gobi desert that the matter finally came to an end.
However, when it was time to say goodbye, Tian Sheng sneaked over to him and mysteriously said, "Gege, I've a question to ask you."
"Ask away," Xie Lian said.
"You're actually a god, aren't you?" said Tian Sheng.
Xie Lian was a little shocked and a little touched.
For, there was a time when he used to be the one shouting at the top of his voice to people, saying that "I'm a god!" and that "I am His Highness the Crown Prince!", and nobody believed him. This time, the other person actually asked him if he was a god without him even opening his mouth, which really made him a bit shocked and touched.
Immediately, Tian Sheng said, "I saw you use magic! Don't worry, I won't say anything to anyone."
'How can I say this? No one will believe you even if you tell them…' Xie Lian thought.
"Thanks to you this time, otherwise I would have been thrown down into that pit by those vicious ghost soldiers," Tian Sheng said. "When I get home, I'll build a temple dedicated to you."
Seeing him patting his chest and making a "very, very big" gesture, Xie Lian could hardly suppress a cheerful smile. "Thank you very much, then."
San Lang, who was standing to the side, gave a soft chuckle for some reason, but Xie Lian didn't feel that he was mocking the child's naive words.
Although the kid had no idea how big a deal it was to build a temple, Xie Lian was nonetheless quite happy to receive such a promise, whether it could be fulfilled or not.
After being badgered endlessly, he had no choice but to randomly leave a title of "Scrap God", waved his hand and headed the other way. Nan Feng set up another Thousand-Li Shrinkage formation, and sent them back to Pu Qi Shrine.
Opening the door, Xie Lian took out the mat and spread it on the floor, then lay down on it just like a corpse. The whole thing was done in one fell swoop. San Lang also sat down next to him, propping his cheek with one hand and watching him. Xie Lian sighed and asked, "How long have we been gone?"
"Only about three or four days," San Lang answered.
Xie Lian sighed again. "Only three or four days, why am I so tired?"
Ever since his ascension, he had often been so tired as if he was a dog, and it really wasn't an illusion. After he finished sighing, he looked up and said, "Hey, Nan Feng, why haven't you gone back to report yet?"
"Report what?" asked Nan Feng.
"Aren't you an official of the Palace Hall of Nan Yang?" Xie Lian said. "You've been gone for three or four days. Won't your general be looking for you?"
"My general isn't in the palace at the moment, so he won't be looking for me," replied Nan Feng.
Xie Lian then got up. "Good, it's good that you're staying."
"What are you going to do?" Nan Feng asked.
"I'll cook you a meal," replied Xie Lian amiably. "As a treat for your hard work."
Nan Feng's face turned pale drastically at his words. He raised his hand, put his two fingers together and pressed them against the side of his temple, as if he had received a message from someone, and got up. "Something's going on in the palace, I'll leave first."
Xie Lian raised his hand. "Ai, Nan Feng, don't go. How come there's something going on suddenly? You've worked real hard this time…"
"Something really is going on!" Nan Feng roared. Seeing him dashing out the door, Xie Lian sat back down on the mat and said to San Lang, "Looks like he's not hungry."
Before San Lang could reply, there was a "bang" and Nan Feng rushed back in, blocking the doorway. "You two..."
Xie Lian and San Lang sat side by side on the mat, looking up at him. "What's wrong with us two?"
Nan Feng pointed at San Lang, and then at Xie Lian, held his tongue for a long time before saying, "I'll be back."
"You're always welcome," Xie Lian said.
Nan Feng swept another glance at San Lang before closing the door and left. Xie Lian crossed his arms and tilted his head, mimicking San Lang. "It seems that something is seriously wrong."
He glanced again at the teenager beside him and said with a smile, "He's not hungry, what about you?"
San Lang also smiled and replied, "I'm hungry."
Xie Lian smiled, stood up again, and turned around. Casually tidying up the offering table, he said, "Alright. So, what would you like to eat, Hua Cheng?"
Behind him, there was a moment of silence, followed by a low chuckle.
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MTL edited by Plain Heyoka
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CHAPTER 29: White-Clad Wind Master, Sandstorm Rising From the Level Ground
XIE LIAN intentionally took a step forward, stopped in front of San Lang and said, "I know better than anyone else who I am."
"Then why do you still dare to stand next to him even now?" Fu Yao said.
"Because... no snake will come to bite you if you stand next to him," replied Xie Lian honestly.
