Cherry Blossoms Upon a Wintry Sword Chapter 81-90

Chapter 81: Wu Min

According to Wu Xing, currently, Wu Ao’s status in the witch tribe seemed to be somewhat higher than Wu Min. It was just that the outside world and the witch tribe were opposites, so there was almost no record of Wu Ao in all the historical sources. Only when he arrived at the Shen family did he learn of the name Wu Ao for the first time. 

It seemed that Wu Xing was indeed not very defensive against outsiders. All the questions that Lin Rufei asked, he would answer almost all the ones he knew. Unfortunately, Fu Hua and Yu Rui still refused to give that boy any good expression since he almost scared them half to death. Wu Xing didn’t have any other ways, so he sat on the side, putting on a pretense of good behavior. 

As they got closer to the witch tribe, the fog also dispersed a lot and he could see the people of the witch tribe walking around. When these witch tribe members noticed the foreign carriage, they revealed looks of curiosity. Wu Xing greeted them all.

Along the way, he didn’t see any defensive forces until they reached the entrance of the witch tribe. And only then did Lin Rufei see two witch tribe guards with weapons in a relaxed manner.

The guard recognized Wu Xing, smiled, and greeted him. He asked how his results were and how many people he scared this time. However, just as Wu Xing puffed up his chest and was going to brag about it, he suddenly felt something off. With the turn of his head, he saw the gloomy gazes of the two maids, who were previously scared by him, from the carriage. 

Wu Xing’s face suddenly stiffened, scratching his head, he said smiling: “No, none. None of them were frightened.”

“Is this person a friend? Why did he come to the witch tribe?” The guards then turned their attention back to Lin Rufei, looking at their tall carriage.

“He’s a friend, I guess.” Wu Xing replied, “They are here to find the Great Witch, it seems that they want to retrieve something that was previously placed in the witch tribe.”

“Oh, so it’s like that. Then I will send you in.” The guard didn’t check anything else and simply nodded at Wu Xing’s words, saying that the Great Witch was practicing at the altar at the moment and was probably just finishing up.

Wu Xing nodded and said okay.

So the guard took Lin Rufei’s carriage and brought them to the altar. Lin Rufei then asked if it would be too intrusive. After all, in most places, the ritual was a very private matter. However, the guard waved his hand indifferently, saying that it did not matter. Since Lin Rufei was Wu Xing’s friend, then he was their friend. There was no need to be so formal in treating friends. In fact, he and Wu Xing had only briefly met once and Lin Rufei could not help but feel a little worried about their defenselessness.

“You don’t need to worry about them. Although the witch tribe is simple in nature, they are not stupid. They still have a very clear distinction between good and bad people.” Gu Xuandu spoke up, “Besides, there are not many people who dare to provoke them, they all know that the witch tribe people will seek revenge. If they provoke one, they have offended a whole tribe.”  

Lin Rufei nodded slightly, signaling that he understood.

Under the guidance of the guards, Lin Rufei soon saw the altar of their tribe. The altar was made of stone, with a huge vermilion formation painted in the middle, and several giant stone pillars standing nearby—looking quite mysterious. In the very center of the altar, kneeled a man dressed in black. The man’s black outfit was embroidered with exquisite Tengshe[1] designs and soaring clouds. He was holding a simple scepter in his hand and had his head bowed as he chanted something.  Near the altar, there were also people of the witch tribe kneeling. They were all staring at the man with devout eyes, bowing unceasingly.

When Lin Rufei arrived, the ritual was just coming to an end. The man stood up and said something in the local dialect that Lin Rufei did not understand and the people got up and dispersed. He continued to stand in the middle of the altar for a while before walking towards them. 

Seeing the man arrived in front of them, Wu Xing and the guard half-kneeled down and saluted him. Wu Yin raised his hand and only then did the two of them rose up.

“This one is?” Wu Yin asked as he looked at Lin Rufei.

“Great Witch, this is a friend I made outside.” Wu Xing happily introduced Lin Rufei, giving Wu Yin a brief description of how the two met.

After listening, Wu Yin pondered for a moment, “I wonder what Lin gongzi has come to my witch tribe for?” He was indeed handsome and looked like he had a good temper. He spoke in a soft tone that carried a warm flavor, making people feel like a Spring breeze. No wonder Wu Xing’s face was full of fondness when he talked about this Great Witch.

Lin Rufei answered, “I am here to retrieve something.”

“What is it?” Wu Yin asked.

“A hundred years ago, a senior said he left something to Wu Min of the witch tribe and asked me to come and retrieve it for him. Only, I also don’t know what that thing is.” Lin Rufei deliberated on his wording.

“Wu Min?” Wu Yin was slightly surprised to hear his master’s name, “Lin gongzi knows my master, Wu Min?”

“Don’t know.” Lin Rufei shook his head.

“I thought that Lin gongzi and my master were old acquaintances.” Wu Yin smiled regretfully.

“I’m only in my twenties, so how would I know such a powerful Great Witch?” Lin Rufei also laughed.

“Oh, so that’s how it is.” Wu Yin trailed off, “It’s just that my master passed away a hundred years ago. Everything he owned at the time was unfortunately burned. Your senior’s thing probably didn’t make it.” 

Lin Rufei frowned: “But that thing is very important ……”

Wu Yin hesitated for a moment, “How about this, let’s find a place to talk slowly, you describe it carefully and see if I can find some clues.” He said while making a gesture of invitation.

Lin Rufei nodded and followed him forward.

The two of them didn’t have to walk long before Wu Yin stopped in front of a floating house and said that this was his residence, inviting Lin Rufei to go up and have a seat.

Lin Rufei was slightly surprised by Wu Yin’s lack of unfamiliarity with outsiders. However, on second thought, he felt that Wu Yin and Wu Xing were somewhat similar in that they were not guarded against outsiders, and it seemed that this was indeed a characteristic of their tribe.

Climbing up the stairs to the upper floors, Lin Rufei stepped onto the wooden floor and followed Wu Yin into the house. However, he soon noticed a man in the room sitting on the edge of the bed with his side facing them, looking down at the pages of a book in his hands. When he saw them coming back, he didn’t raise his head too much and said indifferently, “You’re back.”

“Back.” Wu Yin smiled in response.

The man’s appearance was also pretty good, but he looked slightly cold. However, this coldness turned into a happy warmth when he noticed Wu Yin. The two did not care about the presence of Lin Rufei, an outsider, as they simply hugged and kissed each other.

Lin Rufei was slightly surprised at this scene and when Wu Xing saw him, he smiled and introduced, “This is Wu Yin’s ‘A-Yu,’ or what you guys call a ‘lover’ over there.” 

Lin Rufei had seen many men fall in love, but this was the first time that he saw it this openly and honestly. Seeing that Wu Xing and the guard’s expression did not change, they obviously were long used to it and not surprised at all. 

“Pardon us, Lin gongzi.” Wu Yin said in a warm voice, “The people of our witch tribe are open and they don’t care about the difference between men and women. As long as they love each other, they can form a partnership.”

Lin Rufei was thoughtful, “That’s pretty nice.”

“Wu Xing, you guys should go out first.” Wu Yin said, “I’ll talk to Lin gongzi alone.”

“Okay.” Then Wu Xing and the guard left together, leaving Lin Rufei and two others in the room. Wu Yin’s lover didn’t seem to like talking much, so after nodding slightly at Lin Rufei, he also got up and head off into the side room, leaving only Lin Rufei and Wu Yin in the living room.

Wu Yin got up and poured a cup of hot tea for Lin Rufei, “Where did you come from, Lin gongzi?”

Lin Rufei replied, “From Kunlun.”

Wu Yin asked, “Kunlun? That’s a long way off.” His fingers rubbed the edge of the teacup delicately, as if he was thinking about something, “Since Lin gongzi doesn’t know what that thing is, you should probably know the identity of the senior who wanted you to retrieve that thing…….I wonder if you can tell me?”

Just as Lin Rufei was about to say, Gu Xuandu told him morosely, “Don’t tell him.”

Lin Rufei paused slightly and then shook his head. 

Gu Xuandu continued, “This Wu Yin really isn’t a good thing.”

Although Lin Rufei wondered why Gu Xuandu said that, Wu Yin was right in front of him, so he couldn’t ask that question directly.

“Then it’s a pity.” Wu Yin sighed and his black eyes showed some regret, “I thought it was an old friend I knew and could catch up on the old times.”

Lin Rufei answered, “Actually, I was simply entrusted by them so I really don’t know much.”

“Oh.” Wu Yin muttered, “So that’s how it is.”

He was silent for a moment but then smiled again, “But even though we can’t find that thing, Lin gongzi has come a long way so you are also considered a valuable guest of our witch tribe. You must have a good time here for a few days.”

Lin Rufei found it very difficult to refuse so he had to agree. 

Wu Yin continued to converse with Lin Rufei about other things and asked him about the outside world before introducing some of the customs and scenery of the witch tribe. The two talked until noon before Wu Yin finally summoned the servants and prepared a meal to treat Lin Rufei. Then, he had someone take him to a room to rest.

Only after entering the room did Lin Rufei look at Gu Xuandu and ask, “Senior, what’s wrong?”

Gu Xuandu’s face was icy cold.

Lin Rufei was shocked by his appearance and before he could ask about it, he heard Gu Xuandu say, “Wu Min is not dead.”

“What?” Lin Rufei froze, “Wu Min didn’t die……How does senior know that?”

Gu Xuandu laughed mockingly, “Of course I know because I saw him.”

Lin Rufei: “Where……” He was originally going to ask where, but halfway through the sentence, he was blessed to understand what Gu Xuandu meant. His body trembled violently and his eyes full of incredulity, “You mean, the man in Wu Yin’s house……”

“Yes, it’s Wu Min.” Gu Xuandu gritted his teeth, “That time, I told Wu Min that his disciple was wolfish and ambitious, but he didn’t take it seriously, now it seems that I was really right.”

Lin Rufei was silent for a while. He was so shocked by this matter that he could not speak and it was only after a long while that he hesitantly ask, “In that case, shouldn’t he hide Wu Min? Why would he invite me to sit in his house? What if I recognized Wu Min……”  

Gu Xuandu sneered, “I’m pretty sure he just wanted to know if you know him. If you really knew Wu Min, seeing him in Wu Yin’s house and being that close to him would definitely make you slip up and then it would become a question of whether you could leave the witch tribe alive.”

Although Wu Yin looked so pure, he didn’t expect him to actually be such a powerful character. Lin Rufei could only feel cold air running straight up his spine: “Then what should we do?”

Gu Xuandu took a deep breath: “Wu Yin must have done something to Wu Min, perhaps sealed his memory, perhaps drained his soul. First, let’s try and contact Wu Min without alerting the snake and see if we can wake him up. Of course, if it doesn’t work there is no need to force it. After all, this is Wu Yin’s territory and it is not good to fight him head-on.”

Lin Rufei nodded.

“Also, now that you know about this, remember not to reveal yourself in front of Wu Yin.” Gu Xuandu added, “He is a smart man and can easily see your slip ups.”

Lin Rufei could only agree. He then asked about Wu Yin and Wu Min back then and Gu Xuandu responded intermittently.

A hundred years ago, the witch tribe had two great witches. One was Wu Min and the other was his disciple, Wu Yin. Wu Yin had been practicing with Wu Min since he was just a child. The two were like father and son and their relationship was very good. Wu Min was cold and arrogant and never took anything seriously, while Wu Yin was gentle and tolerant even in the face of Wu Min’s bad nature. In the eyes of outsiders, Wu Yin had suffered a lot of grievances with Wu Min, but only those who understood the master and disciple would understand, in fact, the dominant one in the relationship was Wu Yin. Wu Min was too lazy to show up for many things, so Wu Yin had to solve it in his stead and over time, Wu Yin became the spokesman for Wu Min.

Although Gu Xuandu had a good relationship with Wu Min, he did not like his disciple. In his opinion, Wu Yin was not as good as Wu Min since his thoughts were too many and varied, which delayed his cultivation. Gu Xuandu also mentioned these things to Wu Min, but Wu Min did not take it to heart and only said that people were different, if everyone was like him, no one would be able to stand it.

Since Gu Xuandu saw him say so, he also let it go and did not mention this matter again.

Later, some accidents happened and Gu Xuandu no longer had the energy to care about Wu Yin and Wu Min’s situation. He handed his heart over to Wu Min’s hands, counting on him to take good care of it for him. However, who knew that within a few years after he left, such a thing happened to the witch tribe.

According to Lin Rufei’s description, Wu Min should have died in the witch tribe’s great war, but now, not only did he not die, but he also became Wu Yin’s lover. He didn’t even need to think to know that Wu Yin must have done a lot of tampering with this matter.

After listening to Gu Xuandu’s description, Lin Rufei propped up his chin and mumbled, “Senior, how dare this Wu Yin be so bold that he even made a move on his own master.”  

Gu Xuandu asked, “What’s wrong with being the master?” 

Lin Rufei was confused, “Huh?”

Gu Xuandu knocked on the table, “The point isn’t about laying his hands on his master, it’s about the two lovers being compatible!” He turned to Lin Rufei and stated righteously, “If Xiao Jiu made a move on me, I would be quite willing.” 

Lin Rufei’s cheeks flushed red and he immediately replied nervously, “Senior, what are you talking about, don’t joke about it.”

Gu Xuandu answered with a straight face, “Senior is not joking.”

Lin Rufei pursed his lips and uncomfortably averted his gaze.

Gu Xuandu didn’t push him either. Anyway, Lin Rufei was about to get used to his presence soon that he sometimes even took the initiative to hold his hand. Although Lin Rufei did not realize what this action meant, subtly, this frog in warm water would sooner or later be cooked by him. 

Since the journey had been tiring for several days, his body was a bit tired and should be well-rested. However, Lin Rufei had something on his mind and could not fall asleep no matter what. On the soft couch, he took a quick nap before getting up and wandering around the vicinity of the residence. 

The witch tribe was located in the middle of a canyon so there was little sunlight. Adding on that the mountains were surrounded by mist these days, it was very cool, like late Autumn.

Lin Rufei, as a newcomer to this place, really felt the hospitality of the witch tribe members. Even simply walking on the roadside, he would get called upon and either be handed a few pieces of snacks or exchanging a few words of small talk. The gazes of the people around him were mostly full of curiosity and desire, and Lin Rufei really had the feeling that he had become some kind of rare and exotic beast.

Lin Rufei asked many members of the witch tribe about Wu Min. And as Wu Xing had stated, most of them did not know about Wu Min’s existence. And the very few who did, only knew that Wu Min was an ancient Great Witch, but nothing else. Furthermore, they also did they know how Wu Yin had reached this point.

In order to welcome him as an honored guest, the witch tribe members laid out a sumptuous dinner. Lin Rufei, Fu Hua, and Yu Rui all went to attend. On the bonfire in front of them, a huge roasted lamb was being roasted and the crowd was singing and dancing around it. They also drank and chatted away, making the atmosphere very lively. 

Although Lin Rufei was worried about Gu Xuandu, he was infected by the atmosphere and had a few drinks himself. When the dinner atmosphere reached its peak, Lin Rufei found that Wu Yin, who was supposed to be in the center of the party, was nowhere to be found. He thought that this was a bit strange but Wu Xing was not surprised by this. He said that it must be that person, the one living in the Great Witch’s house, having a temper tantrum.

Lin Rufei was intrigued and asked, “What, does he often have temper tantrums?”

“Yes.” Wu Xing scratched his head, “He’s from the outside, doesn’t like to talk much, and rarely participates in our activities. He just likes to be left alone……”

Lin Rufei continued, “How long has he been here?”

Wu Xing answered, “Some years, I think. He came before I was born.” He continued: “He seldom goes out so I usually don’t see him either. However, he is very clingy and can’t leave the Great Witch’s side even if it is only half a step.” As he said this, he smiled shyly, “The Great Witch likes him very much and the two of them have a good relationship. It would be lucky if I could meet someone I like so much in the future as well.”

Lin Rufei teased him, “What kind do you like?”

“I just like cute little girls.” Wu Xing whispered, “Ones like your maids are quite good.”

Lin Rufei sighed, “But since you’ve scared them like that, how can you expect them to still like you?” Fu Hua and Yu Rui, after all, were still angry about being scared by Wu Xing.

Wu Xing simply stared at him and couldn’t say anything. He muttered two words then continued to eat his food.

Having eaten and drunken to their heart’s content, everyone was satisfied and returned back to their residences and the bonfire in the square was also extinguished.

Lin Rufei took a walk around the are before heading back to his place. And before heading back, he asked Wu Xing some things about their tribe’s rituals.

Wu Xing was quite honest and whatever Lin Rufei asked, he answered. He said that their tribe generally worshiped once a year and that the days they worshipped on were usually foggy. Lin Rufei then asked how many days it usually took for the ritual and Wu Xing thought about it before replying, “It’s usually about ten days.”

Lin Rufei calculated the days of the fog: “They’ve been worshipping for about three or four days now?”  

“Almost.” Wu Xing rubbed his nose, “If Lin gongzi wants to go, it’s better to wait until the fog clears. Although there is only one road in this canyon, there are still some fierce beasts, it’s not that safe.”

Lin Rufei nodded, “Okay.”

After Wu Xing left, Lin Rufei and Gu Xuandu worked out a plan, “Since the ritual still has a few days left, could we take advantage of the time when Wu Yin is worshipping to sneak into his house and see Wu Min?”

Gu Xuandu mused, “Yes, but Wu Yin is a Great Witch and his house will definitely have some restrictions so it’s better to lure Wu Min out.”

Lin Rufei agreed, “I will try tomorrow.”

Gu Xuandu nodded and then told Lin Rufei to put his own safety first, if it really didn’t work, then just to give up. He didn’t need a physical body that much.

Lin Rufei knew he was comforting him so he didn’t say a word. Who wouldn’t want a physical body? If he couldn’t find Gu Xuandu’s heart, then did he want him to stay by his side in the form of a ghost for the rest of his life? Not to mention the fact that it would be taken as hysteria, if the relationship between the two had further development, in the future……Thinking about it, Lin Rufei suddenly realized that he was getting sidetracked and immediately grew embarrassed as he awkwardly coughed twice. 

Gu Xuandu looked at Lin Rufei’s scarlet ears with suspicion and asked, ‘Xiao Jiu, what are you thinking about?’ 

Lin Rufei replied calmly, “I’m thinking about tomorrow’s plan.”

Gu Xuandu continued, “You can think about it, but why are you blushing?”

Lin Rufei hesitated, “……It’s just a little hot.”

Gu Xuandu: “……?”

Lin Rufei no longer said anything in response and simply closed his eyes, pretending he was asleep. 

Gu Xuandu just stared at his sleeping face for quite a while as his expression changed unpredictably. Suddenly, his figure gradually dissipated into the air.

The next day, Lin Rufei got up early in the morning and left after he washed up and had a simple breakfast. According to what he had thought up yesterday, he first went to the altar to confirm, and indeed saw Wu Yin kneeling in the center of the altar like yesterday and worshipping reverently. Then he headed over to Wu Yin’s residence by memory but did not go in. Instead, he took out the talisman of transmission in his pocket, wrote a few words, and folded the letter paper into the shape of a paper crane before sending it into Wu Yin’s house.

Watching the paper crane fly in through the window, Lin Rufei was a little uneasy and asked, “Will he come out? What if he doesn’t come out?”

Gu Xuandu calmed him, “It’s okay, if he doesn’t come out, we’ll think of another way.”

Fortunately, not long after the paper crane flew in, the door of Wu Yin’s house was opened. Wu Min’s face held some suspicion as he looked around outside. After seeing Lin Rufei standing nearby not too far away, he frowned slightly, and slowly stepped towards his side.

“He’s coming!” Lin Rufei worriedly said, “How should I tell him……should I get straight to the point?”

Gu Xuandu replied, “Let’s act according to the circumstances, but don’t stimulate him to hate on us that he would attract Wu Yin over.”

Lin Rufei nodded.

While the two were talking, Wu Min had already walked up to Lin Rufei. His expression was as cold as the one he saw yesterday and his voice was also very soft. He raised his hand and the paper crane Lin Rufei had sent in was resting in his hand: “Yours?”

Lin Rufei answered, “That’s right.”

“What is it?” Wu Min asked.

In the paper crane, Lin Rufei said that he had something important to discuss. If it was someone else, Wu Min would not even have paid attention to it. But for some reason, he smelled a strange familiar aura on Lin Rufei; an aura that made Wu Min choose to come see him even after hesitating. 

Lin Rufei clenched his teeth: “Let me take the liberty to ask………Do you still remember what happened before?”

Wu Min was confused, “Before?”

Lin Rufei continued, “A few hundred years ago.

Wu Min, “A few hundred years ago? I am not yet over a hundred years old, how can I remember what happened a hundred years ago?”

Lin Rufei was dumbfounded.

Wu Min asked, “Who the hell are you?”

Lin Rufei gritted his teeth, “I know you, you shouldn’t be Wu Yin’s lover.”

Wu Min questioned, “Then who should I be?”

Lin Rufei took a deep breath and answered in a deep voice, “You should be Wu Yin’s master, Wu Min——I’ve seen you before.”

Wu Min’s expression soon changed dramatically.

********

The author has something to say:

Gu Xuandu: Knocking on the blackboard[2]! The point is not the master-disciple relationship, it’s that he was unwilling! 

Lin Rufei: What if I’m unwilling? 

Gu Xuandu: Impossible! 

Lin Rufei: What if? 

Gu Xuandu: What if? I have a million ways to make you willing.

─────────────────────────────────────────────────

[1] A mythological flying snake. 
[2] Focus point/the main focus/the important stuff. 

Chapter 82: Surfacing

“What did you say?” After hearing Lin Rufei’s words, Wu Min’s emotions became slightly agitated. He grabbed Lin Rufei and whispered, “Who are you saying I am?”

Lin Rufei asked, “Wu Min, do you remember the Heavenly Ruler?”

Wu Min narrowed his eyes slightly, revealing a thoughtful look, “I don’t remember, but I know him.”

Lin Rufei observed Wu Min’s expression and noticed some clues from his expression. He didn’t know what Wu Min’s name was now, but it certainly wouldn’t be the name Wu Min. However, since he reacted so much to the word Wu Min, there was probably a reason to it.  

As expected, Wu Min looked back at his residence and nodded at Lin Rufei, “Tell me what you know, in detail.”

Lin Rufei inquired, “What do you remember?”

Wu Min shook his head and replied hesitantly, “I don’t remember much, but……I have a vague impression.” His memory was very bad now and many past events could not be remembered. However, occasionally some strange fragments would appear in his mind and most of these fragments would have some people and images that he had never seen before. After experiencing it more than once, Wu Min also developed some suspicions in his heart. For some reason, Wu Min did not tell Wu Yin about these things even though the two of them have a pretty good relationship. 

Lin Rufei then intermittently told him about Wu Min and Wu Yin’s history and the more Wu Min listened, the deeper his frown became. Finally, there was some confusion between his expressions: “So you mean, Wu Yin and I were once master and disciple, then something happened and we got together?”

Lin Rufei didn’t talk too much, after all, he didn’t know the truth back then either. He just euphemistically stated that this was indeed the case back then, he just didn’t know what had happened later on to make Wu Min and Wu Yin have the relationship they have now.

Wu Min continued questioning, “What is the reason for you to come to the witch tribe this time?”

Lin Rufei answered, “A senior of mine left something at your place and wanted me to retrieve it, so I made a special trip over here.”

Wu Min asked, “My place?”

Lin Rufei nodded his head.

Wu Min pushed, “What thing?”

Lin Rufei hesitated for a moment, but still shook his head, “I don’t know.”

Wu Min, however, persisted, “Who is your senior? Since he wanted to store something with me, my relationship with him should be good, right?”

Lin Rufei replied, “That’s right, he is the……Heavenly Ruler.”

Wu Min exclaimed, “The Heavenly Ruler? I’m friends with the Heavenly Ruler?” Although he didn’t know who he was, he still knew the name “Heavenly Ruler.” Wu Min’s expression changed, finally, he raised his head and glanced in the direction Lin Rufei came from, “You should go back first, come back here tomorrow to look for me, his ceremony is almost over and he will be back soon.”

“Okay.” Lin Rufei nodded.

“Be careful with everything you do.” Wu Min whispered.

Lin Rufei turned around and left. When he was walking back to his residence, he happened to see Wu Yin, who had finished his rituals, walking past him. The two of them looked at each other and Wu Yin cast a light smile at Lin Rufei.

If he didn’t have something in mind, the witch tribe was actually quite a nice place to live. Not only was the climate cool but the food was also to Lin Rufei’s liking—very refreshing—and the people of the witch tribe were also not xenophobic. In fact, they were very warm to Lin Rufei, a foreigner, and whenever Lin Rufei went out for a walk empty-handed, he would come back with all kinds of small gifts in his hands.

But Lin Rufei’s mind was preoccupied with Wu Min’s matter, so he didn’t have the heart to walk around. After waiting until the next day, when Lin Rufei saw Wu Yin appear at the altar, he immediately ran to Wu Min’s residence and after releasing the paper crane as he had done yesterday, he stood in place and waited patiently.

After waiting for a few moments, the door was slowly pushed open. However, when Lin Rufei saw the person who came out from inside, he froze in place.

Wu Yin, who should have been at the altar, was standing at the door, staring at him with an unfriendly expression, while Wu Min was nowhere to be seen.

Lin Rufei failed to undermine the foundation and was caught red-handed. Currently, the situation he was in was a bit awkward as Wu Yin called out quietly, “Lin gongzi.”

Lin Rufei could only bite the bullet and reply, “Great Witch.”

Wu Yin mused, “Since you are here, why don’t you come in for a chat?”

Lin Rufei questioned, “Where is Wu Min? You didn’t do anything to him, did you?”

Wu Yin smiled, “He is my lover, what can I do to him? He is tired and is still sleeping at this moment.”

Lin Rufei mulled over his words but then said bluntly, “If I go in, will you think of killing me?”

Wu Yin curbed his smile and responded lightly, “What are you joking about, Lin gongzi? Since you are a friend of the Heavenly Ruler, why would I do anything to you?”

As expected, Wu Yin already knew all about this. Although Lin Rufei was prepared for it before, when he heard Wu Yin’s words, he still sighed, “Okay.” He definitely wanted to get his hands on Gu Xuandu’s stuff, and since that was the case, sooner or later he would have to confront Wu Yin.

He stepped into the house but did not see Wu Min anywhere. Wu Yin sat down in front of him, smoothly poured him a cup of hot tea, “Stop looking, he is not well and is sleeping in the inner room.”

Lin Rufei inquired, “You didn’t do anything to him, did you?”

“What do you mean by ‘anything?’” Wu Yin asked, “Lin gongzi, did you misunderstand something? He is my beloved person, how could I do anything to him?” He then took a sip of the tea in front of him and his posture looked quite relaxed, not at all like he was about to have a fall out with Lin Rufei.

Lin Rufei frowned slightly at his words and did not touch the tea in front of him.

Wu Yin, however, didn’t care and said to himself, “Lin gongzi came here to look for the old thing left by the Heavenly Ruler, in that case, why say something to him that you shouldn’t have?”

Lin Rufei, “Am I not right?”

Wu Yin smiled, “Could it be that Lin gongzi knew what happened back then?”

Lin Rufei replied, “I know some of it.”

Wu Yin asked, “For example?”

“For example, he was your master.” Lin Rufei answered.