Hearing this answer, San Lang "puffed" and burst out laughing. Fu Yao's face, on the other hand, turned even more blue as he said, "You..."
As he turned blue, Fu Yao's face suddenly turned pure black. Not only his face, but also Xie Lian's entire vision turned pure black.
It turned out that the flaming barrier that Fu Yao had created and the flames he had cast at the bottom of the pit had suddenly all gone out!
In the darkness, Xie Lian heard San Lang snickered twice and said, "Rubbish!" Then he felt San Lang take him by the shoulders. Immediately afterwards, Xie Lian heard a sharp and fierce "thud" sound above them, as if a torrential rain had hit the surface of an umbrella.
Needless to say, the purplish-red rain of snakes had no intercepting barrier to stop it and was falling wildly. And there was an umbrella overhead, blocking the rain of snakes!
Xie Lian smelt a strong whiff of blood and was about to move, but San Lang said, "Don't move. No ungodly thing dares to come over."
He spoke with certainty, the first sentence low and soft, but the second tinged with arrogance. Xie Lian wasn't worried, but when he heard Fu Yao's roar of anger from the other side, as if he had been pelted with snake rain, he said, "San Lang!"
San Lang immediately said, "No."
Xie Lian was at a loss whether to cry or to laugh, saying, "How do you know what I'm going to say?"
"You can rest assured. He won't die," replied San Lang.
At that moment, a roar came from the front of the two of them, "Banyue! If you want me to die, just let them bite me dead right off! What the hell is this?"
"It wasn't me!" Banyue said. Presumably Ke-Mo had been pounded awake to find himself buried in the midst of countless slippery snakes and decided that it was Banyue's doing. "Fu Yao, can you still ignite a fire? Ignite another fire!" Xie Lian said.
Fu Yao gritted his teeth. "That thing next to you is suppressing my spiritual power and won't let me light a fire!"
Xie Lian's heart sank, but San Lang said, "I didn't."
"I know you didn't, and it's because you didn't that it's not right," Xie Lian said. "Banyue and Ke-Mo are both shackled by the Immortal Binding Rope and unable to cast spells, I've run out of spiritual power and you're not suppressing his. That means there's a sixth person at the bottom of this pit?!"
"Have you lost your mind?" Fu Yao snapped. "There's no sixth person! No one's even come down from up there!"
At this point, he heard Banyue say, "Who is it?"
"Banyue, what's wrong? Did someone come to you?" asked Xie Lian.
"Someone..." answered Banyue, and before she finished her sentence, her voice disappeared. Xie Lian called out again, "Banyue?!"
Still fighting snakes, brief waves of white light exploding one after the other in pitch blackness, Fu Yao warned, "Be careful she's tricking you into coming closer!"
"Not necessarily," Xie Lian responded. "Save her first!" He was about to dash into the rain of snakes when he heard San Lang whisper in his ear, "Alright!"
Xie Lian only felt a hand wrapped around his shoulder, instantly leading him out. He suddenly realized the fact that the teenager was actually holding the umbrella with one hand and holding him with the other, advancing to attack. In the darkness, silver glints flashed accompanied by tinkling sounds. Suddenly, an ear-splitting clash of swords sound cut through everyone's ears. "Oh?" San Lang said, "There really is a sixth person. Interesting."
How he controlled the weapon, or what kind of weapon he controlled was unknown, but at that moment, the weapon he was wielding was indeed meeting head-to-head with another person's blade!
The other party didn't say a word, and Xie Lian heard the sound of a sword slashing through the air, presumably it was another launch of attack. Every now and then a dazzling spark lit up in the darkness, but it was too fleeting to illuminate the other party's face. While listening attentively to the battle, Xie Lian raised his voice and called out, "Are you still conscious, Banyue? Can you answer me?"
There was no reply. "Maybe the person he's fighting is her!" exclaimed Fu Yao.
"No, this is definitely not Banyue!" Xie Lian said.
Again, it was a battle in the dark. When he fought Ke-Mo, San Lang was relaxed as if he was teasing his opponent. This fight, however, was slightly more serious. His opponent was a skilled fighter who used his weapon with ease. Banyue, on the other hand, was small and thin. It was obvious just by looking at her arms that physical strength and weapons weren't her forte, so it couldn't be her. But who was this sixth person? And when did they show up?!