Wu Yin smiled coldly at his words. He then rose to his feet and stared down at Lin Rufei from a high position. The goodwill, that was once in his eyes, had all disappeared leaving only cold frost behind as he exclaimed, “Ridiculous! I don’t know where you found some books that haven’t been destroyed, but you think you know the truth after reading them? That year the Heavenly Ruler fell and the witch tribe was in chaos, it’s been more than a few hundred years since then and Lin gongzi wants to convict me on the basis of a few books?!”

Lin Rufei caught a key point: “The fall of the Heavenly Ruler?”

“Oh? Lin gongzi doesn’t even know this?” The members of the witch tribe all had a long life span and although Wu Yin was not very old back then, he was still a witness to all the events.

“Why exactly did the Heavenly Ruler fall?” This was one of the things Lin Rufei was most confused about, “Is it because of the failed ascension?” It seemed that the folk legends were mostly untrue. The Heavenly Ruler did not ascend but fell instead.

“Haha, the Heavenly Ruler’s cultivation was at the tenth level and even he failed to ascend. I’m afraid no one else in the world would succeed in ascending.” Wu Yin indifferently replied, “The Heavenly Ruler did something against the fate of the Heavens, that’s why his flesh body broke down and his soul scattered, ending in annihilation……”

Lin Rufei asked, “Exactly what happened……” He also tried asking Gu Xuandu, but Gu Xuandu refused to say anything.

“You want to know?” Wu Yin muttered coldly, “But why should I tell you?”

Lin Rufei remarked, “That’s quite true. So what exactly did you want to express by saying so much?”

Wu Yin vocalized, “I just want to tell Lin gongzi that some things are not as you seem. You think that I have harmed my master but maybe I actually saved him.”

Lin Rufei asked, “In order to save him, you destroyed all the existence about him from the world?”

“People are all greedy.” Wu Yin didn’t look guilty at all and calmly responded, “When you’ve finally got what you always wanted, it’s hard to hand it over again.”  

Lin Rufei was dumbfounded for a moment.

Wu Yin continued”Lin gongzi, please don’t blame me for threatening you. If you still want to return to your Kunlun alive, then don’t interfere in the matter between me and my master.” He narrowed his eyes and a thick killing intent arose from his body,  “Otherwise, don’t blame me for being ruthless.”

“Not interfering is possible.” Lin Rufei answered, “You just need to find the thing I want.”

“What thing?” Wu Yin exclaimed, “You can’t tell me who handed it over nor can you describe what it is, so how can I find it for you?”

Lin Rufei said, “The thing is very important, Wu Min will surely keep it very well. Plus, there is something special about that thing. It is not an ordinary treasure……If you see it, you will surely recognize it at once.”

But Wu Yin shook his head, saying that most of Wu Min’s things were destroyed that year and none of the things left behind matched Lin Rufei’s description. However, when he had said these words, he seemed to have remembered something and revealed some traces of hesitation. When Lin Rufei asked again, he said it was nothing.

The two of them talked for a long time. However, Wu Min, who was supposedly still resting, woke up at some point and stood at the door of the bedroom in a single outfit. He looked at the two of them coldly and when they finally noticed him, they didn’t know how long he had been standing there. When Wu Yin saw him, his expression immediately softened. He got up and walked to his side, whispering something to him in their dialect. Wu Min though, was fed up. He waved his hand and turned around to go back to his room. However, Wu Yin grabbed his hand and gently pulled him into his arms. The two of them were in a lingering atmosphere and Lin Rufei immediately caught glimpses of some ambiguous red marks on Wu Min’s neckline causing him to quickly avert his gaze with some discomfort.

When the two of them finally finished lingering, Wu Yin took Wu Min’s hand and walked towards Lin Rufei, “If you two have anything to say, say it in front of me.”

Wu Min glared at him: “If you’re here, do you think Lin gongzi dares to say anything?” 

Wu Yin coaxed, “But I’m not at ease.”

Wu Min asked, “What are you not at ease about? Are you afraid that Lin gongzi will abduct me?”

Wu Yin sighed, “Forget it, you two can talk, I’ll be outside.” He then looked at Lin Rufei and muttered, “Whatever he asks, you can answer.”

Lin Rufei didn’t think he would have a chance to talk to Wu Min, but looking at Wu Yin’s appearance, it was true that he didn’t really look guilty. Did he really misunderstand him and Wu Min?

Wu Yin turned around and head out while Wu Min looked indifferent. He picked up the cup of tea that Wu Yin had drunk out of and took a sip, “Since Lin gongzi felt that it was inconvenient to tell Wu Yin, I wonder if it’s convenient to tell me. Exactly what are you looking for? I’ll try hard to remember and see if I can recall it.”

Lin Rufei muttered, “You and Wu Yin……”

“After you spoke with me yesterday, I remembered something else and after I remembered, I did not want to continue to look deeper into this matter.” Wu Min replied, “He did lie to me, but sometimes it’s better not knowing the truth about some things.”

Lin Rufei mumbled, “How could this be……”

Wu Min raised his eyes and looked at Lin Rufei: “Lin gongzi is a bit like an old friend I know.”

Lin Rufei asked, “An old friend?”

Wu Min answered, “That’s right, an old friend.” He then continued, “At first I just felt that there was a familiarity in your aura, however, after thinking about it all last night, I realized that Lin gongzi even has some similarities with him in your eyebrows.”

Lin Rufei frowned: “Then who is the old friend?”

Wu Min trailed off, “It’s……the Heavenly Ruler.”

Lin Rufei froze. He never expected to hear such a sentence from Wu Min’s mouth. He immediately felt that Wu Min’s memory still seemed a little unreliable, after all, Gu Xuandu was right beside him and he did not feel the slightest resemblance to Gu Xuandu at all, “How is that possible, how can I resemble the Heavenly Ruler?”

Wu Min questioned, “Why is it impossible?”

Lin Rufei muttered, “I’ve seen the Heavenly Ruler’s appearance in picture books before and it’s very different from mine……Are you remembering it wrong ……”

“I didn’t remember wrongly.” Wu Min, however, was certain.

Lin Rufei decided not to dwell on this matter anymore. Gu Xuandu was the Heavenly Ruler and this was something that had already been confirmed so Wu Min must have remembered wrong. Besides, whether he looked like the Heavenly Ruler or not didn’t really matter much. Maybe it was just a coincidence.

“Then do you remember what the Heavenly Ruler handed to you?” Since Wu Min’s memory had recovered a little, Lin Rufei asked the question he most wanted to know the answer to.

He was originally not too hopeful, but Wu Min nodded slowly as he replied, “I remember.”

Lin Rufei exclaimed with surprise, “Remember?”

Wu Min nodded, “Yes, my memory was intermittent before, but after Lin gongzi reminded me of some things, I remembered them all.” However, there was no joy on his face, “That thing was very important, I did take care of it seriously, but then the witch tribe was in turmoil and I was too busy to take care of myself, so with negligence, that thing was unfortunately stolen.”

“Stolen?!” Lin Rufei was surprised, “Do you know who stole it?”

Wu Min sighed, “I guessed a few, just……”

Lin Rufei was anxious, “Just what?”

Wu Min continued, “It’s just that even if it really was him, it’s not really possible for you to find him.” 

Lin Rufei asked, “Who is it?”

Wu Min answered, “The Heavenly Ruler’s second disciple, Wu Ao.”

Lin Rufei froze once again. He never thought it would be this person. Only, he suddenly remembered something else: “Wait, wait a minute, second disciple? Meaning, there is also an eldest disciple?”

“Mnn.” Wu Min nodded.

Although the name of the Heavenly Ruler was known all over the world, not many people knew of his disciples. Whether it was the eldest disciple or the second disciple, they both seemed to be unrecorded in the book, as if the Gods were hidden. This was actually a very strange thing. After all, their master was so powerful, how could the disciples have no fame at all?

“Why haven’t I heard of it? Logically speaking, if the Heavenly Ruler was so famous, his disciples should have some records, right?” Lin Rufei felt this matter to be very strange.

“There’s nothing strange about it.” Wu Min looked calm, “Maybe there was some reason why they couldn’t reveal their identity. Wu Ao was from the witch tribe and I also knew him well. After he became the disciple of the Heavenly Ruler, he rarely ever came back. Only after the Heavenly Ruler had an accident did he completely disappear, so I never thought that he would sneak into the witch tribe and steal the thing that the Heavenly Ruler left with me.”

Lin Rufei asked, “Was the relationship between the Heavenly Ruler and Wu Ao very bad?”

Wu Min sighed: “Actually……It wasn’t bad. The Heavenly Ruler was gentle. Although he had an extremely high cultivation, his heart was compassionate. He only had two disciples under his name so how could he bear to let these two disciples suffer?”

Lin Rufei pondered on that, but he still believed that Gu Xuandu’s perverse nature did not match up with gentleness at all. However, Wu Min and Gu Xuandu were good friends, no matter how much he thought about it, the stranger it became. But he did not rush to ask questions and patiently continued listening to what Wu Min was saying.

“Therefore, the relationship between the master and disciples is not bad.” Wu Min continued, “Unfortunately, later, in order to lay the Yaoguang Grand Formation, the Heavenly Ruler……the Heavenly Ruler was greatly injured, and the master-disciple relationship was broken.”

However, Lin Rufei found it incomprehensible: “Why would a wound break the master-disciple relationship?”

Wu Min sighed: “This involves the secret of the Heavenly Ruler, it’s not appropriate for me to say too much to you.”

Lin Rufei frowned: “But even so, the Heavenly Ruler treated his disciples generously. Even if his body was injured, his disciples should still remember the goodness the Heavenly Ruler provided for them……”

“That’s right.” Wu Min smiled bitterly, “They all remembered it.”

Lin Rufei was curious, “What happened afterward?”

Wu Min replied, “Later, the Heavenly Ruler got better, but unfortunately the relationship with Wu Ao became increasingly stiff and I did not expect that in the end, Wu Ao would do such a thing. In my current state, I can’t find any trace of Wu Ao at all.”

Lin Rufei sighed: “Then I have to go back and think about how to find Wu Ao.”

Wu Min smiled slightly, “That’s probably for the best.”

Since the matter was mostly figured out, Lin Rufei got up and planned to say goodbye. However, before he left, he was still a bit worried about Wu Min’s situation. He lowered his voice and asked if Wu Min was sure that he really didn’t want to leave Wu Yin, and that if Wu Min was being threatened, he could find a way to save Wu Min.

Wu Min responded, “Thank you for your kindness, Lin gongzi. You don’t have to worry about me, Wu Yin is very good to me.”

Lin Rufei asked to make sure, “Really?”

Wu Min nodded his head.

When he reached the door, he noticed Wu Yin sitting on a bamboo chair outside the house with his eyes closed and taking a nap. When he heard Lin Rufei’s footsteps, he opened his mouth and said, “Lin gongzi is a bodhisattva who has crossed the river[1], it is better to take care of yourself first.”

Lin Rufei responded, “Thank you, Great Witch, for reminding me.”

Wu Yin said, “I won’t see you off.”

Lin Rufei then turned around and left. Although Wu Yin had acted kindly in front of Wu Min, in fact, he still remembered the hatred he had when Lin Rufei quietly went to find Wu Min. Therefore, even at this time, he still didn’t give Lin Rufei a good expression.

After Lin Rufei left, Wu Yin entered the house once more and saw Wu Min sitting at the table, silently fondling the teacup in his hand, “He’s gone?”

“Gone.” Wu Yin slowly walked behind Wu Min and hugged him hard.

Wu Min was a little breathless from being hugged and let out a low cough or two. However, he did not tell Wu Yin to release him. He tapped his finger against the teacup and faintly asked, “Now you know to be afraid?” 

Wu Yin buried his head hard into Wu Min’s neck, sniffing the unique light fragrance on Wu Min’s body, and responding in a muffled voice, “Master is not allowed to leave and no one is going to take Master away from me.”

Wu Min sighed, “You are also quite ruthless.”

“How can I keep you if I’m not ruthless?” Wu Yin laughed, “Look at what happened to the Heavenly Ruler. Wasn’t it because his disciple was not ruthless enough and couldn’t bear to……”

Wu Min pursed his lips and did not speak.

“If he had been more ruthless, how would he have ended up in this state today?” Wu Yin continued, “The flesh was lost, the soul was scattered, and he doesn’t even have a decent appearance anymore. Even hugging the person you love for a moment longer became a luxury”

Wu Min was silent for a long time: “But in the end, he still came back.”

“So what if he came back?” Wu Yin chastised, “The thing he left with you had long been taken away by Wu Ao. How much Wu Ao hated you, you should know yourself……although I do not know what that thing is, but I think it must be very important if he was willing to leave it with you……” 

Wu Min looked at him obliquely: “You are not afraid that I will blame you?”

“What would I be afraid of? I did not harm Master, at most, I just left some selfishness.” He nibbled on Wu Min’s ear and watched with satisfaction as a faint tooth mark was soon left on it.

“Let go if you’re not afraid.” Wu Min uttered unhappily, “If you hold even tighter, I won’t be able to breathe.” Although Wu Yin said he didn’t care, he still desperately wanted to insert the person in front of him into his own body. He knew that Wu Min didn’t care about those things, but even though he knew that Wu Min didn’t care, he was still worried that Wu Min would blame him.

Wu Yin mumbled: “Not loosening.”

Wu Min sighed: “You, ah……”

“Just won’t let go.” Wu Yin said with a smile, “If I let go, Master will run away with someone.”

Wu Min no longer responded. Hundreds of years ago, he was the most prestigious witch of the witch tribe and there were countless disciples under him, however, all of them were afraid of him. And only Wu Yin was not afraid of his indifference. From childhood until he grew up, he was like a stink bug that liked to stick on his back. After a long time though, he had also gotten used to it and then even gradually began to rely on Wu Yin. He didn’t like interacting or getting along with anyone, but he was still the Great Witch of the witch tribe so he was still forced to take over many affairs. However, in the end, most of these things Wu Yin took care of, which saved Wu Min a lot of trouble.

Later, when the witch tribe was in turmoil, Wu Min was greatly injured and nearly killed. Wu Yin used his best efforts to save him with a secret method however, parts of his memories ended up being severely missing. And after being accompanied by a long slumber, Wu Min’s body finally recovered gradually. But he couldn’t remember who he really was. Wu Min then told him a new name, one which had nothing to do with Wu Min, and only represented an ordinary mortal.

Since then, Wu Min’s memory had been intermittent. Sometimes, he would remember something from the past and sometimes he would suspect that Wu Yin had an impure mind, but after thinking about it, Wu Yin’s impure mind seemed to have only one thing, which was……

“Stop messing around.” Wu Min sensed something and his tone didn’t sound good, “My waist still hurts.”

Wu Yin was aggrieved, “Master doesn’t like me anymore, he’s always yelling at me.”

“Don’t call me Master.” Wu Min was a little uncomfortable, “Call me by my name.”

Noticing some shyness on Wu Min’s face, Wu Yin smiled wryly, “Is Master shy?” He came up to Wu Min’s ear and whispered, “Master’s shy look is the cutest. His body is red all over…..” The latter words were too whispered and somewhat inaudible, but when Wu Min heard it, he immediately dealt Wu Yin a blow and said, annoyed, ” Wu Yin!”

“Oops!” Wu Yin blinked his eyes.

Wu Min said: “Don’t you dare—” Before he could finish his threatening words, he was kissed and embraced by Wu Yin again with great force. His body that originally wanted to resist, relaxed because it sensed something. Although Wu Yin was smiling, he was still a bit uneasy. He didn’t know if Wu Min would blame him nor did he know if Wu Min would just follow Lin Rufei and leave. However, he didn’t dare ask and could only express it through his actions.

Wu Min let out a long sigh and gave up struggling, allowing Wu Yin to vent his tense emotions.

********

The author has something to say:

Lin Rufei: So that’s how it is! Master and disciple could actually be like this? ! 

Gu Xuandu: Welcoming Xiao Jiu, who just opened a door to a new world~

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[1] In a difficult situation himself and is not able to help others. 

Chapter 83: The Heavenly Ruler

As Lin Rufei headed back, he was thinking about how to find Wu Ao along the way. Gu Xuandu did not appear when Lin Rufei met with them, and only when he returned to the house did he reveal himself once again. However, he did not seem to be in good spirits and simply sat on the side, waiting quietly for Lin Rufei. He did not open his mouth to speak.  

Lin Rufei was a little worried about Gu Xuandu: “Senior, exactly what is going on with you and that Wu Ao?”

Gu Xuandu lazily replied: “That’s how it was, didn’t you hear it all?” 

Lin Rufei said, “I heard it, but I think it’s a bit strange. Since you two had a good master-disciple relationship before, I think there should still be some friendship. Even if you guys fell apart later,  why did he have to do things this way?” He looked at Gu Xuandu sadly, “This heart is very important to senior, if we really can’t get it back……”

But Gu Xuandu simply smiled. It seemed that Lin Rufei’s concern was not on his mind as he responded indifferently, “If we can’t get it back, then so be it. With Xiao Jiu by my side, it is enough.” As he said this, he leaned over and placed his chin on Lin Rufei’s shoulder.

Lin Rufei could only let him do as he pleased, but in his heart, he was still calculating on how to find Wu Ao. 

After a few days, Lin Rufei still did not come up with any good ideas. His knowledge of Wu Ao was limited to the Shen family matter and he really could not think of where to find him.

But Lin Rufei did not expect that the person he wanted to find, actually found him on his own accord. Since the sixth day of coming to the witch tribe, there still had been no news of Wu Ao, however, he then suddenly appeared.

It was a cool morning. Lin Rufei had just eaten the breakfast prepared by Fu Hua and was planning to go out to chat with the people of the witch tribe.

Who knew that the moment he went out, he saw a familiar figure standing outside his door. He even thought he was mistaken at first and rubbed his eyes hard to make sure he was not hallucinating. Wu Ao was actually standing at his door, with a pleasing smile on his face, as he called out, “Lin gongzi.”

Lin Rufei looked at him warily, “Wu Ao? Why are you here?” After the initial surprise, Lin Rufei immediately became defensive again. One who was unaccountably solicitous, was hiding evil intentions. The sudden appearance of Wu Ao was definitely not a good thing.

Wu Ao answered, “Lin gongzi, didn’t you want to find me?”

Lin Rufei questioned, “How do you know that? Have you been following me?”

Wu Ao said, “I didn’t follow you, but as long as that thing is in my hand, you will definitely come to me.” He walked up to Lin Rufei and the long black snake coiled on his arm couldn’t stop spitting out its tongue, hissing, as if it was echoing his excited mood. He looked at Lin Rufei greedily and said in a hoarse voice arduously, “It’s windy outside, Lin gongzi, can we go inside for a while.”

Lin Rufei replied, “Alright.”

The two of them entered the house, but Gu Xuandu was nowhere to be seen. He didn’t know if he hated Wu Ao so much to the point that he didn’t even want to see him.

“It’s been a hard journey for Lin gongzi.” Wu Ao pulled out a stiff smile. He doesn’t seem to smile often so when he smiled, it looked like his whole face was slightly distorted. He muttered and repeated the words just now, “It’s really been hard……”

“Where did you put the Heavenly Ruler’s thing?” Lin Rufei did not want to dwell more with him and went straight to the point.

However, who knew that when Wu Ao heard Lin Rufei’s words, he got agitated all of a sudden and yelled angrily, “That Gu Xuandu can’t be considered as the Heavenly Ruler! He is just a deceitful liar, Lin gongzi must not be deceived by him, he……he……”

Lin Rufei frowned: “Even if you have some dissatisfaction with him, he was once your master, you shouldn’t talk about him like this……”

“!!!” Wu Ao jumped up due to his agitation and his face was now scarlet with anger. He seemed to want to swear a series of expletives, but not a single word came out because his mouth was not very ingenious. Lin Rufei looked at him with concern. Just as he felt that he was going to faint from this anger, this Wu Ao spat out a sentence: “Lies……he is not, he is not my master!”

Lin Rufei froze: “Your master is not the Heavenly Ruler?”

“Naturally, it is the Heavenly Ruler.” Wu Ao puffed up his chest and proudly said, “My master is the best person in the world.”

Lin Rufei looked at Wu Ao incredulously. At this moment, the truth of the matter had been laid out in full in front of him. Although there was an inkling of suspicion before, Lin Rufei felt that his speculation was too absurd and very soon put it behind him. But in front of him was one of the participants in history, and looking at him, it did not look like he was lying. He said that Gu Xuandu was not his master and that his master was the Heavenly Ruler. Then didn’t that mean that Gu Xuandu was not the Heavenly Ruler? Or to put it another way, there was more than one Heavenly Ruler in this world.

After this thought came to my mind, many things that he thought were strange before became clear at this time. Such as why the Heavenly Ruler varied so much amongst different people; why some people say that he was kind-hearted, and others say he was hostile—it turned out that there was more than one Heavenly Ruler; one was Wu Ao’s master and the other was Gu Xuandu.

Lin Rufei was full of incredulity and asked, “Are you saying that there were two Heavenly Rulers in the world?”

“Yes.” Wu Ao did not intend to conceal this matter and replied sorrowfully, “That Gu Xuandu is not worthy of the name Heavenly Ruler. He is just a big liar who uses the Heavenly Ruler name and deceives his master and humiliates his ancestors. The whole world was deceived by him, not knowing that the real Heavenly Ruler had fallen……long ago.” 

This matter sounded too appalling at first and Lin Rufei was also full of shock. He looked at Wu Ao and asked, “Exactly what happened back then?”

Wu Ao said coldly: “What did Gu Xuandu tell you?”

Lin Rufei said, “He didn’t mention much about what happened back then……” Even if Gu Xuandu did say something, he mostly talked about some travelogues and rarely mentioned news about the Heavenly Ruler, so naturally, he wouldn’t tell Lin Rufei how he actually fell. At first, Lin Rufei thought he just did not want to mention the sadness of that year. Now that he thought about it carefully, there were probably some things that weren’t easy to talk about. After all, there was still the matter about there being two Heavenly Rulers, which was too incredible and no one could have imagined it. 

“I can tell you what happened back then if you want.” Wu Ao replied, “But first I have to trouble you, Lin gongzi, to come back to Kunlun with me.”

Lin Rufei asked, “Back to Kunlun for what?”

Wu Ao said, “There are some things that I want Lin gongzi to help with.”

Lin Rufei questioned warily, “Me? What can I do to help you?”

Wu Ao smiled: “Lin gongzi need not be so nervous, I will not harm you. However, this matter, only you can help me……”

Lin Rufei pondered over his proposal for a moment, “If you want my help, then that is possible. Only, you have to hand over the thing you took from Wu Min.” Although Gu Xuandu was not the Heavenly Ruler, Lin Rufei still thought of him in his heart.

But who knew that Wu Ao immediately exploded and almost made a move when he heard that, “Lin gongzi, that Gu Xuandu is really not a good person, why do you still need to think about him? I destroyed that thing of his a long time ago, he will never get it in his entire life!”

Lin Rufei sighed, “Oh, that’s a pity, I may not be able to help with this favor then.” He spread his hands, making a helpless expression.

Wu Ao’s eyes were now bright red with anger as he stared fiercely at Lin Rufei for a moment. Then, hanging his head in defeat, he muttered, “How could this happen? It’s been hundreds of years, how could it still be like this……”

Lin Rufei couldn’t understand what he was saying, but he was not in a hurry so he slowly sipped on his tea. He didn’t know how much Wu Ao had struggled with his heart, but in the end, he clenched his teeth, “Okay. I can give it back to him, but you must immediately depart with me back to Kunlun!”

Lin Rufei nodded, “Yes, as long as you hand over the thing first.”

Wu Ao gritted his teeth and chanted something. Only, he did it in the local dialect, which Lin Rufei did not quite understand. But he didn’t need to understand, he just needed Wu Ao to hand over Gu Xuandu’s thing.

Before Wu Ao left, he made an agreement with Lin Rufei that he would return in a few days and bring the thing that Lin Rufei wanted. However, he asked that when the time came, for Lin Rufei to leave with him and return to Kunlun.

Lin Rufei agreed.

After Wu Ao left, Lin Rufei called out to Gu Xuandu for quite a while before he finally showed up. But for some reason, his figure was much lighter than usual, like an ink painting that was about to fade. Lin Rufei called out worriedly to his senior and Gu Xuandu only raised his head to look at him. His expression had more than a touch of sadness as he looked at Lin Rufei with a pair of narrow, half-lidded, phoenix eyes: “Xiao Jiu.”

Lin Rufei asked, “Is what Wu Ao said true?” 

“Yes.” Gu Xuandu nodded his head.

Lin Rufei hesitated, “So there really were two Heavenly Rulers in the world? You……are the later one?”

Gu Xuandu nodded, “Yes.”

Lin Rufei mulled over this for a moment before carefully saying, “Then the first Heavenly Ruler, how did he fall?” After he asked this, he was afraid that Gu Xuandu would misunderstand his meaning and hastily added, “I believe everything you say.”

But Gu Xuandu simply smiled, “If Xiao Jiu wants to know, I will tell you everything.” After these words left his mouth, his body suddenly shook like water rippling, making Lin Rufei’s heart go on edge as he watched. He was about to go forward to support Gu Xuandu but saw Gu Xuandu waving his hand, indicating that he was not hindered.

“Does Xiao Jiu know how the Yaoguang Continent’s Grand Formation was laid?” Gu Xuandu asked slowly.

Lin Rufei said, “I only know that the formation was laid by the Heavenly Ruler, I don’t know how……it was laid.”

Gu Xuandu smiled bitterly, “Yes, the people in the world only know that the Heavenly Ruler laid the formation to protect Yaoguang for a hundred years. However, they don’t know how difficult it was to lay this formation.” He said weakly, “A formation that wants to protect a continent must have a formation eye that drives the operation of the formation. This formation was extremely large and consumed a lot of spiritual energy and spirit stones were already completely insufficient.”

Lin Rufei’s eyes widened as he remembered Fu Yu of the Fu Family Village and opened his mouth slightly, “Senior means……”

“Yes, the Heavenly Ruler was compassionate at heart and couldn’t stand to see the world suffer.” Gu Xuandu smiled slightly, “Moreover, that year, the demons were planning to attack Yaoguang again. Seeing that the battle was imminent, the Heavenly Ruler knew that he could not wait any longer so he fed the tiger with his body; he gave up his flesh, and became the eye of the Yaoguang Grand Formation.”

Although he had a smile on his face, his eyes were actually crying, “Xiao Jiu, I tried to persuade him for a long, long time, but he refused to listen. I said that I only had him left but he thought I was lying……” 

Lin Rufei looked at Gu Xuandu dumbfoundedly. He knew Gu Xuandu was sad but he didn’t know how to comfort him, so he gently held onto his hand. Gu Xuandu acted fast and quickly wrapped Lin Rufei’s hand fiercely within his palm.

“At that time I was too weak and couldn’t stop him.” Gu Xuandu continued, “I could only watch him go. I only hated myself for being too much of a waste. If I was strong enough, I could also have been the formation eye and he wouldn’t have to do all this.” A tidal wave of intent emerged in his eyes, but it passed instantly and his tone faded again.

Lin Rufei asked, “What happened afterward?”

Gu Xuandu said, “Afterward? Then I became the Heavenly Ruler, which was what he asked me to do. Although I was a little bit fed up with it, I didn’t want to disobey his wishes.” He continued lightly, “But my nature and his were naturally different. When I meet someone I hate, I will not think of ways to get along with that person and will only find them troublesome as I kill them with my sword.” 