"This kind of betrayer of their own kingdom is no different from the female ghost Xuan Ji!" Fu Yao grumbled. "Why on earth do you still believe her?"
"Fu Yao, would you stop being so rash?" Xie Lian said. "You... wait, what did you just say?"
Fu Yao blasted away several scorpion-tailed snakes with another palm-strike and said, "I said why on earth do you trust her so much? It's the same as trusting that thing next to you!"
But Xie Lian said, "No, that's not what I'm talking about — you said Xuan Ji. You mentioned Xuan Ji, didn't you?!"
"So what?! That's completely irrelevant!"
Xie Lian, however, held his breath for a moment and said, "You can stop fighting now! There's no need to hide anymore, I already know who you are!"
The sound of the sword clashing didn't stop, and the other party remained indifferent. Xie Lian wasn't in a hurry, either. "Do you think that I'm trying to trick you by saying that I already know who you are? General Pei Junior?"
Fu Yao was astounded. "Who are you talking to? General Pei Junior? Don't be crazy. Who wouldn't know of General Pei's identity right away once he descended?"
"You're quite right," Xie Lian responded. "But what if he hadn't descended as his true self?"
In the darkness, the sound of blades clashing stagnated for a moment, then continued.
"I found out too late," Xie Lian said. "In fact, I should've thought of it from the beginning."
"I knew that something had been constantly stirring up trouble at Banyue Pass for nearly two hundred years, but no heavenly officials had ever paid attention to it, and everyone was reluctant to mention it either, which meant that it had to be someone who everyone dared not offend who was suppressing this matter. But because I am not familiar with all the heavenly officials who are currently in the Upper Court, and dare not make any wild guesses, I haven't ventured to speculate as to which heavenly official it might be."
It was Fu Yao's mention of the female ghost Xuan Ji that reminded him of this.
When the female ghost Xuan Ji was mentioned, it was inevitable to associate it with the two Pei generals. To the North was the territory of the two Pei generals, and Fu Yao had offhandedly mentioned that prior to his ascension, General Pei Junior had done one thing: slaughter a city.
What city was it that was slaughtered?
In all likelihood, it was the ancient city of the Kingdom of Banyue!
This kind of thing wasn't unusual among the heavenly officials of the Upper Court. After all, who didn't have to shed a little blood in order to accomplish their goals? But after all, the slaughter of a city wasn't a particularly honorable thing, and if word spread too widely, it would inevitably have an impact on the absorption of new believers. Therefore, after ascension, it was often necessary to cover-up and whitewash the situation a little. So although everyone knew about it, they didn't look into it too closely. After all, if there was no deep animosity or ill-will, who would want to dig into someone's past and offend the backers behind them?
"That mud-buried face said that one of us in this group was here fifty or sixty years ago," Xie Lian said unhurriedly. "I originally suspected that this statement was a lie that he had told to lure others closer, but it was also likely to be true.
"Earlier, out of this group, you were the one I suspected the most. That the caravan followed you and you could take them wherever you wish to take them. I had never seen a scorpion-tailed snake in all the years I had lived in the Kingdom of Banyue, but you just happened to encounter this rare poisonous creature when you found a random place to shelter from the sandstorm?
"I asked you to come with us to find the Shan Yue herbs. Before you left you even made a point of showing the others the way, telling them the direction of the Banyue ruins so that the others who couldn't wait for us to return could also go there on their own. Just now, on top of the Sinners' Pit, I had clearly said that I would go first if anything were to happen. Yet you, who was always calm, suddenly jumped in and sent yourself to a pointless death."
After a pause, he said, "You've been acting so strangely and irrationally in every way, and it's already too late for me to find out who you are until now, isn't it? General Pei Junior? Or should I call you by your current name — Ah Zhao!"
There was an abrupt, dead silence.
It was only after a long time that a voice finally responded coldly, "Didn't it ever occur to you that perhaps that mud-buried face was talking about the red-robed teenager beside you?"
No sooner had the words been spoken, a firelight abruptly lit up at the bottom of the Sinners' Pit. The bright light illuminated two crimson-colored figures that were facing each other.
One was the red-clad San Lang, who had already put away his weapon and was standing at ease; the other was a young man in plain clothing, who still held a sword in front of him, and hadn't let go of it.
Because the young man in plain clothing was covered with blood, it actually looked like he was wearing a red robe as well. His face was cold and sullen as he carried a person on his shoulder. Sure enough, it was that young man, Ah Zhao.
In fact, whether it was General Pei Junior himself or Ah Zhao, the bland, overly unruffled expression on his face remained unchanged. It was just that Xie Lian had never thought of it that way, so he didn't connect these two together.
The one he was carrying on his shoulder was none other than Banyue. He probably released the snakes to steal Banyue away during the chaos, but since his identity had been exposed, there was no longer any need to create confusion. The torrent of snakes around them ceased bombarding. In turn, he put away his sword with one hand, and laid Banyue down on the ground with the other. An astonished Ke-Mo on the other side said, "Who are you? Didn't you already fall to your death?"
Ah Zhao didn't spare a single glance at all at Ke-Mo, still staring intently at San Lang, and simply said in Banyue language, "Ke-Mo, you really haven't changed after hundreds of years."
Perhaps it was the overly familiar tone of this bland, infuriating voice that instantly brought anger on Ke-Mo's dark face upon hearing it. "...It's you!!! Pei Su?!"
If it wasn't for the Immortal Binding Rope that was firmly tying him up, very likely he would have charged at Ah Zhao to fight to the death.
"General Pei Junior, the scorpion-tailed snakes follow more than one person's orders," Xie Lian said. "Those scorpion-tailed snakes that Banyue said were disobedient and went out to bite people were all manipulated by you, weren't they?"
Pei Su was quick to admit it, "Mm. It was me."
"Did Banyue teach you how to manipulate the scorpion-tailed snakes?" asked Xie Lian.
"She didn't," Pei Su replied. "But I can learn how to manipulate them myself."
"After all, General Pei Junior is exceptionally intelligent," said Xie Lian.
After a pause, he asked, "When did you two meet? How did you get to know each other?"
But Pei Su gave him a look and said, "General Hua."
Xie Lian was inexplicably baffled. "Why are you calling me that, too?"
"Don't you recognize me, General Hua?" Pei Su said quietly.
Then, Xie Lian remembered.
There was a previous vague memory that Banyue had been ostracized by the Banyue children when she was a child, and there was only one young boy from Yong'an who occasionally attended to her. That teenager wasn't very talkative like Banyue. Many of the border children were army sons and daughters stationed at the border, and most of them would join the army when they grew up. Could it be…
"It's you?!" Xie Lian said. "I... I can't believe I only just recognized you."
Pei Su nodded his head. "It's me. I only just recognized you too, General."
No wonder. It turned out that Banyue and the enemy general had known each other for so long!
"Did Banyue really open the city gates at your behest?" asked Xie Lian.
On the other side, Ke-Mo spat and said, "Untie the rope so that I can fight this despicable Pei Su again to the death!"
"Firstly, we fought to the death two hundred years ago and you've already lost," Pei Su said coldly. "Secondly, dare I ask, how am I despicable?"
"If it weren't for you two conspiring and working from the inside out, how would we have lost?" Ke-Mo retorted.
"Ke-Mo, don't you dare deny it," Pei Su said. "At that time I only had two thousand men with me, but it was only a matter of time for me to break through the city gates."
Xie Lian couldn't help but interrupt, "Wait a minute, you were sent to attack a kingdom with only two thousand men under your command? How could that be? Wasn't that a death sentence? Were you more ostracized in the army than I was?"
Pei Su didn't say anything. It seemed that Xie Lian had been right. He added, "Since you were sure to win, why did you ask Banyue to open the city gates for you?"
"Because I want to slaughter everyone in the city," answered Pei Su.
"What do you mean?" Xie Lian asked. "If you were already going to win, why did you have to slaughter everyone in the city?" It couldn't be a hobby of his!
"It was because we were close to winning that we must slaughter the city," Pei Su replied. "And we must do it quickly, immediately, sparing no one."
The phrase "sparing no one" sounded eerie. "What was the reason?" asked Xie Lian.
"The night before the attack, many Banyue clan leaders joined together to hold a meeting and agreed on something in secret," Pei Su said.
"What was it?"
"The Banyue people are violent by nature and harbor intense hatred for the Yong'an Kingdom so much that even if they knew they were about to lose, they refused to admit it," Pei Su said. "The men, women, children, people of all ages of the entire Kingdom of Banyue were all prepared to make a batch of things as quickly as they could."
Xie Lian already had a vague guess of what that was. And the two words that Pei Su spat out were indeed what he had in mind.