He sighed softly, “Now that I think about it, I shouldn’t have done that. After all, what I did had to be counted on his head. However, I was young and I didn’t care about that. I loved him to death, and I also hated him to death. He had the world in his heart, but I only had him. Say, how could this be good?”

Although he would still have been able to resist the demon’s invasion, if the Heavenly Ruler had not given up his flesh to lay the formation that year, he didn’t know how many people would die. Several hundred years have passed and the people on the Yaoguang Continent still couldn’t forget the Heavenly Ruler’s name all because of that formation. But no one knew the price the Heavenly Ruler had to pay in order to lay the formation.

Lin Rufei felt a little heartache as he listened. He naturally could hear Gu Xuandu’s affection for the first Heavenly Ruler. He wanted to say something, but for some reason, he also felt a little uncomfortable after seeing Gu Xuandu’s difficult appearance, so he lowered his head and only whispered comfortingly, “Senior don’t be sad.”

“No, I have long since stopped being sad.” Gu Xuandu probably took notice of Lin Rufei’s mood change and smiled again. He held Lin Rufei’s hand, holding it very tightly, “As long as Xiao Jiu is with me, I’m not sad at all.” He said in a warm voice, “Does Xiao Jiu like me?”

Lin Rufei didn’t expect Gu Xuandu to ask suddenly so he was a bit stunned for a while and answered reflexively, “Of course I do.”

“No, what I’m asking is not the kind of like between seniors and juniors.” Gu Xuandu said, “It’s the kind of like between a man and a woman.” He blinked and his black eyes were full of Lin Rufei’s appearance, “Will Xiao Jiu want to kiss me? Will he feel unhappy if I spoke to others? Will……his heart only contain me alone?”

Lin Rufei’s cheeks suddenly reddened, and after a long time, he finally pursed his lips and gave a hum of agreement.

Gu Xuandu curved his eyes and smiled lightly. He pulled Lin Rufei’s hand up and pressed it to his chest, “Me too, I also really like Xiao Jiu.”

Logically speaking, Gu Xuandu didn’t have a physical body. However, the back of Lin Rufei’s hand unexpectedly felt the strength of a heartbeat thumping. Gu Xuandu’s heart was not calm like his appearance, instead, it was rapidly beating, as if it was about to pop out of his chest cavity. Lin Rufei was a bit embarrassed by his action and turned his head, revealing bright red ears as he whispered: “Senior’s heartbeat is so fast. “

“To tell you the truth.” Gu Xuandu righteously said, “The first time I saw Xiao Jiu, this heartbeat was even faster. I just didn’t feel like it was appropriate to tell Xiao Jiu, afraid that Xiao Jiu would take me as a strange lecher.” 

Lin Rufei laughed in disbelief: “Why would I……”

Gu Xuandu asked, “What about Xiao Jiu?” 

Lin Rufei: “Hmm?”

Gu Xuandu said, “When Xiao Jiu sees me, will his heart also beat fast?”

Lin Rufei was at a loss for words because of Gu Xuandu’s bluntness. However, Gu Xuandu didn’t give him a hard time. He smiled and pinched Lin Rufei’s reddened earlobe with his finger and then let him go. 

Lin Rufei also talked about the matter regarding Wu Ao. He said that Wu Ao had came over and he made sure that the thing was in his hands. Once he(LRF) got the thing, he would then go back to Kunlun. When Lin Rufei said this, he did not tell Gu Xuandu all about his transactions he had with Wu Ao. He had a feeling in his heart that the heart in Wu Ao’s hand might be with him at all times, and because of this, it would have a certain suppressive effect on Gu Xuandu. Therefore, Gu Xuandu could not show himself in the presence of Wu Ao as he did on the Xiliang Mountains. If this was the case, Gu Xuandu may not know the content of the conversation between him and Wu Ao.

Although he didn’t know why Wu Ao asked him to follow him back to Kunlun, he believed that there must be something going on. Gu Xuandu and Wu Ao’s relationship was so bad so he certainly would come out to stop him. Lin Rufei didn’t want to let Gu Xuandu lose his most important heart because of him.

As Lin Rufei expected, after listening, Gu Xuandu did not know the content of their conversation and only knew that Wu Ao had come to visit. However, he still repeatedly urged Lin Rufei not to listen to Wu Ao, saying that Wu Ao was a madman and did things all out of order without regard to the consequences and that his temperament was even worse than his. 

Lin Rufei cried and laughed: “Senior also knows that your temperament is bad?”

Gu Xuandu did not avoid this and simply said frankly: “With people, some self-awareness is a good thing.”

Lin Rufei muttered, “A temperament that can be worse than senior’s, how scary must that be?”

“Just look at what he has done.” Gu Xuandu said, “Shen Wucui did not provoke him yet he went up and stabbed him with a sword. Look what happened, he almost killed the person. Tsk. He wasn’t even born good-looking, no wonder the Heavenly Ruler did not like him.”

With his narrow-minded look, it did make some people want to laugh. Lin Rufei did not hold back, and a smile surfaced upon his lips, “Then what was senior and the Heavenly Ruler’s relationship that year?”

“It was a…… master-disciple relationship.” Gu Xuandu replied, “I am the eldest disciple of the Heavenly Ruler.”

Lin Rufei froze and immediately remembered Wu Min and Wu Yin’s situation. In the few days that he had stayed in the witch tribe, he could see the two of them being very, very sweet to each other every single day. At first, it was a little uncomfortable, but then later on, he also frankly accepted it. Although Wu Yin looked amiable, he was actually really possessive. Even when other people took a few more glances at Wu Min, he would be unhappy. Fortunately, Wu Min also did not like to go out so the two were also quite suitable for each other.

Gu Xuandu and his master probably also experienced such a thing, making Lin Rufei’s heart feel sour: “So that’s how it is.”

“He is good-tempered, but the disciples he took in were getting stranger by the by. I entered around the same time as Wu Ao; he was accepted three days after me.” Gu Xuandu then started talking about that year and coldly continued, “It’s also thanks to his luck. If some more days had passed, then the Heavenly Ruler would only have me as his only disciple…..”  

Lin Rufei laughed, “How could that be? Wasn’t the Heavenly Ruler good-tempered?”

“Tell me about it.” Gu Xuandu looked at Lin Rufei and sighed, “It’s just that his temper was too good, which made people worry a lot.”

Lin Rufei rubbed his nose and thought that he(LRF) also seemed to have a pretty good temper.

Gu Xuandu continued, “I’m smarter than that guy Wu Ao, so that guy was always jealous. However, the jealousy can’t be helped, after all, the Heavenly Ruler simply just liked me more.” He said this with a smile and his words were full of provocation, “It’ll be better if he was angered to death.” 

This naughty child-like tone made the smile on Lin Rufei’s face intensify and he coaxed, “Senior is really great.”

Gu Xuandu said, “That’s for sure.”

Lin Rufei voiced, “After I have recovered senior’s heart, then senior can come back to Kunlun with me.”

Gu Xuandu looked at Lin Rufei.

Lin Rufei was a little embarrassed, but he still gathered enough courage to say what was on his mind, “My brothers and sister are so doting on me, so I don’t think they would mind if the person I found was a man.”

Gu Xuandu replied in a warm voice, “Okay, as Xiao Jiu wishes.”

Lin Rufei smiled brightly.

The two of them then talked for a long time. And only until it was dark did Lin Rufei head to bed in order to rest. Gu Xuandu lay behind him this time with Lin Rufei’s back against his chest. This was the first time they were so close to each other. Lin Rufei sniffed the light cherry blossom fragrance between Gu Xuandu’s hair and fell into a deep slumber.

Originally, Lin Rufei thought that it would take a few days for Wu Ao to pick up that thing, but who knew that the very next day, he saw Wu Ao’s figure standing outside the window. He was looking at Lin Rufei through the window but did not have the intention to wake Lin Rufei up. His appearance, however, ended up being a shock to Lin Rufei.

“You’re here?” Lin Rufei sat up from the bed. As expected, he really didn’t see Gu Xuandu’s figure anywhere in the room. He rubbed his eyes and muttered, “How long have you been here, why didn’t you wake me up?”

Wu Ao said, “Lin gongzi can sleep if he wants to, I’m not in a hurry.” He smiled.

Lin Rufei sighed, “Don’t. If other people see you at my door, then the situation wouldn’t be good. The thing I asked for yesterday, did you bring it?” 

“Yes.” Wu Ao took out a small wooden box from his bosom. Judging from the size of the box, it should be Gu Xuandu’s heart.

Lin Rufei reached out to take it, but Wu Ao retracted his hand and retracted the wooden box. Lin Rufei looked at him suspiciously, however, Wu Ao stated cautiously, “Lin gongzi can take this thing, but you need to go back to Kunlun with me first. Once we return, I will give the thing to you.”

Lin Rufei said strangely, “But that’s not what you said at the beginning.”

“I regret it.” Wu Ao was really frank.

Lin Rufei frowned: “It’s not a good habit to go back on your words.”

“I didn’t want to either.” Wu Ao sighed, “After all, if that guy Gu Xuandu came back early, it would add a lot of trouble for me.” He seemed to feel that his tone of voice was a bit heavy, so an obviously pleasing smile once again surfaced on his face. He looked at Lin Rufei and whispered, “Lin gongzi, don’t blame me. Once you get to Kunlun, you’ll know what’s going on.”

Lin Rufei, “……You really can’t give me the thing first? What if once we get to Kunlun, you still refuse to fulfill your promise?”

“Isn’t Kunlun Lin gongzi’s home?” Wu Ao laughed, “When we get to Lin gongzi’s territory, why would Lin gongzi still be afraid that I won’t keep my promise.”

Lin Rufei frowned, “It’s impossible to tell.”

Wu Ao sighed, “If you still don’t believe me, I can sign a contract with you. The contract was made with spiritual power as a medium so no one will dare break it.”

Lin Rufei thought about it and replied, “Alright then.”

Only then did the two of them agree.

Wu Ao was somewhat happy though. After muttering to Lin Rufei that they needed to leave early, he turned around and left. Lin Rufei watched his figure and felt a bit complicated in his heart. He knew that there must be a reason why Wu Ao needed him to go back to Kunlun. However, Wu Ao had Gu Xuandu’s heart in his hand, so he could only make a deal with him.

As for what was waiting for him on Kunlun, he could only adopt measures appropriate to the actual situation.

Chapter 84: Sick

Before leaving this place, Lin Rufei went to greet Wu Min first. Wu Yin was naturally very happy that he was leaving, but he didn’t dare to show it too obviously. He just sat next to Wu Min and smiled lightly. No matter how he looked, the smile looked more and more sincere, like he could not wait to send Lin Rufei out of the witch tribe himself. When Wu Min heard that Lin Rufei was going to leave soon, he showed some doubt and asked him if he had encountered something. Lin Rufei denied it all. He simply said that his family had some accidents and his brothers told him to go back to Kunlun early. Other than that, there really was nothing else.

“Kunlun? It’s been a long time since I heard that name……” Wu Min fell into the past memories as he let out a low sigh. 

“The Great Witch has been to Kunlun before?” Lin Rufei asked.

“No, I haven’t.” Wu Min denied, “But an old friend I knew was buried there.”

Lin Rufei pursed his lips and suddenly opened his mouth, “Great Witch……you once said before that I have a few resemblances to the Heavenly Ruler?” He showed a little apprehension, “This resemblance, is it a facial resemblance?” 

“Facial resemblance? No, there is not a single point of resemblance between you and the Heavenly Ruler’s face.” Wu Min said, “Only the aura is somewhat similar, but so much time has passed, I also have some difficulty remembering so I may have made a mistake.” He looked at Lin Rufei and asked doubtfully, “What’s wrong?”

Lin Rufei smiled and shook his head: “Nothing, just a little curious.”

Wu Min asked with some disbelief, “Really nothing?”

Lin Rufei replied, “Nothing.”

Yesterday, when Gu Xuandu confessed his love to him, he had thought about it in his mind; whether it was because he looked like the Heavenly Ruler that Gu Xuandu looked at him differently, so he couldn’t help but ask Wu Min to confirm this. Now that he got the answer from Wu Min, he felt that his thoughts were too narrow-minded. A hundred years have passed, there weren’t that many people in the world left who looked like the Heavenly Ruler that could be coincidentally stumbled upon by Gu Xuandu. 

Since Lin Rufei had something on his mind, he inevitably looked depressed in front of Wu Min. However, no matter how much Wu Min asked, he wasn’t going to talk about it, in the end, Wu Min had to give up.

“If you meet Wu Ao, you must be very careful.” This was Wu Min’s last advice to Lin Rufei, “He is obstinate on the wrong path and very disgusted with the Heavenly Ruler. If he knew that you were looking for the Heavenly Ruler’s old thing, I’m afraid it would be detrimental to you……”

Lin Rufei smiled bitterly, “I’ve already met him.”

“Met?” Wu Min was surprised.

“Yes.” Lin Rufei gave Wu Min a careful account of what he had encountered at the Shen family. After listening, Wu Min frowned and said, ‘he had actually resurrected Mo Changshan, how could this forbidden technique be used casually? This Wu Ao really had no propriety……’

Lin Rufei knew that Wu Min knew a lot about what had happened back then, so he took the opportunity to ask: “Great Witch, I heard that the two disciples of the Heavenly Ruler had a bad relationship, do you know why this is?”

Wu Min sighed, “Yes, I do know, it’s……”

Lin Rufei asked, “It’s what?”

Wu Min said helplessly, “It’s because they always like to compete for favor.”

Lin Rufei froze.

Wu Min mulled over it before telling Lin Rufei what had happened back then. However, he didn’t mention anything specific about the Heavenly Ruler, only that both Wu Ao and Gu Xuandu had the same master, so most likely he was the first Heavenly Ruler. Wu Ao and Gu Xuandu were both fatherless and motherless orphans and were adopted by the first Heavenly Ruler when they were young. The Heavenly Ruler was good-natured and naturally treated children quite well so these two disciples were almost always spoiled as they grew up. Wu Ao was introverted and did not compete for favor as much as Gu Xuandu. Plus, with Gu Xuandu’s shameless nature, over time, Gu Xuandu and the Heavenly Ruler’s relationship become better and better. Although the Heavenly Ruler also treated Wu Ao well, some things were always unevenly distributed[1]……

In the end, Wu Ao did not hate the Heavenly Ruler and instead pushed all his hate onto Gu Xuandu. Furthermore, an accident also happened later on. If it were not for the fact that Wu Ao was not as powerful as Gu Xuandu, he probably would have killed Gu Xuandu by now. Of course, Gu Xuandu was also not someone one should mess with. Before the accident, he gave Wu Ao serious injuries——these things though, Wu Min was also very vague about. In the end, Lin Rufei used his own efforts to piece the information together. 

As for what exactly happened, Lin Rufei guessed that it had something to do with the first Heavenly Ruler, but further down the line, Wu Min stopped talking about it.

“I will be careful, thanks for reminding me, Great Witch.” Lin Rufei bowed to Wu Min and turned to walk away.

Wu Min looked at him with a gloomy look until his back was pressed against Wu Yin’s chest. Wu Yin narrowed his eyes at Lin Rufei, like he was looking at a dead person, “Don’t like you talking to him.”

Wu Min gave him an oblique look, “Luckily, I don’t have a second direct disciple.”

“If you did, he would be dead now.” Wu Yin replied, “I’m much more ruthless than that Wu Ao.”

Wu Min sighed and stopped talking altogether.

On Lin Rufei’s side, he had already prepared the luggage and was planning to leave the witch tribe. When Wu Xing heard that they were leaving, he was still a bit unhappy as he had thought he could still play with Lin Rufei for a few more days. But seeing that Lin Rufei was determined to go, he did not insist. Instead, he got into Lin Rufei’s carriage and kindly sent Lin Rufei to the entrance of the canyon. At this moment, the canyon’s mountain mist had not yet dispersed, Wu Xing stood at the entrance of the canyon and reluctantly bid goodbye to Lin Rufei.

Lin Rufei stroked his head and took out a packet of Yu Rui’s corn candy before stuffing it into his hand, “Next time when you see a pretty girl, don’t scare her like this.”

“Okay.” Wu Xing nodded, “Where are you going, Lin gongzi?”

“I’m going home.” Lin Rufei said with a smile.

Wu Xing asked confusedly, “Is it that Lin gongzi is homesick?”

Lin Rufei paused and nodded, “Yes, I’m homesick.”

Wu Xing murmured, “Then you have to go back earlier. I’ll be especially homesick when I go out to play for a few days, for the food at home, and my A-ma[2].” He waved his hand at Lin Rufei, “Go, go. Go back early.”

“Okay, I’ll go back early.” Lin Rufei smiled.

He had been away from Kunlun for half a year, but he still had a few more sword competition invitations in his hand that he hadn’t been able to deliver yet. If he were to head back this time, his brothers and sister would definitely be a bit worried thus, it was better to send them a message in advance. Lin Rufei sent a letter back in advance. In the letter, he naturally did not mention the matter of Wu Ao and only said that he was homesick for the past few days, wanting to come back to see.

When Lin Bianyu and Lin Minzhi received the letter, how could they bear for their younger brother to suffer such distress? The next day, they returned the message and asked Lin Rufei to come back immediately. They said that they had already prepared all his favorite food and that they all missed him. 

When Lin Rufei received the letter, his eyes were a little moist. He reached out and rubbed and finally rubbed away the dampness in his eyes.

Gu Xuandu knew that Lin Rufei was leaving, but he did not know that they were going back to Kunlun. The carriage had been on the road for three days before he noticed that something was wrong and asked Lin Rufei if he was going in the wrong direction. Lin Rufei shook his head and said he hadn’t gone the wrong way, his invitations had been delivered and it was time to go home——this was naturally a lie to Gu Xuandu, but Gu Xuandu didn’t know the list of invitations in Lin Rufei’s hand therefore, he was only a little suspicious, “Then why is Xiao Jiu heading back?”  

Lin Rufei smiled: “After the invitations are delivered, aren’t I supposed to head home? Besides, I’ve been out for so long, I’m also a little homesick.” Saying that, he observed Gu Xuandu’s situation. Probably because Wu Ao was still nearby and the thing in his hand was suppressing Gu Xuandu’s soul. As a result, Gu Xuandu’s body still showed a translucent appearance that was about to dissipate and the time he appeared next to Lin Rufei was also getting less and less.

Lin Rufei had just had his feelings connected with him and this was the time where they acted affectionately, but, Gu Xuandu’s presence was increasingly thin. He was barely able to pull out a smile and joked with Gu Xuandu, saying that when he went back this time, he would have to tell his brothers about Gu Xuandu. Furthermore, to also prepare a dowry and then an eight carriage sedan chair[3] to marry Gu Xuandu into the family.

Gu Xuandu listened and laughed, said okay, and that his dowry was also ready.

The two talked for a while before Gu Xuandu showed traces of tiredness. Lin Rufei quickly told him to get some rest and although Gu Xuandu was somewhat reluctant, forced by his physical condition, he had to disappear in front of Lin Rufei.

Now there was only Lin Rufei in the carriage by himself. He lifted the curtain and looked out of the window for a while, with countless thoughts floating in his mind.

Lin Rufei was not a naive person. There must be some reason for Wu Ao having him go back to Kunlun before he was willing to hand over that thing to him. But what this reason was, Lin Rufei also was not able to guess and Wu Ao would also not tell him. 

Lin Rufei’s mind was heavy and with the rush to hurry on the road, he persisted for more than ten days just like that. Furthermore, after entering the coolness of Autumn, Lin Rufei fell sick just like that. 

Fu Hua and Yu Rui did not see Lin Rufei all morning. When they knocked on the door and no one answered, they really didn’t have any other methods. They broke down the door and saw their gongzi’s face burning scarlet, lying on the couch unconscious.

Seeing such a scene. Fu Hua and Yu Rui were very anxious. One of them took care of Lin Rufei, while the other one hurried to the town to get some medicine prescribed for fever.

Lin Rufei was dazed by the fever. He had a wet towel placed on his forehead and barely drank some medicine before he regained some consciousness. He muttered and asked himself what was wrong.

Yu Rui was wiping tears on the side, she said, ‘Gongzi, you’re sick. Let’s not be so anxious to rush, okay? Although I understand that young master wants to go back, if your body suddenly breaks down, wouldn’t second young master be more worried?”

Lin Rufei looked at the roof beams, sighed, and said, “How did I just get sick.”

“Young master’s health is already bad along with this rushing, regardless of the time of day or night……” Yu Rui sobbed.

Lin Rufei smiled, “What are you crying for? If the worst comes to worst, we won’t be in such a hurry afterward. I just wanted to go home early.” 

Yu Rui shook her head and replied sadly: “Young master can hide from others, but can you still hide from us two? You obviously have something on your mind……” For more than ten days, Lin Rufei’s face hardly ever showed a smile, and only occasionally, when talking to himself in the carriage, would it bring him some smile. At first, Yu Rui and Fu Hua were worried that Lin Rufei’s hysteria was getting more serious, but later on, they desperately wished that Lin Rufei would talk to himself more. At least, during the times he talked to himself, Lin Rufei’s tone sounded very relaxed.

“Who doesn’t have anything in their heart?” Lin Rufei said softly, “Don’t worry, I just fell ill because I was in such a hurry…….”

Yu Rui still wanted to say something else but was stopped by Fu Hua. Fu Hua patted her shoulder and shook her head, “Do not say anything, young master is still sick, let young master rest first.”

Fu Hua grabbed Yu Rui and left, very soon, the room was quiet once again. Lin Rufei was a little tired and he slowly closed his eyes halfway. In a trance, it seemed that someone appeared beside his bed and was gently changing the towel. He thought it was Gu Xuandu, but who knew that when he opened his eyes, he actually saw Wu Ao.

Lin Rufei reflexively tried to get up from the bed, however, his body had little strength and he fell back down. Instead, Wu Ao took a step back and raised his hands to show that he meant no harm.

“Why are you here?” Lin Rufei frowned at him.

“I just saw that you were sick and came in to take a look.” Wu Ao’s voice was still hoarse as usual, he stumbled on his words and said, “I won’t, hurt you.”

Lin Rufei did not believe him and continued to stare at Wu Ao warily.

But Wu Ao could not stand Lin Rufei’s gaze and he hissed: “Why do you not believe me? What bad things, have I done?”

(t/n: the comas are there to show that he is stumbling on his words, not because of my grammar 😥😥😥)

Lin Rufei replied, “You stabbed my brother-in-law.”

Wu Ao said hatefully, “That’s, because, he appeared at, the wrong time.”

Lin Rufei calmly said, “So you have done bad things.”

Wu Ao stared.

Lin Rufei continued, “Besides, there is also Mo Changshan. Why did you have to dig out his head? Is it bad to let him rest in peace?”

Wu Ao responded, “Resurrection was originally his wish, I just, helped him realize this wish, that’s all.”

Lin Rufei pursed his lips, only to feel that this Wu Ao was full of crooked reasoning and that he(LRF) really couldn’t communicate clearly with him(WA). 

Fortunately, Wu Ao also did not intend to continue to entangle with Lin Rufei on this matter, “You get well, don’t be in such a hurry……to head home.”

Lin Rufei asked, “Then can you give me Gu Xuandu’s heart in advance?”

Who knew that when he heard the words “Gu Xuandu,” Wu Ao, who had finally calmed down, erupted again. His eyes were red and he almost growled in a roaring tone, “Gu Xuandu, why do you always think about Gu Xuandu? He is obviously the one who hurt you the most——why do you always think about him?——”

Lin Rufei was dumbfounded by his yelling, however, he didn’t panic too much. He simply muttered strangely, “If I don’t think of him, do I think of you?”

Wu Ao froze and then his face turned mostly red. He whispered, “If you want to think of me, it’s, it’s not impossible.” 

Lin Rufei: “……” Was there something wrong with this person?

Seeing the surprise on Lin Rufei’s face, Wu Ao then returned to his senses and said in a low voice: “Lin gongzi, don’t be afraid, I won’t hurt you, I……”

Lin Rufei asked, “You won’t hurt me?”

Wu Ao said, “No.”

Lin Rufei continued, “Then why do you want me to go back to Kunlun for?” 

Wu Ao answered, “Don’t you ever wonder why your body is so weak, but the sword intent in your body is so strong?”

Lin Rufei became curious, “Do you know why?”

“Of course I know!!!” Wu Ao’s expression was fierce, “It’s because someone snatched away something that belonged to you.”

Lin Rufei asked, “What thing?”

“When we get to Kunlun, Lin gongzi will know!” Wu Ao laughed and he was laughing in satisfaction, “I will return what belonged to Lin gongzi, to Lin gongzi. As for that scumbag, Gu Xuandu, I will let Lin gongzi take care of it himself.”

Lin Rufei pursed his lips and did not say anything. Really as he expected, Kunlun had something that Wu Ao must have and that was why he forced Lin Rufei to go back. When Lin Rufei thought of this, his chest flooded with an itchiness, and involuntarily covered his throat to cough heavily a few times.

When Wu Ao saw this, he immediately turned around and poured water, handing it over to Lin Rufei.

Lin Rufei found out that the worry on his face didn’t seem fake and that he really was worried about him. Lin Rufei drank the water, suppressed the itching, and said, “You and I don’t know each other, even if my things were taken away from me, why are you so angry?”

Wu Ao’s lips wriggled, as if he wanted to say something, but finally, he swallowed the words back down his throat, and just answered in a hateful voice: “I, Wu Ao, just can’t stand to see injustice. Lin gongzi is a good man and naturally, deserves something better.”

Lin Rufei was silent.

When Wu Ao saw that Lin Rufei was no longer coughing, he then turned to leave. With a complicated expression, Lin Rufei stared at his back. He always felt that this matter seemed to be getting more and more complicated.

In the evening, Gu Xuandu finally appeared in front of Lin Rufei and his physical appearance had faded a lot. At first glance, it seemed like he was about to disappear and even his voice was indistinct as a feather, making Lin Rufei very worried. 

“How did senior become this way?” Lin Rufei wanted to hold Gu Xuandu’s hand, but his fingers passed through his body and he asked sadly, “Is it because of Wu Ao? I don’t think that Wu Ao is an unreasonable person, why don’t I talk to him and ask him to stay away from you?”

Gu Xuandu sighed, “I don’t mind, but why is Xiao Jiu sick again?” He didn’t know that Lin Rufei was in a hurry to return to Kunlun and only thought it was because of the change in weather and the tiring journey.

Lin Rufei also had no intention to tell him. He wanted to be close to Gu Xuandu, but Gu Xuandu was like a wandering soul at this time, unable to condense into an entity.

Probably because he saw the longing on Lin Rufei’s face, Gu Xuandu sat on the edge of Lin Rufei’s bed and slowly stretched out his fingers to gently stroke the back of Lin Rufei’s hand. His fingertips were even colder than usual, causing some unpleasant thoughts to surface in Lin Rufei’s heart. He tried to hold Gu Xuandu with his opposite hand but found that Gu Xuandu could only touch with his fingers, as if all his strength was gathered in his fingertips.

“Senior.” Lin Rufei was a little panicked, “You’re not going to disappear, are you?”

“How can I bear to disappear?” Gu Xuandu smiled as his fingers slid across Lin Rufei’s cheeks. From his forehead to the bridge of his nose, to his lips, inch by inch, as if he wanted to keep Lin Rufei’s appearance firmly in his mind.

Lin Rufei gently bit Gu Xuandu’s fingertips. His eyelashes drooped halfway and his expression was sad. 

Gu Xuandu, who had never seen Lin Rufei looking like this, spoke up to comfort him and asked, ‘Xiao Jiu, what’s wrong?’ 

Lin Rufei licked Gu Xuandu’s finger, feeling that Gu Xuandu’s finger was cold as a piece of ice and that it could not be warmed no matter what he did: “Senior, I am a little worried.”

“Worried about what? Wu Ao?” Gu Xuandu asked, “Xiao Jiu don’t worry. Although he is indeed very annoying, he will not hurt the innocent. At least……he will not be detrimental to Xiao Jiu.”

Lin Rufei sighed, “Then what about senior?”  

Gu Xuandu: “Hmm?”

Lin Rufei asked, “Will he be detrimental to senior?”

Gu Xuandu lost his smile: “He would like me to die sooner rather than later.”

Lin Rufei, “Why exactly did it come to this?”

Gu Xuandu froze for a moment before answering, “Some things, even if you start over, will not change.”

Lin Rufei kept quiet.

Gu Xuandu’s fingers once again returned to a transparent state and the only part of his body where they could touch each other also disappeared. Lin Rufei was worried about Gu Xuandu, so he told him to go rest, and Gu Xuandu was afraid that Lin Rufei’s condition would worsen, so he urged him a few times before disappearing out of sight.

Looking at the empty bed, Lin Rufei tossed and turned but could not sleep. The high fever made his consciousness become a bit chaotic and although he lost the ability to think, he always felt a strong sense of unease floating inside.

The sickness came like a landslide. Lin Rufei was sick for three days straight and his fever only faded on the afternoon of the third day. His cheeks, which were already pale, were even more bloodless this time, making his maids very distressed. In these days, Wu Ao was wandering around Lin Rufei’s place, resulting in less and less time for Gu Xuandu to appear. Lin Rufei politely mentioned this matter with Wu Ao, but although Wu Ao agreed, he still refused to leave. The result was that Gu Xuandu was suppressed by the power of the heart and could not appear in front of Lin Rufei. 

Lin Rufei’s heart was concerned and his impression of Wu Ao grew a little worse. However, after these few days together, he found that Wu Ao faced him with a strange ingratiating attitude, which made Lin Rufei very uncomfortable. But Wu Ao was completely unaware of his own problems and couldn’t wait to stick to Lin Rufei’s side every single day. Even if Lin Rufei drove him away, he would find him secretly hiding outside the house around the corner and so on, peeping in his direction. 

This happened a few more times. Lin Rufei, who was still sick, did not have much energy to fight with him and could only let him do as he pleased. 

During these three days, Lin Rufei was rarely clear-headed and was mostly in a semi-consciousness. When he was unconscious, many strange images surfaced in his mind and he even saw Gu Xuandu in a red outfit. Gu Xuandu seemed to be roaring and crying at someone since his voice sounded very miserable. Lin Rufei struggled and finally woke up from his dream. His body was covered with cold sweat and he had only recovered slightly before he fell unconscious once again.

Lin Rufei’s condition made Fu Hua and Yu Rui extremely anxious. Seeing that Lin Rufei was not recovering at all, they had even intended to go to Kunlun directly to invite Wan Yao over. 

Fortunately, at this time, Lin Rufei’s fever had finally gone down and his consciousness was gradually clearing up.

Only then did Fu Hua and Yu Rui let out this long breath of relief. They made some light food for Lin Rufei and carefully fed him. 

“If young master still hadn’t recovered, I would have gone to Kunlun with the sword to drag Wan Yao over.” Fu Hua chided worriedly, “Although young master has also been sick before, when was it ever as treacherous as this time?” 

Lin Rufei smiled weakly, “It’s not that serious.”

“Not that serious? You’ve been burning for three days!” Fu Hua exclaimed, “I have seen plenty of people who died because the fever burned their brains. If young master’s fever still hadn’t gone down, I don’t know what I would have done……”

Lin Rufei comforted warmly, “Alright, stop crying. Haven’t I recovered?”

“You did recover, but you shouldn’t exhaust yourself again like before.” Fu Hua murmured, “We will soon return to Kunlun, if second young master saw young master’s current appearance, he wouldn’t know how to worry.” 

At the mention of his second brother, a smile surfaced on Lin Rufei’s face and he nodded: “Okay.”  

The flesh that Lin Rufei had finally gained on his face, were all gone due to his sudden serious illness and his chin had once again become sharp. It was extraordinarily heartbreaking to see.

Most of the time Gu Xuandu appeared in the evening. If Lin Rufei was sleeping, he would watch him in silence and if Lin Rufei was awake, he would chat with him.

“Xiao Jiu has finally recovered from his illness.” Gu Xuandu said in a warm voice, “If you still haven’t gotten better, I would have been worried to death.”

Lin Rufei said, “Senior, I had a dream when I was sick.”

Gu Xuandu asked, “What did you dream about?”

Lin Rufei trailed off, “I dreamt……” He was going to say that he dreamt of Gu Xuandu was crying, but when the words came to the tip of his tongue, he took a hard turn and said, “I dreamt that you were wearing a red outfit and smiling at me. “

Gu Xuandu arched his eyebrows: “Like this?”

“Yes.” Lin Rufei moved over and tried to kiss the corner of Gu Xuandu’s eyes. However, he passed through his body, and for a while, he was a bit disappointed but still, he forced a smile on his face, “Just like that.”

********

The author has something to say:

Gu Xuandu: Oh no, I am going to disappear soon. I can only use all my efforts to get a certain area make contact with Xiao Jiu. 

Lin Rufei: Senior, if you have something to say, then say it, why are you taking off your pants? ?

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[1] Not worry about scarcity, but rather about uneven distribution. (So like THR’s affections were unevenly distributed between the two of them uwu). 

[2] Another way of referring to his mother. 

[3] Eight carriage sedan chair: The sedan chair carried by eight people for the big officials in feudal times. Later, it was used to refer to the way of receiving distinguished guests in a grand manner. 

Chapter 85: Going Home

Edited. 11.3.2021

According to their previous calculations, if they continued to hurry through the night and then travel day and night, they would be able to return to the Kunlun territory in about twenty days. Unfortunately, Lin Rufei suddenly fell ill, so the trip was forced to slow down. No matter what Lin Rufei said, Fu Hua and Yu Rui refused to let him continue working hard. In the end, Lin Rufei had no choice but to travel during the day and rest at night, slowing down their journey home.

Wu Ao didn’t mind this and only told Lin Rufei to take care of his health. Lin Rufei was thinking of Gu Xuandu in his heart and simply wanted to head back early. 

So with this traveling and stopping, rushing through the daytime and resting in an inn during the nighttime, finally, they were getting closer to Kunlun. 

One night, Chi Yu, who had been missing for a while, suddenly appeared. He was still holding the little cub in his mouth. The little cub was much bigger than before, but it still looked excited when it saw Lin Rufei, wanting Lin Rufei to hug it.

Lin Rufei had not seen the little kitten cub in ages and also missed it a little. Then he reached out and took the little thing into his arms, rubbing its silky fur.

Chi Yu looked Lin Rufei up and down. He narrowed his eyes and questioned critically, “Why have you lost so much weight?”

Lin Rufei asked, “Have I lost weight?”

“Mnn.” Chi Yu said, “Have you been abused?”

Lin Rufei laughed, “I just suddenly got sick for a while……”

Chi Yu, “I’m going to head back.”

Lin Rufei was stunned, “You’re leaving now?”

“Mnn, even though it’s still dependent on you, it’s old enough to know that you’re not its real father.” Chi Yu yawned. His front paws were on the ground as he lazily stretched his body, “Otherwise, I’d really like to leave him here and forget about it.”

Lin Rufei sighed, “That’s a bit of a pity, I was going to invite you to have a seat at my place.”

Chi Yu answered, “Forget it then. Looking at the direction you’re going, it’s getting closer and closer to that Grand Formation. I’m a demon, I wouldn’t dare to go further.”

Lin Rufei asked, “Grand Formation? Are you saying that the……Yaoguang Grand Formation laid by the Heavenly Ruler is on Kunlun?” He seemed to realize something and opened his eyes wide in a tentative manner.

“Yes.” Chi Yu looked at Lin Rufei strangely, “You didn’t even know about this?”

“I didn’t know.” Lin Rufei shook his head, “The people only know that the Grand Formation was on the Yaoguang Continent. However, they do not know exactly where it is, perhaps to prevent people from destroying it……” The formation was only effective against the demons and the closer the demons were to it, the stronger the effect. So the only ones who could destroy the formation were humans. Because of this, the Heavenly Ruler had never announced where the formation was located.

Chi Yu said, “Alright. Then, I’m leaving.” 

“Wait.” Lin Rufei called out, “I still owe you a request, aren’t you going to say it now?”

Chi Yu cocked his head, “I have nothing to ask of you now. I’ll keep it for now in case you become a great character later on.”

Lin Rufei laughed, “What if I die later?”

Chi Yu gave Lin Rufei a blank look, “Then consider it a loss for me.” He jumped into Lin Rufei’s arms and took the reluctant little cub into his mouth, then jumped up to the window with his tail wagging. The little cub’s eyes fell onto Lin Rufei’s body from the beginning until the end and the reluctance in them was very obvious. It seemed that even if it had its own consciousness, it would still have a special attachment to the first person it sees after coming out of its shell.

“Remember to stay alive.” Before leaving, Chi Yu did not forget to advise Lin Rufei, “Look how skinny you are getting, tsk, I always feel like I’m going to suffer a loss.”

Lin Rufei just smiled and waved his hand at him, “Be safe.”

Chi Yu humphed, turned his head, and jumped out of the window. He had just gone out when Fu Hua and Yu Rui came in, holding hot soup for Lin Rufei. Puzzled, she asked: “I heard Chi Yu’s voice just now, is he back?”

Lin Rufei: “Just left, said he was going back to the demon world.”

“Oh.” Fu Hua and Yu Rui both showed a depressed look, “He left just like that? I haven’t said goodbye to him yet.” The two people have completely treated Chi Yu as a cute big cat, rubbing his hair every day and catching feelings from it. Now when they heard that Chi Yu was going back to the demon world, they couldn’t help but feel some regret.

Who knew that just as the two people finished talking, Chi Yu, who had originally left, stuck out his head from outside. Then, with a coarse voice, he meowed. 

When Lin Rufei looked at this scene, he almost laughed out loud.

The final result was that Chi Yu enjoyed another half an hour of Fu Hua and Yu Rui rubbing his fur before leaving reluctantly, saying that he did not know if he would have the opportunity to meet such lovely little girls again.

Lin Rufei said, ‘go, go. Even if you take a few more looks, I won’t give the little girls to you.’ 

Chi Yu humphed. Holding his son in his mouth, he tilted his head and walked away.

Lin Rufei looked at his back and the smile on his face gradually faded. Then he asked Fu Hua how far they still were from Kunlun. 

“Seven or eight days away.” Fu Hua replied worriedly, “Young master, why do you have to go back in such a hurry? Second young master will be distressed when he sees you in this state.” In just a dozen days, Lin Rufei had lost quite some weight. At first, it seemed like it was a cold caused by the strain of the long journey, but with Fu Hua’s understanding of Lin Rufei over the years, she always felt that her young master was hiding something in his heart. However, no matter how much they asked, Lin Rufei refused to talk about the matter.

“I’m just a little homesick.” Lin Rufei smiled.

Fu Hua wanted to say something, but finally swallowed her words and exhaled a sigh.

Lin Rufei was left alone in the room once again. He sat by the window, looking out at the scenery and thinking about what Chi Yu had said to him just now. It was the first time he knew that the Yaoguang Grand Formation was located near Kunlun, but where exactly it was, was still a mystery. Furthermore, what does this Grand Formation have to do with Wu Ao’s request for him to return to Kunlun? Lin Rufei was a little distracted. He started coughing hard and his thin shoulders shook uncontrollably, like a thin candle trembling in the wind.

A cup of water was handed to him.  Lin Rufei originally thought it was Gu Xuandu and was about to show a smile, but when he turned his head, he noticed that it was Wu Ao.

“Cough, cough. You, why are you here?” Lin Rufei said with difficulty, covering his mouth.

“Drink some water first, Lin gongzi.” Wu Ao responded.

Lin Rufei frowned.

Seeing that Lin Rufei did not reach out, Wu Ao still persisted in passing the water to Lin Rufei. Lin Rufei forced the itch down and said, “I have promised you to go back to Kunlun, can’t you stay away from me?” As long as he was nearby, Gu Xuandu would be suppressed by the heart and could not manifest at all.

Who knew that when Wu Ao heard this, he actually showed a hurt expression. Clenching his teeth, he replied in a low voice, “Lin gongzi, that Gu Xuandu really isn’t a good thing.”

Lin Rufei sighed, “You’ve already said that many times.”

“But you never took my words to heart!” Wu Ao exclaimed angrily.

Lin Rufei looked at him and there wasn’t any expression on his face. Wu Ao gritted his teeth. His eyes were red with hatred as he said, “Lin gongzi, you might not know, but back then the Heavenly Ruler wasn’t necessarily going to fall. It’s all because of that Gu Xuandu, it’s all because of that Gu Xuandu——”

Lin Rufei asked, “Because of him?”

“Yes, it’s all his fault.” Wu Ao gnashed his teeth.

“Why would it be his fault?” Lin Rufei wondered.

Wu Ao said: “Although the Heavenly Ruler’s physical body fell, his soul was still alive, and that Gu Xuandu took the Heavenly Ruler’s soul. Originally, if the soul was handed over to me, I could have brought the Heavenly Ruler back to life, but he refused to do so. I have long known that he harbored evil intentions, but I did not expect……”

Lin Rufei froze in his tracks: “You mean the Heavenly Ruler’s soul is still with Gu Xuandu?”

Wu Ao said, “Naturally.”

Lin Rufei asked, “What happened afterward?”

Wu Ao trailed off, “Afterward……” He took a glance at Lin Rufei and his tone turned cold, “Afterward, in order to ascend, Gu Xuandu used the Heavenly Ruler’s soul to resist the heavenly tribulation and the Heavenly Ruler’s soul flew away……”

Lin Rufei froze in place. He did not know if what Wu Ao said was true or not, but thought that at least some degrees of it were true. Now that he was remembering the time he spent with Gu Xuandu, from Gu Xuandu’s words, it seemed that he would always mention an old friend that he had spent a lot of time with. He just didn’t know if that old friend was the Heavenly Ruler that Wu Ao had mentioned.

“That’s why Lin gongzi, you shouldn’t trust him anymore, okay?” Wu Ao came up to Lin Rufei. That smile on his face was humble and incomparable, with a taste of ingratiation, “Isn’t Lin gongzi physically weak? As long as you believe in me, I can definitely give you a healthy body. And when the time comes, with the strong sword intent in your body, you will be the most powerful person in the world.”

Lin Rufei questioned, “Exactly, you haven’t said why you wanted to help me?”

Wu Ao smiled, “Because, helping Lin Rufei can make Gu Xuandu unhappy, ah. As long as he is unhappy, I will be happy.”

Lin Rufei sighed, “I understand, you can go now.”

Wu Ao froze.

Lin Rufei continued, “I’m a little tired.”

Hearing that Lin Rufei was tired, Wu Ao did not insist any further and turned around, leaving through the window. After Lin Rufei had listened to Wu Ao, he called Gu Xuandu’s name softly. However, no matter how much he had called out to him, Gu Xuandu did not appear. Lin Rufei was a bit disappointed but reluctantly kept up his spirit as he joked with himself, “It seems that Fu Hua and Yu Rui finally don’t have to worry anymore, this hysteria is almost cured…..”

And then he turned his head and noticed the water on the table that was left by Wu Ao. Lin Rufei raised his hand and picked up the cup. He sipped half a mouthful and felt that the intolerable itch in the throat had calmed down a lot.

A long journey was always exhausting. Even though Fu Hua stuffed the carriage with soft bedding, it was still bumpy, thus Lin Rufei spent a few more drowsy days before finally arriving at the foot of the Kunlun Mountains.

When he had left this place, it was still Spring with the grass and flowers flourishing. However, when he came back, it was already late Autumn.

The grass withered and the leaves on the trees all turned into a dusky yellow. Fortunately, the branches were hanging with fruit. When Lin Rufei passed by the town, he saw a persimmon tree whose branches were bent by the plentiful fruits.

Fu Hua also saw it and asked Lin Rufei with a smile if he wanted to try one.

Lin Rufei nodded and said he would like to try one. Then with a leap, Fu Hua passed over the treetops and came back with a few more ripe persimmons in her arms.

Peeling off the thin skin, there was rich flesh. Lin Rufei took a bite and curled the corners of his mouth: “It’s so sweet.”

“Yes, it’s so sweet.” Yu Rui grinned contentedly, “Finally, I’m back. The corn candy outside always seems to taste not quite right.”

Fu Hua smiled and joked, “Not quite right? Weren’t you looking quite happy when eating He Wanxiang’s corn candy? You even ruined your teeth.”

Yu Rui pouted, “Sister Fu Hua is really annoying!”

Fu Hua flicked her forehead: “Give me back the persimmon if you think I’m annoying.”

“I won’t!” Yu Rui humphed.

When they arrived at home, Lin Rufei’s mood was much more comfortable and they would just so happened pass by the cherry blossom grove at the bottom of the mountain. Lin Rufei also missed this cherry blossom grove a little, after all, it was where he met Gu Xuandu. Although now it was Autumn and the cherry blossoms were gone, there should be some ripe fruits in their place. He just didn’t know if the fruits this year would be sweet or not……. 

As he thought of this, Lin Rufei suddenly heard Fu Hua let out a shriek from outside the carriage, “How could this be———”

Lin Rufei wondered, “What’s wrong?”

“The cherry, cherry blossom forest……” Fu Hua uttered, “It’s gone.”

Lin Rufei froze for a moment and then hastily lifted the carriage curtain to look out of the window. When he saw the view clearly outside, it was like he was struck by lightning as his whole person was glued in place. 

He only saw that the cherry blossom forest, which had stretched for more than ten miles, had all been turned into charred black ashes, with not a single cherry blossom tree in sight and only scorched soil remaining.

“How did the cherry blossom forest get burned down?” Yu Rui also saw the scene outside and panicked, “Was it a fire?”

“I don’t know.” Fu Hua shook her head, “Let’s……go back first. Such a big thing……” As she said this, she cast a worried glance at Lin Rufei.

Lin Rufei, however, didn’t utter a single word and simply looked silently at the scorched cherry blossom forest in front of him. And only after a long time did he softly say: “Let’s go back.”

The good mood they had just from arriving home all disappeared because of this scene. On their way back, the atmosphere in the carriage was stiff as hell. Although Yu Rui reluctantly said something funny to ease Lin Rufei’s mood, Lin Rufei could not laugh aloud. He leaned against the corner of the carriage with his eyes closed, unwilling to speak.

Yu Rui could only stop talking and look at Fu Hua in a panic. Before they came back this time, Lin Bianyu had instructed them to say in advance when they arrived at the foot of the mountain. But with the idea of surprising Lin Bianyu and the others, they did not reveal their whereabouts. Previously, Fu Hua had thought it was a bit strange. Only when she saw that Lin Rufei’s favorite cherry blossom forest had become like this did she realize Lin Bianyu’s good intentions. It turned out that Lin Bianyu was only worried about his brother’s sadness so he thought that if he came to pick them up, he would be able to hide this matter. However, it was too late now to say anything. Lin Rufei had seen the cherry blossom forest’s miserable appearance……

On their way back to the Kunlun Sect, Fu Hua hurriedly sent news to Lin Bianyu telling him that they had returned. Following the winding mountain road all the way to the mountain gate, they saw Lin Bianyu waiting at the entrance in advance as expected. When he saw Lin Rufei’s carriage, a smile immediately surfaced on his face as he called out: “Xiao Jiu!” 

When Lin Rufei heard his second brother’s voice from inside the carriage, the sadness on his face dispersed a lot. He lifted the curtain and smiled, “Second brother!”

After the carriage stopped, Lin Rufei jumped out of the carriage. When Lin Bianyu saw him, he looked at him carefully, and frowned: “How come you have lost weight.”

Lin Rufei coughed twice: “I was in too much of a hurry to come back and got sick from exhaustion.”

“Why were you in such a hurry?” Lin Bianyu asked, “I told you to tell me in advance when you have returned, how come you only told me when you arrived at the mountain gate?” As he said this, he gave Fu Hua and Yu Rui a condemning glare.

“Second brother, don’t blame them. I was the one who told them not to tell you.” Lin Rufei carried a smile without revealing much of anything, “I wanted to give you a surprise……” 

Lin Bianyu said, “The fact that you are back is the biggest surprise.” He then continued, “Let’s go, a banquet has been prepared. We’re waiting for you to come back.”

Lin Rufei asked, “Where is big brother?”

Lin Bianyu sighed, “These few days, something has happened in the Kunlun Sect so he is busy. No need to worry about him, when it’s time to eat, he should be back.”

As the two of them were talking and heading inside, Lin Bianyu asked Lin Rufei about the people and things he had met along the way. But of course, the focus was on whether anyone had bullied Lin Rufei and if there was someone, he would definitely help Lin Rufei get back at them. When Lin Rufei heard this, he simply laughed and told his second brother not to worry. Although he wasn’t bullied, he did end up bullying a few people. 

However, Lin Bianyu looked at Lin Rufei and suddenly said, “If Xiao Jiu doesn’t want to laugh, then don’t laugh anymore.”  

Lin Rufei froze.

“It’s second brother’s fault for not protecting that cherry blossom forest under the mountain.” In the end, it was impossible to avoid this topic and Lin Bianyu’s mood also looked a bit low, “That day, I happened to have some matter to take care of and had to leave Kunlun. By the time I heard the news and came back, that cherry blossom forest had been mostly burned down…….” 

Lin Rufei uttered, “How could it be……burned?……”

“It was someone who deliberately set the fire.” Lin Bianyu clenched his teeth, “The fire was also a spiritual fire that could not be extinguished by ordinary water so the mortals in town could not do anything. By the time Kunlun got the news, there was not much left of the cherry blossom forest……”

Lin Rufei asked, “And the group of monkeys?” He remembered the golden one; the Monkey King who liked to tease him.

Lin Bianyu sighed, “The monkeys are fine. They were smart and ran away before the fire spread. They probably went to the other peaks now. Only the cherry blossom forest is gone so they probably will not come back……” He looked at Lin Rufei sadly, “Xiao Jiu, sorry.”

Lin Rufei reluctantly let out a smile, “The fire was not set by second brother, so what is second brother apologizing for?” He then forced himself to cheer up, “Forget it, let’s not talk about it anymore. Second brother, quickly tell me what interesting things have happened on Kunlun these days.”

Lin Bianyu then talked about some interesting things that had been going on and finally, the atmosphere was not as stiff as it was a while ago.

The family banquet was very sumptuous and the dishes were all Lin Rufei’s favorites. Wan Yao also came by and carefully checked Lin Rufei’s body. Although he said that he had lost some weight, in the end, he was healthier than before. He told Lin Bianyu not to worry and that he would be fine after being prescribed some tonic medicine to recuperate.

Lin Rufei’s appetite was not good. However, he was afraid of spoiling his family’s mood so he tried his best to stuff his mouth with things.

But Lin Bianyu could see that. Sighing, he stroked his head and said that if Xiao Jiu doesn’t want to eat, then he doesn’t have to. Lin Minzhi frowned and asked who had bullied Xiao Jiu and why he didn’t look too happy.

“It’s all because of that arsonist bastard.” Lin Bianyu said through clenched teeth, “If I catch him, I’ll skin him alive!”

“I’m afraid that person is not simple either. I just don’t know why he came to set the fire.” Lin Minzhi said unhappily, “There isn’t anything valuable in the cherry blossom forest, it’s really inexplicable. I don’t know what to make of it.”

Lin Bianyu also nodded his head.

After the meal, Lin Bianyu was afraid that Lin Rufei would be tired and hurriedly told him to go back and rest.

After a long time, Lin Rufei returned to his small courtyard and saw the slender cherry blossom tree planted in the courtyard. He walked up to the cherry blossom tree, gently stroked its branches, and called out to his senior.

However, Gu Xuandu still did not appear. It was as if his existence was just because Lin Rufei had hysteria and now that the hysteria was cured, he could no longer be seen.

The cherry blossom forest was gone, but there was still this single seedling left. Only after Lin Rufei watered the tree did he then go back to the room to rest.

Although they didn’t know that Lin Rufei was coming back today, the courtyard was still very clean and he could tell that someone had been taking care of it for a long time. There was not a single weed in the courtyard and not a trace of dust could be felt on the furniture, simply as if Lin Rufei had never left the place.

After late Autumn, the weather turned cooler and the wind during the night was a bit strong.

Lin Rufei could not sleep, so he sat by the window and stared. From his position, with a glance out, he could see the tiny cherry blossom tree trembling in the wind, shaking its slender branches, looking extraordinarily pitiful.

Lin Rufei called out, “Wu Ao.”

He didn’t know if Wu Ao was near him, but he thought that he wouldn’t be too far away.

After he called out to Wu Ao, sure enough, a black figure appeared in his courtyard and it replied, “Lin gongzi.” His voice was a bit surprised, as if he didn’t expect Lin Rufei to call him by his name.

“I have arrived at Kunlun.” Lin Rufei said, “Where is your promise?”

Wu Ao replied, “Lin gongzi, don’t be in a hurry. When my business is finished, the thing will naturally be handed over to you.”

Lin Rufei said, “I hope you won’t go back on your word.”

“Naturally, I won’t go back on my word.” Wu Ao did not expect Lin Rufei to talk about this matter so he was a bit disappointed, “That thing is just a piece of junk to me, it is useless for me to keep it.”

Lin Rufei gave a hum.

Wu Ao asked, “Does Lin gongzi have anything else to say?”

Lin Rufei raised his eyes to look at him. Wu Ao was standing in the darkness and his face could not be seen very well, but Lin Rufei could still hear the hint of expectation in his tone. So what exactly was he expecting? Some doubts surfaced in Lin Rufei’s mind: “Wu Ao, have we known each other before?” 

Wu Ao whispered, “No.”

Lin Rufei wondered, “Then do you hate me?”

Wu Ao exclaimed, “Of course not.”

Lin Rufei, “Did you burn down the cherry blossom forest at the foot of the mountain?”

Wu Ao was silent.

Lin Rufei said, “You burned it, didn’t you?”

Wu Ao answered, “Yes, I burned it.”

Lin Rufei smiled bitterly. He wanted to say something to him but felt as if there was no point in saying it. This Wu Ao’s strength was a mystery. Even following him up the mountain, Lin Bianyu, who was at the eighth level of cultivation, did not discover his existence. If such a person wanted to burn down a cherry blossom forest, it was a very simple matter and he couldn’t do anything about it.  

Wu Ao asked, “Does Lin gongzi blame me?”

Lin Rufei sighed, “So what if I blame you? You think it’s possible for me to beat you up?” He waved his hand with little interest, “You can go.”

Wu Ao continued, “Lin gongzi summoned me here, just to ask this?”

Lin Rufei questioned, “Otherwise?”

Wu Ao sighed lightly, “Lin Gongzi, it’s just a cherry blossom forest, why are you so upset? If you like it, I will plant another hundred miles of cherry blossom trees……for you as compensation, okay?”