Pei Su said word for word, "They planned to have the inhabitants of the kingdom hide these explosives on their bodies in case the city fell to ruin and were defeated, and immediately scattered and absconded from all directions to sneak into Yong'an, specifically mixed in the crowded places waiting for the opportunity to riot. Even if they die themselves, they would drag more Yong'an people to their deaths. Even if they perished, they vowed to disturb the peace of the kingdom that brought their ruin."
That was why the civilians had to be eliminated in one fell swoop before they had time to flee…
Xie Lian immediately turned to Ke-Mo. "Is that true?"
Without any intention of concealing it, Ke-Mo said, "True!"
At those words, San Lang raised an eyebrow and said, "Ruthless, ruthless."
He said this in Banyue language, and Ke-Mo said indignantly, "Ruthless? Who are you to call us ruthless? If you hadn't struck us first, how could we have been pushed to this point? You ruined us, and we're getting back at you in the same way? How is that wrong?"
"If that's the case, why don't we settle the score from the beginning then?" Pei Su said. "How many times had the Banyue people deliberately stirred up trouble along the border? How many merchant caravans and travelers from Yong'an to the West have been maliciously intercepted by the Kingdom of Banyue? You knew that there were horse thieves in your own kingdom who stopped and robbed and massacred Yong'an people, but you deliberately covered up for them. And the soldiers sent by Yong'an to round up the thieves were instead killed by you on the grounds that they had trespassed the border and committed crimes. How is that not ruthless?"
Though he didn't speak fast and his tone wasn't agitated, every word had a sharpness to it. "But it was you who forcibly occupied our land first, and only then did we fight back," Ke-Mo retorted.
"The border between the two kingdoms was originally ambiguous, how can it be considered forcibly occupied?" Pei Su said.
"The two sides had already demarcated the territory a long time ago. It was you who failed to keep your word!" Ke-Mo said.
"Only your side had agreed to the demarcation, but had Yong'an ever agreed to it?" Pei Su countered. "Your so-called demarcation was nothing more than that the desert was all ours and the oasis was all yours. It's ridiculous!"
"The oasis was originally ours," Ke-Mo said angrily. "The Banyue people had grown up on the oasis for generations!"
Both sides were so insistent and sticking to their own arguments. Just listening to them was making Xie Lian's head spin and recalling how he had been beaten and battered in between two opposing sides two hundred years ago. Suddenly, his face seemed to ache faintly again. Pei Su stopped paying attention to Ke-Mo and said to Xie Lian, "So, you see? There are many things in this world that are simply impossible to sort out clearly. You can only fight."
"I agree with the first one," Xie Lian said.
"I agree with the latter," said San Lang for his part.
Ke-Mo's anger subsided slightly and he suddenly said, "Yong'an people are very shameless, but you are the most shameless I've ever seen. You're an apathetic person, Pei Su. You killed us not for your kingdom, or for the sake of saving your people."
At those words, Pei Su fell silent.
Ke-Mo continued, "You, the son of an exile, are despised by everyone. You only had to win this battle in order to get a foothold in the Yong'an army and climb the ranks. Sadly, Banyue still thinks you're nice and gives you the benefit of the doubt. She was used by you, and betrayed us for the likes of you."
"But isn't General Pei Junior a descendant of General Pei's?" Xie Lian wondered. With such a reputable ancestor looking out for him, he wouldn't be in such a state, would he?
"He's not a direct descendant of General Pei, but a branch of the family tree with an unknown number of branches," San Lang replied.
So it meant that if he hadn't ascended afterwards, he probably wouldn't have had much chance to obtain any blessings from this old ancestor of his.
"Banyue was originally my subordinate, but was only ordered by me to lurk in the Kingdom of Banyue," Pei Su said indifferently. "She's of Banyue blood as well as of Yong'an. There was no betrayal at all when she chose a side and then stayed loyal to it. I have no remorse for killing those Banyue people for their evil intentions."
Suddenly, a voice from above said, "What a way to put an execution without remorse! And those travelers who have been led into the Pass by you over the years to perish at the bottom of this pit, dare you say you have no remorse for their deaths as well?"
🎉 HAPPY BIRTHDAY HUA CHENG THE LITERAL LOVE OF MY LIFE!!! 🎉 @falling-camellias and i worked together to make this birthday gift, they did the sketch/lineart and i colored! heres to a day filled w many kisses from dianxia<3