Lin Rufei lost his smile: “No need.” He got up and without waiting for Wu Ao’s reply, he closed his window. Wu Ao watched Lin Rufei’s movements and continued to stand still, as if he was a petrified sculpture.

Lin Rufei had no intention of caring about him and went back to bed alone. He closed his eyes halfway in order to take a nap, however, in his half-asleep and half-awake state, he seemed to have seen Gu Xuandu, who had not shown himself in a few days. But Gu Xuandu’s figure had faded a lot compared to the previous days and at first, it looked like only a thin shadow was left.  

Lin Rufei’s heart tightened and he woke up from his shallow sleep. However, after he woke up, he looked around but Gu Xuandu was nowhere to be seen. Then he looked up and saw Wu Ao’s vague figure through the window……still standing outside.

He hadn’t left yet? Lin Rufei thought. How come he looked so sad? Obviously, with the cherry blossom forest burned down, the one who should be sad should be himself.  So how come this Wu Ao also felt a bit pitiful?

********

The author has something to say:

Gu Xuandu: Xiao Jiu, he bullied me and set my house on fire.

Lin Rufei: Motherf*cker——
Wu Ao lighting up a torch: FFFFFFF[1] I will burn you guys, this pair of dog couple[2]!

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[1] According to Baidu: FFFFFFF means to “burn heterosexuals” (in this case, it can be interpreted as men without girlfriends against men with girlfriends.) ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ Please correct me if I am wrong. 

[2] Kind of derogatory. Anyways, although I wrote “couple,” the direct translation was “Dog male male,” so it refers to a gay couple. 

Chapter 86: Inside the Coffin

That night, Lin Rufei did not sleep too well. The next day, the fever that had been suppressed came back and this time it was Lin Bianyu and his other sibling’s turn to worry about him. Wan Yao came several times to check him out and after a careful examination, he frowned and said that Lin Rufei was sick because he was overly worried.

After hearing this, Lin Bianyu asked who had upset Lin Rufei.

Lin Rufei shook his head and didn’t answer him.

Originally, Lin Bianyu had wanted to continue asking questions, however, he was dragged out of the room by Wan Yao. Outside, he instructed him that if Lin Rufei didn’t want to say, then don’t force him. Lin Rufei originally got sick because of his bad mood, if he continued to force him, it would probably aggravate his condition. Since the doctor already said so, Lin Bianyu had no choice but to give up.

Although Lin Rufei was sick, he was always thinking about Gu Xuandu’s matter and did not have the heart to recuperate. At first, Wu Ao was planning to let Lin Rufei get well and then continue with the next matter, but Lin Rufei refused after knowing his intention.

“I don’t know when I will get well, so I don’t want to wait any longer.” Lin Rufei coughed lowly as he said so.

“Are you sure you don’t want to wait a bit longer?” Wu Ao asked.

“No, I won’t.” Lin Rufei said, “What exactly do you want to do, tell me frankly.”

Wu Ao sighed, “Then I will come to you tonight.” After saying that, he turned around and left.

Come to look for him tonight? Lin Rufei didn’t know what this Wu Ao wanted to do, but he didn’t think it was something pleasant. He sat on the bed and pondered over this for a moment. His hand gently stroked Gu Yu on the side of his waist, as if this could make his heart settle down.

After nightfall, Wu Ao came to look for Lin Rufei as promised. Originally, Lin Rufei was a little worried about whether he would be able to come in, after all, because he was sick these few days, Lin Bianyu was worried about his health and had been staying in his courtyard. However, Wu Ao easily bypassed Lin Bianyu and snuck into his room. Since Wu Ao was able to do this, that meant that his cultivation was certainly higher than Lin Bianyu’s and not just by a little bit. When Lin Rufei realized this, he also extinguished the idea of telling Lin Bianyu. 

As Gu Xuandu had said, Wu Ao had no inhibitions when it came to doing things, and only in the face of Lin Rufei, would he show a bit of helplessness. Although he didn’t know the reason, in the end, Lin Rufei was not willing to also involve his second brother.  

Wu Ao said a “forgive me” before he grasped Lin Rufei’s wrist. He seemed a little embarrassed since a few smears of red appeared on his cheeks. Lin Rufei was busy thinking about other things so he did not notice Wu Ao’s strange appearance. After Wu Ao grabbed him, he then took off and flew away with his sword.

This was the first time Lin Rufei saw Wu Ao’s sword blade and it was quite different from ordinary swords. The blade was black and slender like a willow leaf and the black snake, which was previously coiled around Wu Ao, was excited after seeing Lin Rufei. Probably because he was afraid that Lin Rufei wouldn’t like it, Wu Ao reached out and stuffed the long snake into his bosom, reprimanded it a few times, and did not even allow it to show its head.

The two of them followed the Kunlun Mountains all the way up and flew over a dozen tall and lofty mountain tops.

Kunlun was very big and the mountains were continuous. Because it was late Autumn, many of the trees on the mountains had turned a dazzling golden color. At first glance, it looked as if they were magnificent blankets, giving the onlookers a spectacular sight. Although it was already dark, the moon tonight was large, bright, and shining, illuminating the surroundings like daylight.

“How much longer?” Lin Rufei asked, “Where exactly are you taking me?”

“When we arrive, you’ll know.” Wu Ao said, “Can’t travel too fast, it’s windy and you’re still sick.”

Lin Rufei frowned slightly, only to feel that this Wu Ao was simply a combination of contradictions.

Wu Ao apparently did not care about Lin Rufei’s opinion at this time, he was now focused on rushing and his expression was slightly gloomy.

He didn’t know how long they had traveled on the sword, but just when Lin Rufei was sleepy and yawned, Wu Ao finally stopped.

“The Kunlun Mountains are continuous, it is a good dragon vein[1].” Wu Ao pointed to their feet, “Here, is where ten thousand dragons converge and where the most abundant spiritual energy lies. It is suitable for, laying, a grand formation.” He finished these words with difficulty and turned his head to look at Lin Rufei.

Lin Rufei asked, “What are you trying to do by bringing me to the Kunlun Grand Formation?”

Wu Ao smiled charmingly and said something Lin Rufei couldn’t understand: “Want to, once again, see him.”

He flew down with Lin Rufei, weaving through the dense woods, and before long, a heavy stone door appeared in front of Lin Rufei’s eyes. That heavy stone door was so tall that it seemed to have appeared in the forest out of thin air, and at first, it looked a bit abrupt and strange.

Wu Ao was not surprised at all. He walked up, reached out, and carefully touched the stone door, as if looking for something. Lin Rufei stood behind him and watched his actions carefully before frowning slightly, “Exactly what the hell are you doing?”

Wu Ao asked instead of answering, “Lin gongzi, do you know when the Kunlun Sect was created?”

Lin Rufei replied, “A few hundred years ago?”

“Yes, a few hundred years ago.” Wu Ao said, “Kunlun is located at the junction of two continents, where strong demonic beasts are rampant. It is a place where humans simply can not live. And only after the Grand Formation was laid down did the people gradually flourish……Kunlun Sect was also formed around that time.” He turned his head to look at Lin Rufei, “The rest of the people do not know where the Grand Formation is. And only the Sect Leader knows why the Kunlun Sect was settled on Kunlun.”

Kunlun was remote and lacking in materials, so it was indeed not a good place to settle down at. But Lin Rufei had never thought that the Kunlun Sect was actually somewhat related to the formation laid down by the Heavenly Ruler.

As Wu Ao said this, his eyes gazing around brightened up. It seemed that he had finally found what he was looking for. With a fierce force from his hands, the stone door issued a booming sound, and then a blood-red formation surfaced on top of the stone door.

Wu Ao turned around and said to Lin Rufei, “Lin gongzi, come here.”

Lin Rufei hesitantly stepped forward.

Wu Ao instructed, “Put your hand on it.”

Lin Rufei said, “I can put my hand on it, but first you must hand over Gu Xuandu’s heart.”

Wu Ao froze, then exclaimed angrily: “You, how come you’re still thinking about him even at this time?!”

Lin Rufei did not care about Wu Ao’s anger. He coughed twice and then calmly said, “Isn’t this what we agreed upon? Since I’m already here, do you still think that I will back out? Besides, no one knows what would happen if I placed my hand on it. In case I die like this, what if you renege?”

Wu Ao’s expression was gloomy. After listening to Lin Rufei’s words, he finally did not refute. He took out a vermillion wooden box from his bosom and opened it to reveal what was inside.

It was indeed a complete heart, and the most incredible thing was that the heart was still beating hard. Lin Rufei reached out and took it, gazing at it carefully.

Wu Ao said, “Now, that’s okay, right?”

“Mn.” Lin Rufei called out, “Senior, are you there?”

No one answered.

Lin Rufei was a little disappointed. Just when he thought Gu Xuandu was not there, Gu Xuandu’s soft voice suddenly sounded beside him. Although it was faint, as if it was going to disappear, Lin Rufei clearly heard it: “I’m here.”

Lin Rufei was surprised, “Senior!”

He excitedly opened the box and handed over the heart in his hand, “Your heart, it’s found. Are you able to retrieve it?”

Gu Xuandu said, “I’ll try.”

After disappearing for a long time, he finally revealed himself in front of Lin Rufei once again. Lin Rufei saw his translucent hand covering the beating blood-red heart, and with a slight force, he squeezed the heart into his hand. The next moment, the red on the beating heart began to pulsate towards Gu Xuandu’s body, filling his flesh and blood with great speed. However, the moment when Gu Xuandu’s flesh and blood reconstructed to reveal his body, Wu Ao, who had been quietly standing on the side, unsheathed his sword and stabbed at Gu Xuandu.

Gu Xuandu seemed to have expected it, and at the same time, he pulled out Shuang Jiang from the side of his waist. The two blades then met with a clear crisp sound.

“Long time no see, Gu Xuandu.” Wu Ao gritted his teeth and his voice seemed to bleed with hatred.

“Long time no see.” Gu Xuandu’s voice was also cold, “You’re not dead yet?”

“Dead? Even if you die, I won’t die.” The next moment, Wu Ao suddenly withdrew his sword blade and looked at Lin Rufei with a smile, “Lin gongzi, what I promised you, I have done, now please.” He rushed towards the stone door and made a gesture of invitation to Lin Rufei.

“Xiao Jiu, don’t go!” Gu Xuandu wanted to step forward to stop him but was stopped by Wu Ao’s reaching hand.

Lin Rufei smiled bitterly, “Senior, although I don’t want to go either, can you beat him?”

Gu Xuandu frowned. His body had just recovered so he was still very weak so naturally, he wasn’t able to beat Wu Ao. He wanted to say something, but Wu Ao interrupted him in a cold voice, “Gu Xuandu, if you dare to say another word, I will dig out your heart again——”

Gu Xuandu clenched his teeth, “Wu Ao, stop being crazy!!”

“Crazy?” Wu Ao laughed loudly at his words and retorted in a hateful voice, “If I were to go crazy, I should have gone crazy a hundred years ago. Gu Xuandu, you deceitful thing! You who have betrayed our master and extinguished the ancestors, who are you to call me crazy?”

Gu Xuandu gave him a cold look, “I know what you are going to do and you will regret it.”

Wu Ao said, “Regret? Hehe……how could I regret it?”

“You will definitely regret it.” Gu Xuandu closed his eyes, “What kind of person is he, do you still not understand? If I couldn’t keep him, you wouldn’t be able to either.” 

Wu Ao exclaimed, “Shut up, shut up, shut up!!” He didn’t know how Gu Xuandu’s words irritated Wu Ao, but he shouted “shut up” three times in a row with his increasingly loud voice. Then he turned his head to look at Lin Rufei again and hissed, “Lin gongzi, go, go, go and put your hand on——you promised me.”

Lin Rufei didn’t have any other choice and could only obey Wu Ao’s words. He stepped forward and hesitantly pressed his hand on the formation.

Who knew that as soon as he pressed his hand on it, he felt a huge suction hit him. The formation seemed like a bottomless black hole, greedily sucking up the raging sword intent in his body.

“Ah……” Luckily, this process was very short. Before Lin Rufei could fully react, he was drained of his strength and his body was about to fall softly to the ground. When Gu Xuandu saw this scene, he wanted to come over to catch Lin Rufei. However, he was stopped by Wu Ao, who caught Lin Rufei’s body that had lost its strength and said coldly, “Stay away from him!”

Gu Xuandu laughed in anger, “Are you qualified to say that?”

Wu Ao replied, “Why am I not qualified? Do you think everyone is like you, harboring that dirty thought of deceiving the master and destroying the ancestor?!”

Gu Xuandu crossed his arms against his chest: “No matter how dirty it was, he still liked it.”

Wu Ao yelled, “It’s because you forced him!”

Gu Xuandu asked, “How do you know that I forced him?”

Wu Ao said, “Otherwise, why else would he agree?!”

Gu Xuandu spread his hands: “The phrase ‘two lovers in love’ is not difficult to understand, right?”

Wu Ao still wanted to sneer back, but the dusty century-old stone door behind him made a loud sound, and then slowly opened up. Under the bright moonlight, countless dust danced around and the air circulating inside emitted an aura of decay. Wu Ao hugged Lin Rufei before heading inside and Gu Xuandu could only follow behind: “Wu Ao, you really are crazy.”

Wu Aoi didn’t bother with him.

After entering the stone door, there was a wide avenue with many intricate patterns of stone slabs on both sides. After Gu Xuandu and Wu Ao came in, they did not speak again, as if they were afraid of disturbing something. Lin Rufei, who was being held by Wu Ao, felt Gu Xuandu’s gaze on him from time to time and he could feel that this gaze contained anxiety and anger. It seemed that if he was in a position to defeat Wu Ao, he probably would have made his move by now. 

The avenue was very long and as the three of them walked slowly, they felt as if they had walked for an eternity. Lin Rufei closed his eyes halfway. He was muddled and did not understand exactly where they were going.

Just when he felt like he was about to pass out, Wu Ao’s footsteps finally stopped.

Gu Xuandu also stopped next to him and at the same time, both of their eyes fell onto a stone house at the end of the avenue. The stone house was very large and there were also formations painted on all four walls. The most striking thing within this stone house was a large stone coffin in the center of it all.

“Is he in there?” Wu Ao asked in a soft voice. Rather than asking Gu Xuandu, it was more like he was talking to himself.

Gu Xuandu also did not answer. As the two stared at the stone coffin, time seemed to have froze.

No one knew how long it took before Gu Xuandu finally let out a long breath, “Do you really want to do it? Even if it goes against his last wish, even if it will make him feel pain, you still want to do it?”

“Why would he feel pain?” Wu Ao looked at Gu Xuandu strangely, “I’m saving him? Shouldn’t he be happy?”

Gu Xuandu sneered, “That’s probably the reason why he likes me and not you.”

“Bullsh*t!!” Wu Ao yelled angrily, “He likes you? If you hadn’t taken advantage of him in the first place, how could he have liked you?”

Gu Xuandu asked, “I took advantage of someone?” He gave Lin Rufei a careless glance and gave a strained smile, “Although it’s not quite appropriate for me to say this, but now I think I should tell you that we had already confirmed our relationship before he set up the Grand Formation.”

Wu Ao yelled, “Impossible!”

Gu Xuandu sighed, “Whether you believe it or not, is up to you.”

Wu Ao said, “If you confirmed your relationship with him, why didn’t you stop him in the first place?”

“Do you think I didn’t try stopping him?” Gu Xuandu’s voice was soft that he even snorted, yet anyone could hear the pain in his tone that could not be suppressed, “I almost used my life to stop him, but he did not listen so what could I do?”

Lin Rufei listened to the conversation between Wu Ao and Gu Xuandu and fell into silence. He had been suffering from a low fever before this and now that he was drained of the sword intent in his body, he just felt that it was so difficult to breathe. However, Gu Xuandu’s words still caused a shallow pain to float in his chest and he thought of what Wu Min had said. Wu Min said that he was somewhat similar to the Heavenly Ruler; could it be that the reason Gu Xuandu found him was really because of this?

They hadn’t even known each other for a year, but this kind of feeling looked so thin in front of the memories that have been entangled for a hundred years. Lin Rufei wanted to ask Gu Xuandu some questions, but the words turned into a slight sigh.

Gu Xuandu said, “I know I can’t stop you. However, since you have already made up your mind, can I have a few more words with him?” Naturally, he was referring to Lin Rufei.

Wu Ao stared at Gu Xuandu suspiciously, “What are you up to again?”

Gu Xuandu said, “I can’t beat you so what else can I do? I just want to say a few words to him to calm him down.”

Wu Ao hesitated for a moment but still agreed. He told Gu Xuandu not to make trouble, otherwise, he would not be soft against him. Gu Xuandu only laughed at his words and said, ‘Isn’t it because you’re afraid that when he wakes up he will blame you, that’s why you’re being soft right now?’ Wu Ao coldly let out a “hmph” and handed Lin Rufei over into Gu Xuandu’s hands.

Finally, Lin Rufei was carefully taken into Gu Xuandu’s arms. Gu Xuandu reached out and stroked Lin Rufei’s hair, smiling, “Xiao Jiu, long time no see.” His hand finally regained its warmth and it was no longer as cold as it had been at the beginning. Lin Rufei had little strength and could only look at him with half-lidded eyes.

“I know it’s hard for Xiao Jiu.” Gu Xuandu comforted, “It’s all my fault for implicating you.” He held Lin Rufei’s fingertips and his thin lips pursed out into a taut straight line, “Xiao Jiu, no matter what happens after that, you must not blame me.”

Lin Rufei’s heart went cold and he whispered, “What are you going to……do?”

Gu Xuandu said, “I don’t want to try it again.”

Lin Rufei was confused, “Try what again?”

Gu Xuandu shook his head and then stopped talking.

Lin Rufei looked at him in despair. He did not know what Gu Xuandu and Wu Ao were going to do, but he believed that it must be related to the Heavenly Ruler. Since things have come to this point, no matter how stupid Lin Rufei was, he should understand that he was somewhat special……But was his existence just a tool for the two? The knots in Lin Rufei’s grew tighter, but he could not say the words of reproach. He simply powerlessly closed his eyes once again.

Wu Ao stretched out his hand, signaling Gu Xuandu to return Lin Rufei. Gu Xuandu muttered something before handing Lin Rufei back into Wu Ao’s hand.

“Let’s begin.” Wu Ao took a deep breath and looked at Lin Rufei with a smile, “Lin gongzi, don’t be afraid, it will be over soon.”

Lin Rufei did not say anything.

Wu Ao carried Lin Rufei towards the stone coffin. After he reached the coffin, he gently put Lin Rufei onto the ground and lifted up the coffin lid.

The lid of the coffin fell heavily to the ground with a ground-rumbling sound and Wu Ao carefully picked Lin Rufei up again, “Long time no see.” He was greeting the person in the coffin.

Only to see a handsome man in red clothes lying in the coffin. The man’s face was handsome and his temperament was warm. He was quietly lying within the coffin, as if he were simply sleeping.

“Master, I missed you so much.” Wu Ao had only looked at him, but the tears started to overflow. He choked and wanted to say more, but his mouth could not be opened.

Lin Rufei quietly observed Gu Xuandu’s expression. Gu Xuandu looked serious, but he was not as sad as Wu Ao. He seemed to notice Lin Rufei’s gaze, which wasn’t really that obvious, and the corners of his lips hooked up into an arc, casting a reassuring smile at Lin Rufei.

“Although I do not know what you want to do to me. However, since we are already here, you should at least tell me clearly now.” Lin Rufei coldly interrupted Wu Ao, “Even if I have to die, I should be allowed to die with understanding.”

Wu Ao: “Lin gongzi, don’t be afraid, you naturally won’t die……” He broke away from his trance, “Don’t you worry.” Lin Rufei asked, “If I won’t die, then what are you going to do?”

Gu Xuandu slowly said: “A hundred years ago, the Heavenly Ruler used his flesh as the eye of the Yaoguang Continent’s Grand Formation. In order to maintain the operation of the Yaoguang Grand Formation, although the flesh body is gone, the soul is still there. I used the twenty-four swords in the sword box to forcefully preserve the Heavenly Ruler’s soul. And now only Da Han, Shuang Jiang, and Gu Yu are the only ones left of the twenty-four swords, the rest of the sword blades are all lost……”

Lin Rufei suddenly understood something, “How……am I related to the divine soul of the Heavenly Ruler?”

“Of course it’s related.” Wu Ao smiled and said the truth that Lin Rufei should have discovered long ago, “Lin gongzi, you are the reincarnation of the Heavenly Ruler’s divine soul.”

That day when Lin Rufei was born, a majestic vision was born. Ten thousand birds took the form of a phoenix in the evening blaze; this was precisely the sign of the Heavenly Ruler’s divine soul coming into being.

Everyone in the world knew about the vision, but they didn’t know what it meant. It was a pity that Lin Rufei’s physical body was too weak to withstand the majestic sword intent of the Heavenly Ruler’s soul, which resulted in constant illness and even the inability to practice swords. And only until later, when Gu Xuandu appeared, did Lin Rufei’s physical condition improve.

Lin Rufei listened in a daze. Although he had long guessed that he was related to the Heavenly Ruler, how could he have thought that he was actually the reincarnation of the Heavenly Ruler? Moreover, he thought from the beginning to the end that Gu Xuandu was the Heavenly Ruler, however, he never expected that the other Heavenly Ruler was himself.

“So Lin gongzi, you don’t have to be afraid. I’m just helping you to find a body that can withstand the sword intent.” Wu Ao said, “When you get back into the body of the Heavenly Ruler, you will remember what happened before……when the time comes……”

Lin Rufei interrupted him, “Will the Yaoguang Grand Formation still be there by then?”

Gu Xuandu said, “Since the eye of the formation will be gone, naturally it won’t exist anymore.”

Wu Ao said in annoyance, “Shut up!! He has already done so much for Yaoguang, so what if he finally found his body? I have already experimented with that Mo Changshan, but unfortunately, his soul was no longer in the living body. Now, with the body of the Heavenly Ruler plus the soul of Lin gongzi……I can definitely bring the Heavenly Ruler back to life!”

Gu Xuandu questioned, “Why are you so agitated? I wasn’t even scolding you.” He smiled, “Just, have you thought about it properly? If the Heavenly Ruler wakes up and sees that the Grand Formation he worked so hard to set up was damaged by you, are you still expecting him to smile at you?” 

Wu Ao disdainfully said, “So what? I don’t care.”

Gu Xuandu said, “If you really didn’t care, you shouldn’t have done such a thing.”

“Gu Xuandu!! Who are you to say that to me?!!” Wu Ao became enraged, “You couldn’t keep him in the first place, but you want him to die for you again? Again and again, exactly how many times do you want him to sacrifice for you??” 

Gu Xuandu laughed coldly, “Why do you care?”

These words were a bit inexplicable and Lin Rufei couldn’t quite comprehend them. 

When Wu Ao saw Lin Rufei’s unknowing expression, he pointed to Gu Xuandu and sneered: “Lin gongzi, you really don’t know anything. When the Heavenly Ruler died, although his physical body was gone, his soul still existed. However, who knew that this Gu Xuandu, with his wild ambition, actually concealed this matter from me and also secretly kept the soul around………”

Lin Rufei asked, “You mean me?”

“Naturally, it’s not you! Rather, it’s that sword named Da Han!” Wu Ao told the shocking truth, “Back then, there were twenty-four blades in the Heavenly Ruler’s sword box. Later on, they were damaged, leaving only Da Han, Shuang Jiang, and Gu Yu. This Gu Xuandu actually took the Heavenly Ruler’s soul and quietly incorporated his soul into Da Han, making the Heavenly Ruler become Da Han’s sword spirit!!!”

Gu Xuandu exhaled deeply, “If I don’t do that, the Heavenly Ruler’s soul will dissipate. Are you telling me you have other methods?”

Wu Ao said, “Obviously, if you take out the Heavenly Ruler’s flesh, you can——”

“Shut up!” Gu Xuandu roared, “You don’t know anything at all! Do you know how much effort it took him to set up this Grand Formation? Yes, who doesn’t want to be accompanied by him all the time? But you can bear it, I can’t!” After he finished roaring, his eyes were already red from anger, “Wu Ao, I know you resent him for leaving us, but the Heavenly Ruler was originally the King of Heaven, since he was given this name……” 

“You do not understand anything!” Wu Ao sternly scolded and his voice actually carried a trembling cry, “I don’t want him to be the Heavenly Ruler, I only want him to be my master. Without him, I, Wu Ao——am nothing——” Then his voice suddenly became much quieter, “I, I really, really miss him, ah.”

********

The author has something to say:

Gu Xuandu: Being single for too long makes one easily twisted.

Lin Rufei: How long has senior been single for?

Gu Xuandu: A few hundred years……..

Lin Rufei: ……..

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[1] Terrain that resembles a dragon. 

Chapter 87: Matters of That Year

Wu Ao was someone from the witch tribe and since childhood, he had never left the tribe. 

But that time was very different compared to now. At that time, the Yaoguang Grand Formation had not yet been laid and for the demons in the Yaoguang Continent, wanting to survive was not an easy task. Wu Ao didn’t have any special background and was just an ordinary member of the witch tribe. If one desperately wanted to find out something special about him, it was that his parents died early.

In those days, a child wanting to survive without their parents was simply a very difficult thing. The difficulties they had to face were not only limited to demons but also hunger and cold. Even though hundreds of years have passed, Wu Ao still clearly remembered the day he met with the Heavenly Ruler. It was on a cold, Winter morning.

That day, it had been really cold and Wu Ao had gone to the river early. He wanted to make a hole so that he would be able to get some water to drink. However, the ice on the river was too thick. After smashing on it countless times, he still could not break through it. His stomach, which had not been filled in a few days, rumbled hungrily. Wu Ao wiped away his tears. Clenching his teeth, he took out a not-so-sharp blade and started chiseling on the ice bed little by little. Soon though, his body was getting colder and colder and his movements were gradually stiffening. The tears that were hanging on his cheeks even condensed into ice crumbs due to the severe coldness. Wu Ao felt his own strength rapidly flowing away and he gasped as he lied down on the ice, like a small frozen animal. 

Every year, Winter was the most difficult time. There were countless people who died in this terrible season, and soon, he would be one of them. And when the next Spring arrived, his body would sink into the river, becoming food for the fishes. Wu Ao’s breath was fading quickly by the moment and just when he was about to lose consciousness, he heard the sound of footsteps beside his ears. Using his last strength, Wu Ao raised his head with great difficulty. In the moment he saw the visitor, he even thought it had been an imagination he conjured up before he died——he saw a man dressed in red. The man squatted down halfway, silently reaching out with his hand and tenderly wiping away the fine ice crumbs from his cheeks.

“Why are you here?” The man’s voice was very soft. Very soft and it was warm like the sun in Spring, “Poor little guy.”

Wu Ao struggled to grab a corner of the man’s outfit, as if he was grabbing onto his last hope. His frozen black lips trembled, but he could not speak.

The man, however, seemed to have understood his meaning and he used those warm hands to pick up Wu Ao. When Wu Ao felt the warmth of the man’s chest, his heart breathed a sigh of relief as he slowly closed his eyes, revealing a smile of satisfaction. If this was just an illusion, even if he died like this, then perhaps, it was a happy thing.

However, Wu Ao did not die and he was saved by the Heavenly Ruler. Not only was he saved, but he also became a disciple under the Heavenly Ruler’s name. 

The Heavenly Ruler often came and went without a trace. To be able to become a disciple of the Heavenly Ruler was already a rare fortune. Wu Ao knew how to be satisfied. He originally had nothing, so the things he wanted were naturally not much. However, as long as it was something he had grasped, he would not let go of it again no matter what. 

The Heavenly Ruler was gentle and loved his disciples. He only had two disciples, one was called Gu Xuandu, and the other, Wu Ao.

But the two disciples had very different personalities. Gu Xuandu was perverse and extroverted and he would always think of some dumbfounding wicked ideas. Wu Ao was gloomy and introverted and because his speech wasn’t very fluent, he rarely communicated with people. If one wanted to point out something that the two of them had in common, it was no doubt that it was their terrible desire to monopolize.

Because of these two disciples, the Heavenly Ruler did not accept a third disciple.

In those unsettled times, just like that, the Heavenly Ruler carefully raised two children. He taught them swordplay and the three of them relied on each other. If it had been so, it would have been a blessing. But unfortunately, Heaven does not follow the wishes of man. A simple thought from the Heavenly Ruler completely changed the fate of these three.

The Heavenly Ruler wanted to lay down the Yaoguang Grand Formation in order to put an end to the demon invasion sufferings. At first, this thing sounded like it was a hundred benefits with no harm. However, in reality, they all know very well in their hearts that if this formation wanted to operate, they must find a special formation eye and the Heavenly Ruler wanted to use his own flesh as the formation eye for the formation to operate……

At that time, Gu Xuandu had already been connected by heart with the Heavenly Ruler. They were just afraid that Wu Ao wouldn’t be happy, so for the time being, they had not told him. Although Wu Ao did not know the special relationship between the Heavenly Ruler and his senior disciple brother, he clearly understood what this Yaoguang Grand Formation meant. However, the moment he knew everything, it was already too late. The Heavenly Ruler had long ago quietly laid the formation on Kunlun and only the eye of the formation was missing, then it could be activated.

“Why didn’t you stop him?” This was something that Wu Ao could not comprehend. He was desperate to the extreme and uncontrollable hatred wanted to burst through his chest. He stammered, but sobbed out every word, “If he wanted to set up the formation, he could have waited a few hundred more years. When I have cultivated to a higher cultivation level, wouldn’t it be better if I replaced him?”

Gu Xuandu gave him a deep look and calmly said, “I did try.” It was just lightly three words, but no one knew how much blood and tears were hidden behind it. He and the Heavenly Ruler went all the way south and saw the tragic situation of countless living souls and what made the Heavenly Ruler make up his mind right then and there, was the battle in Dajing City. The demons came in through the air and the Heavenly Ruler tried his best to kill countless, but the people in the city were still killed and injured by these fiends. They were just ordinary people, even if they killed the demons, they could not be revived. After the battle, the ancient city that was built for a thousand years, only had a blanket of scorched Earth remaining.

After the battle, the Heavenly Ruler heard the cries of a child. He and Gu Xuandu followed the sound and saw a little girl lying on the corpses of her parents, helplessly howling. The Heavenly Ruler was about to go forward to pick up the child, but a half-dead demon suddenly appeared and swallowed the girl in a mouthful. The Heavenly Ruler drew his sword and broke open the belly of the demon, but the demon’s stomach was full of terrible venom and the little girl was no longer alive.

The Heavenly Ruler stared at the corpse of the child in front of him for quite a while without saying a single word.

Gu Xuandu was a little worried and reached out to hold his hand. After a long time, the Heavenly Ruler turned his head and said in a warm voice: “Xuandu, we can’t wait any longer.”

Gu Xuandu said, “Master……”

“We can’t wait any longer.” The Heavenly Ruler said, “I will rush to Kunlun on the same day, the matter of the Grand Formation can’t be delayed.”

Gu Xuandu said, “Even so, you shouldn’t……” He wanted to persuade again.

The Heavenly Ruler simply curved his eyebrows and patted his head. Even though he had grown taller than the Heavenly Ruler, the Heavenly Ruler still treated him like a half-grown child: “Xuandu, I do not want to see such a thing happen again.”

Gu Xuandu was speechless.

“I also do not want to see more children like you and Wu Ao.” The Heavenly Ruler let out a long breath, “No more waiting.”

Gu Xuandu’s chest became dull, as if he was choking on something, “Let’s wait a little longer, okay? When I become as good as you are……let me go, okay?” The Heavenly Ruler had once said that he(GXD) was a genius. Only at the age of twenty-something and his cultivation had already reached the eighth level. Just give him another fifty years, no, thirty years would be enough, and he would definitely be able to break through the eighth level of cultivation and replace the Heavenly Ruler as the eye in the Grand Formation.

But the Heavenly Ruler showed a wry smile, “No.”

Gu Xuandu uttered, “What?”

The Heavenly Ruler sighed, “Silly Xuandu, if you can’t bear it, do you think I can?” 

Gu Xuandu stood frozen in place.

“Let me be selfish for once, okay?” He discussed with him in a tone that was like coaxing a child, “Just once.”

Gu Xuandu wasn’t able to say anything. He knew his nature well. At first, he seemed calm and casual, but if he had made up his mind, he would be obstinate. No matter what anyone said, it could not change his mind.

This parting, as early as when they had met, was already destined. The only thing Gu Xuandu could do was to accept it. He respected him, even if his heart had been painfully wretched, he could only regain his spirit and forced himself to show a smile. 

Because they knew Wu Ao’s nature, Gu Xuandu and the Heavenly Ruler dare not tell him of this matter in advance. By the time Wu Ao knew, all things had become a foregone conclusion.

“Why didn’t you tell me?! Gu Xuandu, you hateful liar——” Unable to be angry at the Heavenly Ruler, Wu Ao cast all his anger on Gu Xuandu. He was like a deserted beast and his eyes were red with hatred. “You did it on purpose, didn’t you? You did it on purpose, didn’t you?”

Gu Xuandu silently looked at Wu Ao and replied lightly, “Yes, I did it on purpose.”

“Where is his soul?” Wu Ao cried, “If we can find the soul, he can be resurrected……right, resurrected. The witch tribe must have such a method……” He muttered brokenly and his expression was almost crazy.

Gu Xuandu frowned at him: “How are you going to resurrect him?”

Wu Ao said, “As long as we find his physical body and have it supplemented by the soul, master will be able to return!”

Gu Xuandu asked, “What about the Grand Formation?”

Wu Ao answered indifferently, “What does the Grand Formation have to do with me?”

Gu Xuandu smiled bitterly. Now that things have reached this stage, he began to envy Wu Ao. If he could do as he wished, he would not be in this situation. With his understanding of his own younger disciple brother, Wu Ao really would do it; destroying the Grand Formation in order to resurrect the Heavenly Ruler.

So Gu Xuandu lied. He said that the Heavenly Ruler was gone and his soul dissipated with him. He also added that the formation was the only thing left behind by the Heavenly Ruler, so that Wu Ao should not have other thoughts about the formation.

When Wu Ao heard this, he went crazy and almost tried his best to kill Gu Xuandu. In his eyes, this senior disciple brother had become a hateful liar. If only he had told him about the Grand Formation earlier, he would have used his life to stop the Heavenly Ruler from doing it.

Like this, two disciple brothers broke off their relationship. 

For a long time afterward, Gu Xuandu did not see Wu Ao and Wu Ao seemed to have disappeared from the world. The Heavenly Ruler was originally the reason for his existence and now that the Heavenly Ruler was gone, he had lost the motivation to live.

Gu Xuandu felt the same way as Wu Ao, however, he was much luckier than Wu Ao. He looked at the buzzing Da Han in his hand and showed a bitter smile.

For the sake of the formation, the Heavenly Ruler’s flesh was sacrificed, but at least it left his soul intact. However, the sword intent contained in the Heavenly Ruler’s soul was too thick. Because his physical body was not dead, he simply could not enter the cycle of reincarnation and he could only gradually dissipate in the mortal world. Gu Xuandu, who could not let go,  thought about it and finally came up with a foolproof method. Without moving the body, he would place the soul of the Heavenly Ruler within the sword blade and then use the sword to nourish the soul, allowing the Heavenly Ruler to keep his soul intact.

Only, the soul that entered the sword blade became ignorant, just like a toddler. Gu Xuandu was heartbroken but he was also happy. Heartbroken because he saw his lover become like this and happy because he at least did not lose him completely.

Before the Heavenly Ruler left, he cautioned Gu Xuandu about many things and also asked him to replace him as the Heavenly Ruler in order to deter the demons. Told him to do righteousness and protect the world for him.

The Heavenly Ruler’s heart was very big and it could hold the whole world but Gu Xuandu’s heart was small and could only hold one person. But for the sake of their promise, Gu Xuandu still put on a red outfit and gradually lived into his likeness.

The day he finally reached the tenth level of cultivation, he personally entered Bu’e and beheaded the Demon King. At that point, great chaos reigned throughout Bu’e. The demons no longer had a leader and also lost the intention to invade Yaoguang. The people of Yaoguang thus enjoyed a hundred years of peace with no more war.

Gu Xuandu became the new Heavenly Ruler.

But in the end, he wasn’t able to learn his gentle nature. When doing things, he did it based on his true conscience. As a result, in the eyes of different people, the Heavenly Ruler became somewhat different. Some think he was hostile and scary while others think he had a gentle nature.

Gu Xuandu carefully raised Da Han. Now that he had a cultivation at the tenth level, no one in the world could hurt him. However, it was a pity that the sword spirit could not condense into an entity. It could only talk to him, but it could not even give him a hug. However, Gu Xuandu didn’t care too much. What he loved was his soul, so no matter what he became, he would like it.

In addition to his ten levels of cultivation, in a few days, he would be able to step through the void and soar into immortality and to the immortal world. Perhaps then there would be a way to make the love of his life condensed into a solid entity.

With such thoughts, Gu Xuandu became more diligent in cultivating, but who knew that……

“But who knew that at the time of ascension, the thunder tribulation of that day was actually a hundred times more fierce than usual.” Wu Ao’s voice was ghostly, like a malevolent ghost, “You were unable to resist it, and under the danger, just as your soul was about to fly away, you actually used Da Han to resist the heavenly thunder—Da Han broke and the soul of the Heavenly Ruler also suffered heavy damage——Gu Xuandu, although you are able to say words of flattery, the things you are bitterly disappointing!!” 

Gu Xuandu did not retort and simply looked at Wu Ao indifferently.

Wu Ao snickered: “You were struck by the heavenly thunder and your flesh was damaged. After that, you had no choice but to live on top of a cherry blossom tree. You came close to Lin Rufei just to get him to help you find your physical body!!!”

Gu Xuandu slowly said, “There is some truth to that.”

“Look, he dares not refute! Lin gongzi……” Wu Ao exclaimed, “You should finally understand, in the end, what kind of person this Gu Xuandu is!!” 

Lin Rufei, however, simply responded indifferently: “Although I don’t know what kind of person he is, I only know that you are not a good thing.”

Wu Ao’s expression stiffened.

Lin Rufei said: “Since Gu Xuandu has used Da Han to resist the heavenly tribulation, even if he was seriously injured, he should have ascended to immortality. Why would he appear here and even in such a wretched state? Now that he is the only one in the world with a cultivation at the tenth level…….” He looked at Gu Xuandu and continued softly, “Xuandu, if I do not retrieve my memory……will you……still like me?”

Gu Xuandu lost his smile. He patted Lin Rufei on his head and had some helplessness in his tone: “Silly Xiao Jiu, when did I ever want you to get back your memories? You are you, whether you have the memories of the Heavenly Ruler or not, I am pleased with you. If possible, I naturally want to protect you for a lifetime so that you are happy as the most beloved little gongzi of the Kunlun Sect. How could I bear to let you manage other things?…..It’s only a pity…..”  

It was a pity that during his calculation, he missed Wu Ao, this anomaly. He originally thought that Wu Ao simply had resentment in his heart, but he did not expect that even after several hundred years, he was still trying to resurrect the Heavenly Ruler. At this time, the Seventh King of Bu’e had already appeared and he also didn’t have his ten levels of cultivation. If the Grand Formation suddenly broke, he was afraid that the mortal world would be in another terrible situation. 

However, Wu Ao obviously did not care about those things. If there was no Heavenly Ruler, he would have frozen to death long ago on that cold river. He only lived for one person and one person only. He just wanted to meet with him again. Without him, he was just a humble grain of dust.

The words that should have been said, were all said and Wu Ao’s expression gradually turned cold. He reached out and held the body of the Heavenly Ruler out of the stone coffin. 

The surrounding stone slabs seemed to feel the trembling coming from the eye of the formation and began to buzz uncontrollably. Soon, the ground beneath their feet also trembled.

Gu Xuandu suddenly squatted down halfway and held Lin Rufei’s hand. Now that he had a body, the palm of his hand also had a temperature. Even under such a tense atmosphere, he was smiling and raised his hand to wipe away the dust on Lin Rufei’s hair. Gu Xuandu said: “I really like Xiao Jiu.”

Lin Rufei’s heart ached very much as he whispered, “Senior……”

“Especially when Xiao Jiu calls me senior.” Gu Xuandu said, “It’s just a pity that I can’t continue to accompany you anymore.” He showed an apologetic smile, “I’m really sorry that I can’t watch Xiao Jiu become great.”

Lin Rufei sensed something and grabbed Gu Xuandu, his voice was trembling badly, “Gu Xuandu, what are you going to do?”

Gu Xuandu raised his head and looked around.

At this time, all of Wu Ao’s attention was on the Heavenly Ruler and he simply didn’t care about Gu Xuandu and Lin Rufei on the side. Gu Xuandu smiled: “Xiao Jiu, take a guess?”

“No……” Lin Rufei’s eyes widened slightly, “Don’t……..” 

Gu Xuandu asked, “Xiao Jiu can’t bear it?” and then he sighed, “Actually, I can’t bear it either, it’s just that……” He smiled bitterly, “There always has to be someone who has to do it.”

But he no longer wanted to be the one left behind.

It was the same every time. Every single time. When the Heavenly Ruler laid down the Grand Formation and when Da Han fended off the thunder tribulation and shattered for him. In order to let Lin Rufei’s soul re-enter the reincarnation, he scattered all his cultivation and could only parasitize in the cherry blossom forest, quietly waiting for his birth.

A hundred years was like a dull knife that grounded people and Gu Xuandu felt very painful as he was being grounded. He did not want to wait anymore and he was also afraid of being left behind. It was enough to experience this kind of thing once, but it just so happened that he also experienced it a second time. If he was going to experience it a third time, he was really going to go crazy.

“Let me be selfish once.” Gu Xuandu murmured, “OK?”

Lin Rufei was about to open his mouth but his lips were soon sealed by another pair. Gu Xuandu gave him a burning kiss. The kiss was so hot and forceful that it was like Gu Xuandu was trying to push Lin Rufei into his own body. Lin Rufei’s eyes were watery and he choked up slightly.

At the end of the kiss, both of their breaths were a little unsteady. In the end, Lin Rufei was in tears. His fingers hooked on Gu Xuandu’s sleeve and refused to let go.

Gu Xuandu kissed away Lin Rufei’s tears and placed a kiss on his thick eyelashes: “I know Xiao Jiu isn’t willing, but if the Grand Formation breaks, has Xiao Jiu thought about what will happen to Kunlun?”

Kunlun was the border of Yaoguang and once the formation breaks, the first to suffer was that place. Not to mention the Kunlun Sect, just the mortals who lived here, probably no one would be spared. 

Lin Rufei’s eyes gradually dulled.

Gu Xuandu got up and walked towards the stone coffin. At this time, Wu Ao had already taken out the Heavenly Ruler’s body and was looking at Gu Xuandu with cold eyes. Gu Xuandu didn’t care and simply waved his hand at him: “Don’t look at me, some things I do have to apologize to you.” 

Wu Ao sneered.

Gu Xuandu said, “But if it wasn’t for your twisted nature, it wouldn’t have been hidden from you.” He sighed, “I also did not expect that we, disciple brothers, would come to this point today.”

Wu Ao gritted his teeth, “Scumbag, if you hadn’t swindled master while he was weak, how could he have been with you?!” As he said this, he pointed to Lin Rufei, “Lin gongzi is ignorant, so you used your beauty to confuse him!”

Gu Xuandu thought about it. He felt that since things had already come to this point, it seemed that there was no need to continue to hide, so he said with a smile, “Want me to tell you a secret?”

Wu Ao asked, “What?”

Gu Xuandu said, “When I was with master, it was master who confessed his love first.”

Wu Ao froze.

Gu Xuandu spread his hands: “Bet you didn’t expect that.”

Wu Ao almost jumped from anger. The veins on his forehead all bulged out and he almost pulled out his sword to make a move or two against Gu Xuandu. When Gu Xuandu saw this, he let out a loud laugh, ‘You, ah, you, ah. Usually, you only know to cultivate and don’t even have the guts to look at an erotic picture so how would you understand these things? Me and master’s heart have already connected, so when did it become you, this demon’s, turn to oppose us?’ 

Wu Ao almost fainted from anger. If he wasn’t still holding onto the Heavenly Ruler’s body, he probably would have already made his move. Even Gu Xuandu, who had a smug look, could also see that in this relationship, Wu Ao really couldn’t do anything to his elder disciple brother. 

Just as the two people were talking, the vibration of the ground became more and more intense. The formation that was painted in the vicinity also began to emit a blinding red light and they watched as the formation was about to collapse because of the loss of the formation eye.  

Gu Xuandu smiled. He turned back and called out a “Xiao Jiu,” then took a step across the room and entered the stone coffin. Then, his body began to emit a rich red light that started to spread all the way along towards the formation. Lin Rufei was dumbfounded at all of this and softly answered back: “Xuandu.”

But his Xuandu had already closed his eyes and fell into a long, long sleep.

Lin Rufei staggered up and tried to walk to the stone coffin, but was stopped by Wu Ao.

Wu Ao said, “Lin gongzi.”

Lin Rufei looked at him and smiled bitterly, “Wu Ao, haven’t you ever thought about how the Heavenly Ruler would blame you if he really woke up?”

Wu Ao calmly said, “I’m not afraid of his blame.” He reached out and grabbed Lin Rufei’s wrist, smiling, “Lin gongzi, come on.” Although his voice was gentle, his grip was very firm and he forcefully pulled Lin Rufei to the Heavenly Ruler’s side. 

The Heavenly Ruler’s body had his eyes closed. At first, he looked no different from a normal person. Wu Ao gently helped smooth his hair and then pulled out two talismans from his bosom, “Mo Changshan, set up the formation.”

Suddenly, Mo Changshan appeared out of nowhere. It seemed that this Wu Ao indeed still had something up his sleeves probably because he was afraid of Gu Xuandu messing things up. But now that Gu Xuandu had been forced to be the eye of the formation, no one could stop him anymore.

Lin Rufei, who was drained of sword intent, sat down on the ground, weakly and silently as he looked at the coffin next to him. Mo Changshan, on the other hand, under Wu Ao’s command, silently lowered his head and drew the formation with the cinnabar in his hand.

Lin Rufei suddenly asked, “Do you still remember Mo Zhaocai?”

Mo Changshan did not respond.

“He’s dead.” Lin Rufei muttered softly, “He always wanted to revive you and even brought your head with him everywhere, but in the end, he ended up dying himself. He was a good dog.”

Mo Changshan’s movement paused inaudibly, but upon closer inspection, it seemed like it had just been Lin Rufei’s imagination. It was quite true. After all, what Wu Ao resurrected was only his physical body. A body without a soul, how could there possibly be any emotions? 

Lin Rufei thought with some disappointment.

********

The author has something to say:

Gu Xuandu: No matter what you become, I will always love you. 

Lin Rufei: Really?

Gu Xuandu: Really. Even if you turn to ash, I will recognize you.

Lin Rufei: ……………….Why do I feel like you are cursing? 

Chapter 88: Hundred Years of Time

Wu Ao didn’t mind Lin Rufei talking to Mo Changshan since he seemed to have extra confidence in manipulating this corpse that was resurrected by himself. With Mo Changshan’s careful strokes, the scarlet cinnabar formed a complete formation on the ground. Wu Ao stood aside, carefully holding the Heavenly Ruler’s body in his arms while quietly waiting for the formation to be completed.

When the last stroke of the formation was finally painted on, Lin Rufei didn’t know whether he should be smiling bitterly or feeling relieved. Although Wu Ao’s tone was very polite, his actions weren’t easy to refuse. He forcibly brought him into the formation and affixed a talisman to his body.

“Lin gongzi, when the formation is activated, your soul will be able to enter the body of the Heavenly Ruler.” Wu Ao smiled, “When that time comes, you will not only recover your memories, but also no longer have to worry about your weak body……”

Lin Rufei knew that Wu Ao had already made up his mind and wouldn’t change it even if he said something. In the end, he decided to close his mouth and not say anything at all. Wu Ao laughed and made a gesture to Mo Changshan. Mo Changshan understood and walked to the side of the formation. His black soulless eyes quietly gazed at Lin Rufei and after that, Wu Ao started reciting an incantation. Not long after that, the formation under Lin Rufei began to emit a dazzling red light. The Heavenly Ruler’s body was lying next to Lin Rufei’s and this was the first time Lin Rufei had seen his appearance up close. Indeed, there was no similarity in their looks at all, but the aura on their bodies made them feel somewhat familiar. No wonder when Wu Min saw him at that time, he remembered the Heavenly Ruler.

As the light of the formation became more and more dazzling, Lin Rufei felt something continuously pulling away from his body while at the same time, also taking away the heat and temperature of his body. He felt a little tired and his eyelids were getting heavy, unknowingly, his consciousness gradually faded away.

Beside him, Wu Ao, let out an excited shout. Only what was shouted, Lin Rufei could no longer clearly hear.

In this general state of mortality, Lin Rufei seemed to have seen Gu Xuandu’s face. Gu Xuandu seemed to be standing across from him, smiling lightly at him. Lin Rufei involuntarily reached out his hand and gently called out, “Xuandu……”

The light of the surrounding formation was blindingly bright and Lin Rufei’s consciousness sank into the darkness.

He didn’t know how long it took, but the boundless darkness started lifting, revealing a corner and a glimpse of light. Lin Rufei saw a thin child through this slit.

The child, thin and small, was crouching in a dirty alley looking for food. And after noticing his presence, he raised his head in alert and stared at him with a deadly stare. Lin Rufei heard himself make a sound. Although the voice should have sounded strange, he felt that it was somewhat familiar, as if it should have belonged to him. The voice said, “Little one, want something to eat?”

The child stared at Lin Rufei and shook his head heavily, refusing to take a step closer.

“Really don’t want it?” The voice brought about some laughter. He probably saw through the child’s sheepish character, “It’s a meat bun that I just bought, it’s delicious.”

The child was still shaking his head, but his rumbling stomach revealed his hunger. Hearing his stomach screaming, a hint of shame surfaced on the child’s face. He stood up and turned around, immediately wanting to run away. However, who knew that after simply running two steps, he then tripped over something and fell heavily on the ground. Just from listening, he could tell that it was painful. 

This child looked only four or five years old, which is the age of needing care. This fall seemed to be extremely heavy, but he did not cry and simply got up from the ground silently. He carefully rubbed his red eyes, limping, and wanting to leave.

“Don’t go, kid.” Lin Rufei saw himself reaching out to stop him. He then handed the meat bun in his hand to the child, “What are you afraid of? Are you worried about me poisoning you?”

“I know what you’re thinking, you bad thing, I’m not going to eat your food!” The child yelled.

After a moment of silence, he let out a low laugh, withdrew his hand, and took a heavy bite on the meat bun before swallowing it: “Now you’re not afraid, are you?”

The child froze.

“What’s your name?” He asked him, “Where are your parents?”

In the end, the child was very hungry. He stared at the meat bun placed in front of his eyes again and was unable to stop himself from swallowing his saliva. Under the war between Heaven and man, he finally reached out and took the meat bun that had been bitten and gnawed it wretchedly. While he gnawed, he answered vaguely, “I don’t have a name, nor……parents.”

Lin Rufei suddenly understood who the child was and who the owner of the voice was, so this was the encounter between the Heavenly Ruler and Gu Xuandu. This was the memory that belonged to the Heavenly Ruler. Lin Rufei looked greedily, looking at Gu Xuandu, the version in which he had never seen before.

The Heavenly Ruler asked softly: “Do you want to go with me?”

The child questioned, “Where to?”

The Heavenly Ruler replied, “To Yaoguang.”

The child looked at him suspiciously, “It’s so far away and across the sea, how are you going to get there?”

The Heavenly Ruler smiled, “Naturally, I will fly there.” When he raised his hand, the sword box behind his back gave a light sound and twenty-four blades surrounded him in mid-air. When the child saw this scene, his eyes widened slightly and he completely dropped his guard. He rushed to the Heavenly Ruler’s side and grabbed the corner of the Heavenly Ruler’s clothes, “Immortal, Great Immortal. I am willing, I am willing to go with you.” His eyes were filled with tears, “No matter what I have to do, I am willing. Please take me with you.”

“Alright.” the Heavenly Ruler smiled, “Then, come with me.” He slightly leaned down and took those small hands into his.

Lin Rufei also felt the touch of the palm of his hand. And since Gu Xuandu was still a toddler, his hands were still so small, so soft, and there were no calluses on them from sword practice, only sweat from tension, sticky, but it wasn’t annoying.

He held him, walking forward, and asked softly: “What is your father’s surname, do you remember?”

The child shook his head and whispered that he didn’t remember.

“Then you will take my surname.” He said, “My surname is Gu, and you were born on the Xuandu continent, so I’ll call you Gu Xuandu.”

“Gu Xuandu?” The child was confused and asked, “Is this name nice?”

“It’s nice.” He said, “The female flower of the peach blossom is named Hongyu, and the male flower is named Xuandu.” He was in a good mood and smiled brightly, “How about we make your nickname Gu Taohua[1]?”

The child said, “Okay, okay.”

This was their first encounter and it was the Heavenly Ruler’s most memorable piece of memory. 

The traces left by the countless years turned into fragments and all of it flooded into Lin Rufei’s mind. He let out a low cry of pain, but still could not resist it and could only let the tide wash over him.

This time, he saw Wu Ao again, saw him wretched on the ice layer. Wu Ao was even thinner than Gu Xuandu, wrapped in tattered outerwear with a face that was frozen red. His lips were black, as if a little later, he would have died on the river. He held the Heavenly Ruler’s hand and sobbed lowly as he asked, “Will you leave me behind?”

“No.” He held Wu Ao in his arms, warming his body, “I won’t leave you here.”

“You really won’t leave me behind?” Wu Ao tilted his head and stared at him with fascination, “It’s so cold here, I’m alone, I’m scared.”

“Really.” This was the promise he gave him. He thought that this child was afraid and just needed security, but he didn’t know that this child would remember this promise for hundreds of years.

The days of raising Gu Xuandu and Wu Ao were the happiest memories he’d ever had. Both children were so interesting and brought countless joys to the Heavenly Ruler’s uneventful life. He taught them swordplay, taught them to read and write, and watched them grow from less than knee-high little children to taller than himself.

It was a pity that the world did not give them much time.

That year, when he and Gu Xuandu had exchanged their feelings, Gu Xuandu was twenty years old. Gu Xuandu was born intelligent and had excellent natural talent. When he turned twenty that year, he had already reached the eighth level of cultivation. The Heavenly Ruler was away for a year due to urgent matters and when he came back, he felt that Gu Xuandu was a bit strange, as if in a year’s time, the child who was still pampered in his arms had grown into an adult.

Gu Xuandu was smarter than Wu Ao and his desires were also much more stronger than Wu Ao’s. Wu Ao just wanted the Heavenly Ruler to be his companion, like family, but Gu Xuandu was eager for something else. Since he longed for it, he went to do it, like the Spring breeze moistening things, occupying the entire world of the Heavenly Ruler.

Since the Heavenly Ruler liked to drink tea, he(GXD) would personally go out and pick them. Since the Heavenly Ruler liked cherry blossoms, he would plant a thousand miles of cherry blossoms and unknowingly, the Heavenly Ruler would soon be in his arms. Even when confessing his love, it was the Heavenly Ruler who took the initiative. The Heavenly Ruler had never been a person who liked to hesitate, after perceiving his own feelings, he told Gu Xuandu straightforwardly. 

Of course, he was also a little worried that Gu Xuandu would be disgusted, so his voice sounded a little sullen. He said that he had thoughts about Gu Xuandu that he should not have, and if Gu Xuandu felt disgusted, he would simply leave. Who knew that after hearing this, Gu Xuandu was ecstatic. He immediately reached out to embrace him and gave him a heavy kiss.

This was the beginning of the two.

Lin Rufei was deeply infected by this strong emotion, as if he had personally gone back in time to several hundred years.

But nothing was perfect. This kind of life did not last long for them. When the demons invaded Yaoguang, the world’s lives were in ruins and the Heavenly Ruler finally could no longer stand by and watch.

This was a painful memory. Lin Rufei even heard Gu Xuandu’s sad plea. He begged him, asking him if they could wait some more days. Just until he cultivated to the ninth level so that he could become the formation’s eye.

Such thoughts were rightfully rejected.

“Xuandu, your cultivation level isn’t there yet and we can not wait any longer……” That was what the Heavenly Ruler said to him, however, Lin Rufei knew that this was just an excuse. Since Gu Xuandu couldn’t bear it, could the Heavenly Ruler bear it? In the end, he couldn’t bear seeing this child, one who he had raised up by himself, sleeping in a stone coffin for the world’s sake. He was called the Heavenly Ruler, so naturally, he should bear the weight of this name.

In the end, Gu Xuandu finally agreed.

That period, exactly how painful did he feel? Lin Rufei also could not say. In short, when he saw him again, his body must have carried the smell of alcohol. The smell of alcohol was sometimes strong and sometimes light, but no matter what, it wouldn’t make a person drunk.

The Grand Formation was laid on Kunlun little by little, as if it was a countdown towards death.

Even after a hundred years, Lin Rufei also felt this cruelty. Every time Gu Xuandu appeared in front of his eyes, he also pretended not to care. However, this forced smile of his was even more painful than crying and pleading. The Heavenly Ruler couldn’t bear to let the world go on like this and he also couldn’t bear to let him go. But in the end, he could only pick one of the two. 

The battle in the city of Dajing became the turning point of the whole thing.

Countless humans lost their lives to the demons. Even if the Heavenly Ruler gave all his efforts to expel the demons, the dead still would not come back.

It was said that when the strong people fight, it was the weak ones that suffered. After the battle in Dajing, almost everything turned into a ruin. Everywhere he looked, there wasn’t a single intact building. There were children crying, there were wives howling, there were seriously injured cultivators moaning in pain, and the whole world became like a purgatory.

However, this was only the beginning. Next, the demon’s movements would become more and more frequent. The Demon King just had to break a hole in the void and the next entrance would be the next Dajing. 

Although the Heavenly Ruler was at the ninth level of cultivation, he could not protect every single one of them. 

“No more waiting.” He stared at the child’s corpse and muttered to Gu Xuandu.

Gu Xuandu forced a smile, “Wait a little longer, okay? When I become as good as you are……let me go, okay?”

Rightfully so, the Heavenly Ruler refused. This time, he wanted to be selfish for once.

Kunlun should have been a good place, the mountains were continuous and it was the place where the veins of ten thousand dragons converge. It was a pity that it was located at the border of Yaoguang and Bu’e, where the demons were rampant and the people were not happy. The Heavenly Ruler intended to set up the Grand Formation here, using his flesh as the eye of the formation in order to operate the Grand Formation.

As long as the Grand Formation was set up, demons below the seventh level would no longer be able to enter Yaoguang. As for the demons above the seventh level, the number was already small, so if they really came, there were other cultivators who could resist, and at least the situation in Dajing would not occur again.

Things went on in an orderly manner, but not many people knew about it. Only until the last moment did the Heavenly Ruler tell Wu Ao about it.

As expected, when Wu Ao heard the news, he nearly broke down. He cried and begged the Heavenly Ruler not to do so.

“Lord Heavenly Ruler, Lord Heavenly Ruler, please don’t go, okay?” Wu Ao lowly pulled at the corner of his clothes, just like when he met the Heavenly Ruler as a young child. His face was full of panic, as if he was left in the snow as a child and about to freeze to death, “Let me do it, give me some more days, I will be able to reach the ninth level. When I get to the ninth level, I will go be the eye of that formation, Lord Heavenly Ruler…… “

The Heavenly Ruler stroked his head, like when he was young, only this time, he did not say yes.

The Yaoguang Grand Formation was laid. The formation eye entered the stone coffin and although the flesh was there, the soul was not. 

Gu Xuandu secretly kept the soul, but did not dare to tell Wu Ao of this. Wu Ao, who had just lost the Heavenly Ruler, had been close to madness. If this formation wasn’t laid by the Heavenly Ruler himself, and the fact that even after destruction it would not be able to call the Heavenly Ruler back, he probably would have made his move against it already.

But once it had left the body, the soul of the Heavenly Ruler, that couldn’t enter the reincarnation, would soon dissipate. Gu Xuandu really had no other choice. He could only send the soul into Da Han and carefully nourish it. This was another memory. At first, it was muddled and only sporadic images flashed by. It was only later that his consciousness gradually emerge.

“This is Taohua.” Gu Xuandu taught his lover, as his lover had taught him before, “It’s my name.”

“Taohua?” The sword spirit was confused, “Your name?”

“Yes, and remember, my name is Gu Xuandu.” He could not touch him, but simply looking, he was satisfied, “The female flower of the peach blossom is called Hongyu and the male flower is called Xuandu. I am Gu Xuandu.”

“That’s nice.” The sword spirit murmured.

“Yes, it’s nice, isn’t it?” Gu Xuandu smiled, “I like this name too.” As long as it was something you gave, I would always like it.

The two were together for about a few hundred years, during which the Yaoguang Continent benefited from the Grand Formation and flourished for hundreds of years.

And Gu Xuandu had finally reached the tenth level from the ninth level of cultivation, surpassing the Heavenly Ruler back then.

When he reached the tenth level, the first thing he did was to go straight to Bu’e and behead the Demon King. Ten thousand demons witnessed this with their own eyes. They watched as a swordsman in red, carrying three sword blades, stepping into the air, waving his sword, and chopping off a head to the ground.

This head, which had brought countless pain to Yaoguang, was so light that it was not even as heavy as a sword blade.

Gu Xuandu looked at the head and casually threw it aside before stepping back into the air. The ten thousand demons looked at his back and all was quiet.

After that, it was a long and beautiful period of time.

Gu Xuandu took Da Han and traveled all over the provinces. He went back to Xuandu and saw the places where he had lived. He went to Qionglong and saw the towering overhanging mountains. He went to Bu’e and exchanged vows with Da Han on that half snowy and half clear island. They saw countless Springs, Autumns, Winters, and Summers. They believed that they would never have to part again. Even if he could not touch him and wasn’t even able to hug, the two had been connected and didn’t need anything else. 

Just when Gu Xuandu thought that he would live with Da Han just like that, the Heavens took everything away from him again.

After reaching the tenth level, he would be able to step through the void and ascend to the immortal world. This was the thing that every cultivator desired the most. Although Gu Xuandu did not have any desire to ascend to immortality, rumors said that there was a method in the Heavenly Realm that allowed the sword spirit to have a physical body, so he also started harboring this idea.

However, when the thunder tribulation descended, Gu Xuandu realized that something was wrong.

The thunder was too strong and he could not resist it at all. He had used all the magic treasures, but could only block ninety-nine. The hundredth thunder was the most powerful one. As long as he fell, Gu Xuandu could only end up with his soul scattered. But even so, he did not intend to use Da Han. Instead, he hugged the sword in his arms, wanting to protect it to death. 

The sword spirit could live for thousands of years and even if its master died, it could still find a new one. Gu Xuandu couldn’t bear to bury him with himself. He used his last strength and dropped a kiss on top of the sword hilt. 

But if Gu Xuandu couldn’t bear to, how was Da Han willing either? Lin Rufei saw the dense dark clouds in the sky as well as the flash of lightning and roaring thunder.

There were raindrops falling, wetting Gu Xuandu’s hair. He tilted his head and the rain fell down his chin low, as if they were tears.

The lightning flashed again. It was accompanied by continuous thunder with the momentum that could shake Heaven and Earth.

The heavenly tribulation gathered into a belt of blinding light. Seeing that it would fall soon, Gu Xuandu loosened his grip, wanting to let Da Han fall from his hands to the ground. However, who knew that at this time, Da Han unsheathed himself and with a cold light, swept towards Gu Xuandu’s head.

“No——” With a harsh scream, the thunder fell and the snow-white sword blade resisted most of it before flying into pieces, turning into blackened ashes and disappearing into oblivion. The memory ended there, however, Lin Rufei could still vaguely hear Gu Xuandu’s harsh howling and the desperate cry of grief.

At this point, Lin Rufei finally understood why Gu Xuandu had a sad smile in his eyes when he was lying down in the stone coffin.

At least this time, he did not have to be the one left behind and he also no longer had to wait in that cherry blossom forest for a hundred years just to wait for the reincarnation of his beloved. Instead of tasting the despair of parting again, he preferred to fall into a long, peaceful sleep.

The darkness completely faded and Lin Rufei slowly opened his eyes. He thought that when he opened his eyes, he would see Wu Ao, however, he didn’t even see his silhouette. Instead, the ground was a mess, as if someone had just fought here.

Lin Rufei rose from the ground with difficulty, however, he saw the body of the Heavenly Ruler next to him. Currently, he already had all the memories of the Heavenly Ruler, so when he saw the Heavenly Ruler’s body still lying on the side, he couldn’t help but still be in some trance. What happened? According to Wu Ao’s plan, shouldn’t he enter the Heavenly Ruler’s body? Why was it only the Heavenly Ruler’s memory?

Lin Rufei still had little strength. Just as he was pondering over this thought of his, he heard the sound of fighting coming from the outside. He froze slightly, limped out, and actually saw Wu Ao standing aside with a gloomy face. Two figures were rumbling in the sky and it was actually Lin Bianyu and Mo Changshan.

“Lord Heavenly Ruler.” When Wu Ao saw that Lin Rufei was awake, he revealed a look of surprise. He walked to Lin Rufei’s side and shouted out this sentence in a trembling voice. 

Lin Rufei pursed his lips and responded in a low voice, “Wu Ao.” When he saw Wu Ao, he remembered the child who was freezing to death by the river, and the words that should have been full of blame turned into a low sigh on his lips, “I’m sorry……”

“Lord Heavenly Ruler.” Wu Ao cried, almost choking on his words.

“You shouldn’t have done that.” Lin Rufei was a little tired. In fact, his consciousness was even now a little confused. All kinds of messy memories were constantly converging in his brain and currently, he still hadn’t had the time to fully receive all of it. After knowing the past, the disgust for Wu Ao was mixed with some guilt and self-blame.

“I just wanted to see you one more time.” Wu Ao uttered painfully.

“Even if you saw me, what’s the point? I’m not me anymore.” Lin Rufei sighed, “My last name is Lin now and I am the youngest son of the Lin family, not your Lord Heavenly Ruler.”

Wu Ao, “I know, I know.” He said he knew, but his expression was still lost in thought.

Lin Rufei looked up to the mid-air, Mo Changshan and Lin Bianyu were currently still fighting. He didn’t know how Wu Ao managed to make Mo Changshan return to his peak state, but when he fought, his moves were ruthless. Lin Bianyu didn’t want to hurt him, so for a while, the battle situation between the two was quite worrying.

“Lord Heavenly Ruler, I just, want to ask a question.” Wu Ao clenched his teeth again and trembled, “That Gu Xuandu, did he lie to you?” He looked at Lin Rufei eagerly, as if he wanted to get the answer he wanted from Lin Rufei’s expression. And the only way to give him the strength to continue talking, was with this answer.

“No.” Lin Rufei smiled bitterly, “These three lives, he and I were two lovers. Da Han was not damaged by him, but voluntarily resisted the heavenly calamity. This life, he also had not mentioned the matter of the Heavenly Ruler……”

Wu Ao looked dumbfoundedly at Lin Rufei: “Heavenly Ruler, do you not blame him?”

Lin Rufei shook his head.

“What about me?” Wu Ao wanted to laugh and cry. He looked at his hands and asked in a strained voice. “What about me? After I did all this, Lord Heavenly Ruler, will you blame me?”

Lin Rufei looked at him hesitantly and he sensed that something seemed wrong with Wu Ao’s mental state.

As expected, in the next moment, a maniacal smile surfaced on Wu Ao’s face: “Three hundred years, three hundred years, ah……what exactly am I waiting for? I still……was left behind……” and thrown into that cold, cold river.

********

The author has something to say:

Lin Rufei: My surname is Gu, and you were also born on the Xuandu Continent, in this case……

Gu Xuandu: 0.0

Lin Rufei: You’ll be called Gu Dalu[2].

Gu Xuandu: ? ? ? ? ? ?

─────────────────────────────────────────────────

[1] Technically….Taohua means peach blossoms….but because the English title for this is “cherry blossoms” so….. Uh yeah. 

[2] Dalu means continent. 

Chapter 89: New Life

They all said that those who were pitiful always had some insufferable sides. For Wu Ao, this sentence was very suitable.

In mid-air, the two had entered the peak of the fight. In the end, Lin Bianyu had the more superior skills. One swing from Tian Xiao, which was in his hands, and Mo Changshan’s sword broke in half. Since the sword in the swordsman’s hand had been broken, the victory was naturally decided, and the sharp blade of Tian Xiao fell on top of Mo Changshan’s neck. The two men looked at each other and the atmosphere seemed to be frozen stiffed.

Lin Bianyu stared at the person opposite him and his eyes were full of disbelief. He had obviously recognized that this person was his teenage rival, Mo Changshan. However, Mo Changshan had died that year and now that he had suddenly reappeared, he was naturally amazed.

The Kunlun Sect, being ordered to guard the Grand Formation, was a top-secret matter. Now that the Sect Master was in seclusion, this matter naturally fell on Lin Bianyu’s head. This night, when Lin Bianyu heard the sound and arrived at the scene, he noticed that the stone door wide open. He hurriedly entered and actually saw his most beloved brother, Lin Rufei, lying silently amidst a blood-red formation and was next to someone who was whispering incantations. When Lin Bianyu happened upon this scene, he was very alarmed and immediately drew his sword and headed over. However, halfway there, a black-clad swordsman appeared, forcibly trying to stop him.

The two of them fought for a time and it was difficult to distinguish who had the upper hand. At first, Lin Bianyu just thought that this swordsman had some minor familiarity, but soon, he realized that not only was he familiar, but this black-clothed swordsman was emitting a strong aura of death. It was actually his friend Mo Changshan, whom he had met when he was younger!

Back then, Mo Changshan was as gifted as he was in swordsmanship and was known as the twin stars on the western mountains. With two stars, one being Jade(Yu) and the other being Mountain(Shan). That year, Mo Changshan was very aspirational and vigorous, but unfortunately, the Mo family suffered a great disaster later on and Mo Changshan’s life was taken by an unknown swordsman. At that time, this incident was a very big deal that even Lin Bianyu also knew a thing or two about it. But even though the Mo family spent a lot of effort to offer a reward, they still failed to catch the killer.

As one of the twin stars, although he and Mo Changshan did not have a deep friendship, this matter also made him sigh with regret. He pondered that if Mo Changshan did not die, he would now have another opponent to duel with. However, he never expected that after decades, he would see the living Mo Changshan here. 

Then why did the dead Mo Changshan appear here? Lin Bianyu called out his name: “Mo Changshan?”

Mo Changshan was restrained by Lin Bianyu, but he did not show any fear. His face remained expressionless, like a stiff stone. His black eyes were sunken, and he could not see a single spirit. It was as if he was just a puppet acting on instinct.

Lin Bianyu frowned slightly. He soon realized something and turned his head to look at Wu Ao, who had been standing aside. He noticed that Lin Rufei had woken up at some point, came out of the cave, and was saying something with Wu Ao. He was very excited, hissing fiercely at Lin Rufei and trying to reach out and grab him, the situation looked very dangerous.

Lin Bianyu gazed at them. With no more hesitation, he turned back and flew towards Wu Ao. 

“Why on earth did I fall to this point?!!” Wu Ao roared, his crimson eyes filled with anger and despair as he shouted at Lin Rufei. However, the words he said seemed to be actually for his own ears, “I just wanted to stay with him all the time, why……why can’t I even do this?!!!”

The harsh sword intent came from mid-air, but Wu Ao, as if he was oblivious to it, allowed Lin Bianyu’s sword to stab him in the vitals.

“Wuuu……” He let out a sad cry. Wu Ao slightly lowered his head and took in the cold snow-white sword blade passing through his abdomen. Tears fell from his eyes but it was not because he was injured. It was because Lin Rufei was looking at him with those incomparable sad eyes.

“I’m sorry.” Lin Rufei said bitterly, “Wu Ao……”

Wu Ao pulled out a bitter smile as he muttered in a trembling voice, “Heavenly Ruler, I’m the one who’s sorry.”

Lin Bianyu did not know what exactly had happened between Wu Ao and Lin Rufei. But because he saw the formation and the unconscious Lin Rufei, he rightfully felt that the person in front of him was going to be detrimental to his brother, so in the end, he did not hold back in the slightest. It was only the man’s attitude of not hiding or dodging that made Lin Bianyu feel a little puzzled. He also could not see Wu Ao’s cultivation level and thought he was a powerful character. But why did he not hide or dodge, and instead took his sword straight on? As Lin Bianyu was pondering over this phenomenon, he then heard Wu Ao bawling like an aggrieved child. He slowly kneeled onto the ground as the blood and tears wet the black mud beneath him.

Lin Rufei looked at him in silence and only rich sorrow remained in his gaze. However, he did not talk to Wu Ao. Instead, he turned around and walked slowly towards the formation.

Lin Bianyu wanted to call out to him, but for some reason, the words that came to his lips were forcefully swallowed back down. Blood was still dripping from Tian Xiao’s blade and when Lin Bianyu looked at the man bawling in front of him, he felt that it all seemed so absurd.

Lin Rufei walked back into the formation and saw Gu Xuandu sleeping in the stone coffin.

This was the first time Lin Rufei saw Gu Xuandu sleeping. He closed his narrow eyes and his features were not quite as beautiful as when he was awake, instead, it carried a few tones of innocence. Lin Rufei slowly stretched out his fingers and his fingertips touched his forehead down along the bridge of his nose and slowly to his chin. He hung his head quietly. In the end, he could not hold back and a tear plopped right on top of Gu Xuandu’s cheek.

It all happened so suddenly that he was powerless to stop it. Only after he was forced to accept the memory and barely regained himself did he realize what it really meant when Gu Xuandu had entered the stone coffin.

Although they had established a relationship, they were never really together. Lin Rufei naively thought that they still had many, many more years, but he did not know that the accident had come earlier than tomorrow.

A hundred years of memory, whether it was the Heavenly Ruler or Da Han, could not be separated from the person in front of him. Every moment of his life seemed to be occupied by the person in front of him and now seeing his sleeping appearance, it was as if someone had choked him hard on the neck.

“Xiao Jiu?” A hesitant call came from behind him. In the end, Lin Bianyu was uneasy and followed him in.

Lin Rufei was silent.

“Xiao Jiu, what’s wrong?” Lin Bianyu was so worried that he walked over to Lin Rufei’s side and noticed the person in the stone coffin.

Lin Rufei shook his head and forced a smile: “I……am fine. Brother, can I trouble you to go out and watch Wu Ao?”

Lin Bianyu asked, “That person outside is called Wu Ao?”

Lin Rufei nodded his head.

Lin Bianyu said, “Okay, I’ll go now.” But he was still a bit uneasy, “Who is this person? Is he a friend of yours? Are you……okay?”

Lin Rufei forced another smile, “I’m fine.”

But looking at his tired appearance, he didn’t look like he was fine. Lin Bianyu was very anxious, however, he didn’t know exactly what to say. In the end, he could only whisper to him not to be afraid and if Lin Rufei had something to say, he should tell him and then he(LBY) would certainly solve it. However, Lin Rufei just shook his head and did not say anything until Lin Bianyu showed a helpless look, turned around, and walked outside.

“Wait.” Lin Rufei suddenly called out.

Lin Bianyu was surprised and turned around, thinking that Lin Rufei had figured it out and was willing to talk about it. But who knew that Lin Rufei was simply telling Lin Bianyu to help Wu Ao treat his wounds and to not let him die.

Lin Bianyu frowned: “But, Xiao Jiu, he is not a good person.”

Lin Rufei smiled bitterly, “I know.”

Lin Bianyu pursed his lips. When he noticed Lin Rufei’s difficult expression, he also stopped asking. He also didn’t know why, but when he said that Wu Ao wasn’t a good person, Lin Rufei’s face surfaced with some shame. It was almost as if Wu Ao was actually taught by him. But by the time Lin Bianyu went outside, he(WA) had already disappeared, leaving behind only a bloodstain and Mo Changshan, who was standing there in silence.

When he saw Mo Changshan, he was still a little defensive, but when he noticed that Mo Changshan had no intention of drawing his sword, he walked up to him and asked, “You are Mo Changshan, right? Why are you here? What did that man do to you?”

Mo Changshan simply looked at Lin Bianyu and did not answer.

Lin Bianyu questioned, “Are you okay?” He tentatively reached out and patted Mo Changshan on the shoulder, however, Mo Changshan still did not respond. And if he had not blinked occasionally, probably no one would have taken him for a living person. Lin Bianyu knew in his heart that Mo Changshan’s appearance was definitely related to the man called Wu Ao. He could have chased after the blood trail, but in the end, he couldn’t let Lin Rufei be alone inside, so he simply found a place and began to sit down and wait.

Lin Rufei slowly dried his tears and took a deep breath. If he did not have the memory of the Heavenly Ruler, he probably would be helpless in the face of a crisis as he stared at Gu Xuandu lying in front of him. Luckily, in the Heavenly Ruler’s memory, there was also a method of unravelling, but this unravelling method also came with after-effects.

Lin Rufei now had very little sword intent left in his body and he didn’t know if he could successfully set up a spell formation to protect Gu Xuandu’s soul.

While thinking, he cut a slit on his hand, lowered his head, and began to use blood to set up the formation. A normal formation could be done with cinnabar, but this one was too powerful and could only be triggered by blood.

However, Lin Rufei was busy thinking about other things and did not feel the wound on his hand. His body did feel a little cold though and he did not know that his already bloodless face had become pale white.

This formation was somewhat complicated, but Lin Rufei did not dare to stop, because once Gu Xuandu entered the stone coffin, his soul would leave the body. If it was not retrieved early, he was afraid that it would dissipate very quickly. Lin Rufei lowered his head and filled every corner of the formation little by little and when the painting was completely finished, his hands were already covered with dense wounds.

“Cough cough cough.” Coughing lowly a few times, Lin Rufei braced himself for discomfort and struggled to finish the last stroke. Finally, he pulled out Gu Yu on the side of his waist with force and inserted it into the center of the formation. This was precisely the method that Gu Xuandu had used to recall him into the sword. He just didn’t know if it would work when used on Gu Xuandu’s body.

Lin Rufei was apprehensive, but still gritted his teeth and drove his sword intent to fill the entire formation. The formation began to emit a faint light and the light gradually gathered on top of Gu Yu. Soon, Gu Yu started humming, as if in response.

However, other than that, there was no other reaction. The few remaining sword intent in Lin Rufei’s body was about to be exhausted. His expectant gaze gradually dulled and a bitter smile of despair surfaced on his lips. But at that moment, an insignificant glowing flame slowly rose from the stone coffin, although insignificant, it still made Lin Rufei’s eyes bright. 

The small glowing flame slowly rose, attracted by the formation, and finally fell on top of Gu Yu’s sword scabbard. Just as the two touched, there was a crisp sound, and then the formation dulled. Lin Rufei also fell to the ground, as if he had lost all his strength and started coughing uncontrollably, like he wanted to cough out his lungs.

Lin Bianyu, who had been standing guard outside, arrived when he heard this familiar sound and noticed the wretched Lin Rufei. After noticing the wound on Lin Rufei’s hand, panic surfaced in his eyes: “Xiao Jiu——”

Lin Rufei’s shoulders trembled as he pointed to the sword blade. 

Lin Bianyu asked, “You want that sword?” He took a few steps and helped Lin Rufei pull out the sword blade, then carefully brought it to Lin Rufei’s hand, “Is this it?”

Lin Rufei reluctantly smiled. He took Gu Yu from Lin Bianyu’s hand, carefully put it into the scabbard, and hugged it tightly against his arms.

Mo Changshan, who had been waiting outside the door, also walked in, and when Lin Bianyu saw him, he showed a wary look. However, Mo Changshan did not even look at them, instead, he went to another person still lying on the ground. It was the Heavenly Ruler’s body. Mo Changshan bent down and seemed to want to pick up the Heavenly Ruler’s body, but who knew that just as his hand touched the skin of the Heavenly Ruler’s flesh, the skin dissipated in his hand like annihilated powder, turning into fine dust.

Mo Changshan did not seem to expect this at all and froze in place.

Lin Rufei smiled bitterly and with his last strength, he whispered: “A hundred years have passed since the formation was laid, once you take the Heavenly Ruler’s body out of the formation, naturally it will decay…..” 

Mo Changshan paused before saying arduously, “Why didn’t, you say so?”

Hearing this tone, it was somewhat like he was relaying Wu Ao’s words.

Lin Rufei sighed, “Before I recovered my memory, I also didn’t know. I just didn’t understand why Xuandu didn’t say anything either.”

Mo Changshan’s face remained expressionless, but his voice trembled a bit: “You’re right. Even if he did say something, I would not, have believed.”  

Mo Changshan turned around and left.

But Lin Rufei shouted at him: “Wait.”

Mo Changshan paused.

“Can you stop manipulating Mo Changshan?” Lin Rufei’s tone was a little bitter, “Wu Ao, I know you feel bad. What happened back then, it’s true that I was wrong for hiding it from you, but this Mo Changshan is innocent, he……was a great swordsman back then and shouldn’t be reduced to such a state.”

A long silence began and just when Lin Rufei thought Wu Ao would not agree, Mo Changshan answered in a low voice: “Okay.”

Then he walked out and never looked back again.

Lin Rufei had lost too much blood and was holding on to his last breath. After sending Mo Changshan away, he fell directly into Lin Bianyu’s arms unconsciously. But even so, he still used his wounded hands to hold Gu Yu tightly, as if holding on to his own life.

Lin Bianyu did not understand what had happened from the start to the end, but after seeing the curtain finally fall over the matter, he exhaled a breath and carefully carried Lin Rufei back.

Lin Rufei also didn’t know how long he had been unconscious for but when he woke up once again, the outside world seemed to have undergone a deep change. Between his daze, it was just possible for him to see the outside through the window. The flowers and trees in the courtyard had withered and fallen out of their leaves, and so had the slender cherry blossom tree, standing alone in the corner, looking pitiful.

After Lin Rufei sat up from the bed with difficulty, his first action was to raise his eyes and look around. Soon, he found what he was looking for beside the bed.

Gu Yu was lying quietly by the side. Lin Rufei reached out and took it into his hand, gently fondling it for a moment, before a smile appeared on his lips.

The person outside seemed to have heard Lin Rufei’s movement and pushed the door open to see him awake. Immediately, they called out in surprise: “Young master!”

Lin Rufei looked up and said, “Fu Hua?”

Fu Hua said with surprise, “Young master, you are finally awake!!!” She also looked a bit haggard, probably because she had been constantly worrying about Lin Rufei. 

“How long have I been sleeping?” Lin Rufei asked.

“It’s been a few dozens of days.” Speaking of this matter, Fu Hua couldn’t control her tears, “Physician Wan Yao said that you had lost too much blood and injured your core. With so much blood, no one knew how long it was going to take for you to replenish it.” 

Lin Rufei laughed: “Alright, alright, no more crying, I’m awake now, aren’t I?”

Fu Hua continued to bawl for a while before she calmed down and asked Lin Rufei if he wanted to eat something.

Only then did Lin Rufei realize he was hungry and asked to have a bowl of congee[1].

Fu Hua turned around and went out, bringing back light porridge and small side dishes over to Lin Rufei. She also said she had informed second young master and that after they heard the news, they were immediately making their way over. 

Lin Rufei smiled and nodded. He slowly got up and did a simple wash-up before drinking the congee. After lying in bed for dozens of days, his body had become somewhat nimble and the cuts on his right hand had all been carefully bandaged, so Lin Rufei took a spoon with his left hand and awkwardly scooped up the congee, and sent it into his mouth. The taste of the congee was very light, but it was just right.

Lin Bianyu and the others came over quickly, together with Lin Weirui and Lin Minzhi. As the three of them entered into the room, Lin Weirui was the first to rush over to Lin Rufei’s side, bawling and hugging him. Her tears were smeared all over her face as she cried out, ‘Xiao Jiu you scared sister to death, you bad boy with no conscience, how can you not discuss anything with us? If Lin Bianyu was just slightly late, wouldn’t we all have to witness your deathbed?’ 

Lin Rufei was breathless from Lin Weirui’s hug, but in the end, he was still weak and also did not dare to resist, simply allowing Lin Weirui to grumble about her complaints.

Lin Minzhi let Lin Weirui cry for a while before he reached out and pulled her away. Frowning, he said, “Okay, Xiao Jiu just woke up, don’t scare him.”

“I’m just worried.” Lin Weirui’s nose was red as she bit her lip, “The child has grown up and he has his own ideas now. Whatever is on his mind, he’s not willing to tell us anymore.”

Lin Rufei smiled bitterly: “Sister, I am already twenty-something years old……”

“Even if you’re twenty-something years old, you’re still my little brother!” Lin Weirui grunted, “Look at you, your hand was so badly injured and you were the one that actually did it yourself! You, ah!”

Lin Rufei was at a disadvantage, so he lowered his head and kept quiet. 

Lin Bianyu sighed and asked Lin Weirui to stop talking. He then sat down next to Lin Rufei and asked him in a warm voice if he was still uncomfortable.

Lin Rufei shook his head and said he was not uncomfortable, just felt a little weak.

“Too much blood loss and you’ve injured your vitality.” Lin Bianyu sighed, “Wan Yao said you can only slowly recuperate.”

Lin Rufei said, “Understandable.”

Lin Bianyu wanted to say something but then stopped himself. Most likely he had wanted to ask Lin Rufei about that day. However, Lin Rufei was in a difficult position; he didn’t know how to explain to them. It wasn’t like he could say that he had the Heavenly Ruler’s memory, right? And that he also saw his own disciples fighting among themselves. 

Lin Rufei could only pretend to be invisible under his gaze. Lin Bianyu probably understood Lin Rufei’s mood, so in the end, he did not ask about the matter at all.

The three of them talked to Lin Rufei for a while and when they noticed that he was a bit tired again, they decided to let him rest and got up to leave.

Lin Rufei drank the porridge and headed back to sleep for a while. After sleeping, he got up from the bed and carried Gu Yu to the courtyard to take a look at the poor cherry blossom tree.

The cherry blossom tree was still standing there and it finally didn’t look out of place amidst the surrounding flowers and plants. Lin Rufei touched its branches and touched its only few remaining withered leaves before finally turning his gaze to Gu Yu resting in his arms.

There wasn’t much change to Gu Yu. Lin Rufei stared at it and then revealed a slight smile. He slowly drew his sword and the blade came out of the sheath with a humming sound. The snow-white blade projected a dappled light on the ground as Lin Rufei gently stroked the blade with his finger and slowly asked, “Are you there?”

No one answered.

“Xuandu?” Lin Rufei called out again.

There was still no response.

Lin Rufei frowned slightly and after thinking for a moment, he sighed and whispered, “Senior?”

The sword buzzed and actually responded to Lin Rufei’s call. Lin Rufei bit his lower lip in shame and chided in a low voice, “You’re still messing with me even at this time?”

Gu Yu didn’t listen.

Lin Rufei lifted his hand and gently touched Gu Yu to the cherry blossom tree. Very soon, a flickering glow emerged from above Gu Yu, heading towards the cherry blossom tree. When Lin Rufei saw this scene, he let out a heavy sigh of relief and murmured: “Fortunately I was able to bring you back, otherwise if Wu Ao had burned it all in a breath……..we would have been in big trouble.”

(t/n: He is referring to the cherry blossom tree because WA burned the whole grove at the foot of the mountain) 

The glowing fire fell onto the tiny cherry blossom tree and transformed into a budding flower bud. On its bare branches, it looked immensely abrupt. 

Lin Rufei touched the bud with his fingertips, and the bud trembled lightly, as if in response.

Lin Rufei looked at the flower bud’s soft and sweet look and couldn’t resist bending over and giving it a light kiss. The bud wasn’t cold, but actually slightly warm, just like the time Gu Xuandu had held Lin Rufei’s hand.

“Take your time, there’s no rush.” Lin Rufei said, “We still have a lot of time, we can wait slowly.” As he said this, he stroked the tree trunk again with a gentle smile in his tone, “Gu Xuandu, is it still satisfactory for you to hear when I called you ‘senior’ again?” 

When the Heavenly Ruler was Gu Xuandu’s master, naturally it was impossible to call Gu Xuandu ‘senior.’ Logically speaking, the sword spirits were also older than Gu Xuandu so they were called by their names. But in the end, when it came to Lin Rufei, Gu Xuandu ended up taking a big advantage from him. No wonder when he first called Gu Xuandu ‘senior,’ Gu Xuandu had a strange expression on his face. Now that he thought about it, he was probably being secretly delighted. 

But now Gu Xuandu’s soul was just a flower bud, Lin Rufei couldn’t do anything about it and could only spoil him. After pondering for a moment, he simply went back into the room and moved a bench over before sitting under the cherry blossom tree and dozing off.

The sun was out today amidst the clear and refreshing Autumn weather. Since it wasn’t too cold, Lin Rufei fell asleep in a daze. However, in this haze, he seemed to have felt a soft touch on his forehead but when he woke up again, he didn’t see anything, only a thick cloak on his body. Most likely Fu Hua and Yu Rui were afraid that he would catch a cold so they carefully layered it over him. 

It was getting a little dark, so Fu Hua called him to come in for a meal.

Lin Rufei stood up from the bench. He yawned, stretched lazily, and looked towards the cherry blossom bud, bidding it with a smile, “See you tomorrow.”

A breeze blew by and the cherry blossom tree swayed its branches, as if responding to Lin Rufei’s farewell……See you tomorrow.

Tomorrow was probably going to be a good day, Lin Rufei thought. When that time comes, he would take another nap by his beloved cherry blossom’s side. 

(t/n: Dun dun dunnnnnnnnnnn, cliffhanger??? ( ̄y▽, ̄)╭ )

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[1] Congee 

Chapter 90: Another Spring

Wu Ao was lying on the ground with his last breath. His abdomen had been pierced by Tian Xiao and it now had a gaping wound. The wound wasn’t large in general, but it was very deep and blood was constantly bubbling out of it. But Wu Ao didn’t have the slightest intention to stop the blood flow. He simply stared with widened eyes as he quietly gazed at the sky overhead. 

The sky had already darkened and the nightly wind whistled. Because of losing too much blood, he began to feel somewhat cold. The black snake that had been coiled in his hand seemed to have sensed his master’s gradually declining breath and became agitated, wandering in Wu Ao’s hand. Wu Ao was unaware and just silently stroked its smooth body. His eyes were slightly half-lidded, showing a tired look.

Everything that had happened was completely different from what he had expected. The Heavenly Ruler had been voluntary from the beginning to the end, whether it was becoming Gu Xuandu’s lover or being attached to Da Han. His thoughts, were only his wishful thinking. Even if Lin Rufei, who had recovered his memories, didn’t mention anything at all, he could still taste the hint of disappointment in those eyes.

He was disappointed in him, disappointed in everything he had done, but he also would not speak out to chastise and at most just sadly gazed at him.

Wu Ao covered his eyes with his arm, sobbing sadly. He would probably die here alone, just as he had been born here alone.

His parents had passed away so early that he couldn’t even remember what they had looked like and his world was chaotic until he was adopted by the Heavenly Ruler. The appearance of the Heavenly Ruler ripped open the curtain of chaos and brought him a warm light, and he thought he was going to be in the world of light forever until he was one day left behind.

Consciousness gradually blurred, Wu Ao curled his body and closed his eyes, yet in the haze, he felt himself fall into an embrace, which gave him the illusion of returning to his mother’s body. Wu Ao closed his eyes and fell into a deep slumber.

A long time later, Wu Ao woke up from the dream again. He opened his eyes blankly and the first thing he saw was a burning campfire with a silent figure, who had their back turned towards, him sitting next to the campfire. Wu Ao reflexively wanted to get up, but agitated his abdominal wound and let out a slight cry of pain. He lowered his head to look carefully, and incredibly, he found that his wound had actually been treated. Although the technique was very rough, at least it had stopped the bleeding.

“Who……who saved me?” Wu Ao asked, bewildered.

No one answered. Mo Changshan sat by the fire, his black eyes were still dull, much less responding to his question.

However, there were only the two of them here. The person who saved him, naturally, there was only one answer. Only, Wu Ao revealed a look of disbelief. He stared at Mo Changshan, like he was staring at a monster. Although he could revive Mo Changshan, he did not call upon Mo Changshan’s soul, so logically speaking, Mo Changshan should only be a puppet acting on instinct but how could a puppet save him?

Wu Ao thought with such doubts.

Mo Changshan remained silent. The two of them faced each other and the atmosphere was stilled, only the fire in front of them would incessantly emit a crackling sound.

“Are you the one who saved me?” Wu Ao smiled bitterly.

Mo Changshan did not speak.

“What’s the point of saving me?” Wu Ao muttered, “He doesn’t want me anymore.”

Mo Changshan still looked at Wu Ao quietly, unmoving.

Wu Ao was silent for a moment and suddenly spoke, “Do you want to go to the Xiliang Mountains to see?”

There was still no response.

Wu Ao was a little disappointed, sighed slightly, and whispered, “Your dog, named Zhaocai, is buried in the Xiliang Mountains.”

He thought Mo Changshan would still remain quiet, but who knew that in the next moment, he heard a small but extraordinarily resolute voice: “Okay.”

Wu Ao looked up in astonishment: “You can think now?”

Mo Changshan, however, was still the same as when he had first seen him. His eyes were lightless and he was unable to see a trace of spirit. It was as if the word “okay” just now, did not come out of his mouth at all.

Wu Ao smiled and the smile was a little bitter. But in the end, he was smiling, “Let’s go, I’ll take you……to see.”

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The Autumn wind was somewhat similar to the Spring breeze. It was just different from the warmth of Spring, carrying a hint of coolness inside.

September to October, it was once again the season to eat crabs. The crabs were transported from the great lake a hundred miles away and although the taste was very good, it was still cold so Lin Rufei was not able to eat more than necessary.

Although he now had the memory of the Heavenly Ruler, Lin Rufei’s life did not change much. He was still drinking medicine every day to recuperate from injuries, unusually leisurely.

Sure enough, that slender cherry blossom tree was really becoming different. Gu Xuandu’s soul was now inhabiting it and not only did it not have the intention to dissipate, but it was also actually being nourished. Lin Rufei’s brain came up with various ways to help him resurrect but the premise was that he needed to find a suitable body first. The body needed to be made of special materials, otherwise, he was afraid it wouldn’t be able to sustain Gu Xuandu.

Just as Lin Rufei was still worried about where to find the material, one day, when he was washing, he suddenly looked up and saw himself in the mirror.

This mirror was the one gifted to him by Lin Weirui and it was much clearer than the ordinary copper mirror. His reflection in it was in perfect detail and as soon as Lin Rufei raised his head, he noticed something unusual in his eye. It was a pink cherry blossom swirling in his eye. Lin Rufei was stunned at first and then overjoyed. He raised his hand and covered his eye——he knew what to use for Gu Xuandu’s body.

Gu Xuandu was still on the branch at this time. As late Autumn arrived, everything withered and the little flower bud that stood alone on the branch stood out at this time.

Even Fu Hua and Yu Rui felt that it was quite a strange phenomenon, saying, ‘this cherry blossom doesn’t bloom in Spring but actually in Autumn? Is it actually a plum blossom?’

Lin Rufei joked that it must have felt that it didn’t bloom enough in Spring, which was why it was also making up for it in Autumn. 

Fu Hua and Yu Rui still felt strange, but they didn’t think too much of it. However, Lin Bianyu noticed something right away and asked Lin Rufei with a frown if the bud had anything to do with Lin Rufei.

Lin Rufei frankly admitted and told Lin Bianyu some things. Of course, he still omitted the details of the Heavenly Ruler and the formation. He simply said that he had met a powerful senior and that the senior gave him the sword and taught him sword techniques. However, later on, that senior encountered some things and his soul was now recuperating on the cherry blossom tree.

Lin Bianyu frowned as soon as he heard that and asked, “So, at that time, he tripped me over on purpose?”

Lin Rufei froze for a moment before he finally understood what Lin Bianyu was talking about. He couldn’t help but burst into laughter and tears, “Brother……stop bickering with him.” 

Lin Bianyu coldly snorted and narrowed his eyes: “I naturally won’t bicker with him.”

Lin Rufei: “……” How come this tone of yours sounds so unreliable, ah? 

Seeing Lin Bianyu’s hateful look, he apparently had a lot of remarks about this senior. In the end, he could only kindly and patiently persuade for a long time before finally helping Lin Bianyu calm down the fire inside him. However, Lin Bianyu still had a deep prejudice against this “so-called” senior of his and believe that he had cheated his young brother, who was not experienced in the world.

This year’s cold weather came fast and the first snow fell in the middle of November.

Lin Rufei was still sleeping when he was awakened by the sound of rustling snow. The first thing he did when he woke up was to put on his cloak and head out to see the cherry blossom tree in his yard.

A thin layer of snow had already accumulated on the bud. Lin Rufei gently swept the snow off with his fingers and called for Fu Hua and Yu Rui to fetch some bamboo and wood to build a snow barrier for the cherry blossom tree.

While Fu Hua was building, she urged Lin Rufei to go inside to change into thicker clothing. However, Lin Rufei simply stood still and said he was not cold.

“And you say it’s not cold? Look, the tip of your nose is already frozen red.” Fu Hua chided, “Young master, go quickly, don’t go and get sick again.”

In the end, Lin Rufei didn’t have any choice and could only head back inside. When he came out again, the bamboo frame was already set up. 

Lin Rufei gently swept the snow off the cherry blossom tree. Fu Hua was afraid of Lin Rufei catching a cold and had originally wanted to do it herself, however, she was stopped by Lin Rufei.

“I’ll do it.” Lin Rufei smiled. His fingertips gently glided over the trunk of the tree and seeing the soft bud tremble slightly with his movements, as if shouting at him that it was an itchy feeling, Lin Rufei said, “When I wait until Spring, will you bloom?”

The cherry blossom naturally could not answer.

“If you decide to bloom, you should blossom a few more buds.” Lin Rufei sighed, “Don’t be as wretched as last Spring.”

The Winter on Kunlun was long and silent. It was actually warmer at the bottom of the mountains, but Lin Rufei did not want to go down there. After returning to Kunlun, he also visited the town again but each time he would pass by that scorched cherry blossom forest. After Winter, the snow fell onto the cherry blossom grove and the white snow and the scorched black ground formed a stark contrast. Lin Rufei stood in place for a while, then turned around and went back, and never went back down the mountain after that.

Fu Hua probably knew what was on Lin Rufei’s mind and did not dare to persuade. However, she was still afraid that Lin Rufei would catch a cold, so she burned a lot of charcoal fire and she even burned out all the earthworms in the room. 

The room was warm enough for him to wear a single coat, but Lin Rufei’s body was weak and the charcoal fire was too dry, as more continued to burn, the more he would cough.

In addition, Lin Rufei liked to head outside all day, so Fu Hua and Yu Rui had to boil a few more warmers for Lin Rufei to carry close to him.

In December, heavy snowfall arrived, covering the entire world.

Lin Rufei, holding an umbrella and holding a warmer in his arms, was standing in the courtyard talking to the cherry blossom tree. He said that today, Shen Wucui had come over to propose marriage. Lin Weirui was so happy that she even ate a few more bowls of rice. Shen Wucui also asked about the betrothal gift, but Lin Weirui, this child, simply gave him an elbow and wrapped her arms around Shen Wucui’s shoulder. She said that since they were in such a good relationship, what was the point of a betrothal gift? He just had to give her a kiss and she would marry him right away. 

As a result, the thin-skinned Shen Wucui was bashful and beet red in the face. Finally, Lin Minzhi couldn’t stand it anymore, he reached out and dragged Lin Weirui back. Gritting his teeth, he asked why she couldn’t be more reserved as a girl. Lin Weirui was full of innocence and simply replied that she had been very reserved. And that if she hadn’t been reserved, probably at this time she would have excitedly headed over to the Shen family to propose…….She had wanted to say something else until she noticed Lin Minzhi’s unkind eyes, then she hurriedly shut her mouth and made an innocent stance. She knew that if she opened her mouth again, she was afraid to be whipped again.

The cherry blossom tree stood quietly in the courtyard and did not answer. Lin Rufei’s voice was soft and the atmosphere was also harmonious.

In the blink of an eye, it was already New Year’s Eve. Wan Yao came to check on Lin Rufei’s body to make sure that he had almost recovered from his previous injuries. However, there were still a lot of hideous wounds left on his hands which looked a bit out of place.

Lin Rufei could care less about such matters. Which swordsmen didn’t have wounds on their bodies?

New Year’s Eve was a big festival and the usually calm Kunlun also followed the liveliness. Too many things had happened this year and it was time to have a good year to celebrate.

Since Lin Bianyu had given the word, the whole Kunlun was naturally eager to respond. Big red lanterns and window flowers[1] were hung on every eave and corner of the houses. Lin Weirui had gotten her hands on a large pile of firecrackers and fireworks from somewhere, saying that she wanted to have a good time on the night of the New Year.

Lin Minzhi didn’t persuade this time, when he noticed that Lin Weirui was looking a little lonesome, he said that once Lin Weirui really married into the Shen family, this nature of hers must be changed……

Lin Weirui hummed but she did not answer. 

“Change, why change?” Lin Bianyu commented indifferently, “With the backing of the Kunlun Sect, are we still afraid that someone will dare to bully Weirui?”

Lin Minzhi sighed, “I’m not afraid of someone bullying Weirui, I’m afraid of Weirui bullying someone else. It’s not like you don’t know Shen Wucui’s nature. Since he had met Weirui, I don’t know if it is considered his good luck or his calamity.” He and Lin Bianyu did not know that Lin Weirui and Shen Wucui were now connected in life and naturally had some sympathy for the old-fashioned Shen family’s son. After all, he had met such a difficult girl as Weirui, who was difficult to meet even in a hundred years.

Lin Weirui giggled then wiggled her eyebrows at Lin Minzhi. She then grabbed Lin Rufei, who was watching the show, and said, “Come on, Xiao Jiu, let’s not talk to these two old people, let’s go out and set off fireworks.

Lin Rufei smiled and nodded his head. 

On the day of New Year’s Eve, the snow had stopped, but Heaven and Earth were still white. Lin Rufei, draped in a cloak, stood in the snow and looked up at the flowers. Lin Weirui was laughing and joking with the maids, talking about which fireworks were the most beautiful.

But halfway through, Lin Rufei felt something in his heart and glanced in a certain direction, however, he saw no one. He thought he was being paranoid and then smiled to himself, thinking that with that person’s nature, he probably won’t be coming back. But he didn’t know that someone was cowering in the corner, covering his pounding heart, murmuring: “Fortunately, I was not seen.”

Standing beside him, the man in black was still expressionless, but since the two had been together for a long time, he saw what was in the mind of the man in black and muttered annoyedly: “I’m not afraid either, just……just……” His eyes dropped halfway as he murmured, “Afraid that he will blame me.”

“Will he?” The man in black asked.

“He won’t.” He laughed bitterly, “He is so good-natured, how could he possibly blame me?”

The fireworks exploded one after another in the sky. Lin Rufei looked at the fireworks, but suddenly remembered something and smiled, “Sister, leave some for me. I want to release them when I head back to the courtyard.” 

Lin Weirui stated, “Why do you want to release them when you go back?” She asked suspiciously, “Xiao Jiu, do you now have a golden house for a beloved[2] in your courtyard? You didn’t use to be like this.”

Lin Rufei now liked to stay in the courtyard and nowadays, he hardly ever comes out. Several times when she went to look for him, she would see him standing in front of the cherry blossom tree, either weeding, watering, or staring at that flower bud with a light smile. The cherry blossom tree was also strange to the extreme. Other cherry blossom trees bloomed in the Spring, but this one grew a bud during the Winter, and it didn’t even blossom as it simply hung alone on the top of the tree. If not for Lin Rufei telling her not to touch it, she may have long been itching to pick that thing off.

Listening to Lin Weirui, Lin Rufei did not refute and smiled wryly: “Yes, in the house, there is a beautiful beauty hidden.”

“Where, where?” Lin Weirui asked, “How come I didn’t see it?”

Lin Rufei stated seriously: “Only a smart person can see it. Second brother, you saw it, right?”

“I saw it.” Lin Bianyu said sorrowfully. He naturally knew what Lin Rufei was talking about.

Lin Weirui glared, saying that they must be hiding something from her. 

Lin Rufei waved his hand and said that he was sleepy, so he would go back first. Then he turned around and slipped away, leaving Lin Weirui shouting at him from behind.

Taking the fireworks to the courtyard, Lin Rufei walked towards the cherry blossom tree. He first greeted and said that today was the New Year. It was very lively outside and he had bought some fireworks back, especially to show him. Thus, he lit a firecracker, watching as it gave off a warm and soft orange light in the courtyard. 

Lin Rufei’s cheeks were also illuminated by the light, “I’ve missed you.”

A grain of snow fell from the sky and fell upon Lin Rufei’s eyelashes. The feeling was a little icy and he frowned slightly, his tone brought along some helpless sigh: “Those hundreds of years, how did you make it thus far?”

Amidst that hundred miles of cherry blossom forest, he had no one to talk to. Gu Xuandu could only wait for that unknown future that he had never seen before. That day, when Da Han shattered and was about to dissipate, Gu Xuandu could have ascended to Heaven, but he still liberated his own body just to preserve his soul. He was then successfully reincarnated as the youngest son of the Kunlun Sect and Gu Xuandu finally ended that long wait when he saw the vision of Lin Rufei’s birth.

The fireworks dissipated and the courtyard was quiet once again. Lin Rufei walked up to the flower bud and reached out to brush upon it. The bud was soft and Lin Rufei watched it tremble slightly at his fingertips as he whispered softly, “Come back soon.”

The breeze blew by and the branches quivered lightly, as if nodding their heads to his words.

Once Winter was over, it would be Spring again.

But this Winter seemed to be much longer than usual and only until March, did the snow gradually start melting.

Everything was reviving, the grass and trees all started to sprout new shoots, and in just one night, many lovely greens sprouted on that tree branch. Lin Rufei raised his hand to touch it, quite like seeing his favorite child grow little teeth, and said with a smile, “Finally, you sprouted.”

The cherry blossom tree naturally could not speak.

The other grasses and trees in the courtyard also began to turn green quickly. After just a few days’ work, the snow-covered Earth returned to an earthy black, and in a few days, the black was layered with a blanket of rich green.

Lin Rufei sat in the courtyard playing chess with Lin Bianyu, who asked, “It’s a nice day today, why don’t Xiao Jiu and I go down to the mountains for a stroll?”

Lin Rufei was a little hesitant.

“The pagoda tree flowers in town are also in bloom.” Lin Bianyu said, “It would be good to pick some and wrap them in dumplings.”

When Lin Rufei saw Lin Bianyu’s strong persuasion, he had to agree. In the end, Fu Hua brought her horse and found a thick cloak for Lin Rufei.

Lin Rufei rode on the horse and as he headed outside and he also noticed that the mountain gate was very busy.

As he continued the road down the mountains, he would very soon pass that cherry blossom forest. Lin Rufei originally thought that he would see the melancholy of scorched earth, but who knew that when he arrived at the scene, the scorched earth was gone and in its place, there was now a dense forest. But this forest was still a little bit on the shorter side and it seemed to be just planted saplings. Interspersed with some already blooming cherry blossom trees, it looked a little out of place compared with the surrounding area. 

Lin Rufei showed his surprise and asked Lin Bianyu what this was all about.

Lin Bianyu said, “Knowing that Xiao Jiu likes cherry blossom trees, I sent people to clean out the burnt cherry blossoms and planted new seedlings. Supplemented by a big formation to help them grow, in a few days, these cherry blossom trees should be able to grow, although it will take some years to bloom, but I think it won’t take too long.”

Lin Rufei asked, “What about those cherry blossom trees?”

Lin Bianyu smiled and said, “I don’t know, but when I came down here to deal with the scorched Earth, I found that there were suddenly more cherry blossom trees……and they were all in bloom, so although it was strange, I just left them alone.”

Lin Rufei blinked. He seemed to have realized something and nodded, revealing a smile.

The town was as lively as usual and the pagoda trees, like last year, produced plenty of dense buds. Lin Bianyu climbed up the tree, picking the pagoda flowers by the handful, while Lin Rufei stood at the bottom with a cloth pocket, waiting to catch them. The two brothers were very down-to-earth as they attracted people who could not help but cast a gaze. 

Fortunately, Lin Rufei didn’t care about such things. When the bag was full, the two headed back home.

Lin Rufei also discussed with Lin Bianyu about the food they were going to have for lunch today, saying that since they were going to eat dumplings in the evening, they should just eat something random for lunch. Lin Weirui would be getting married soon and Shen Wucui said that he would come over in late June to give the betrothal gift, when that time comes, Kunlun could definitely make a big deal of it.

When it came to Lin Weirui’s marriage, Lin Rufei was heartbroken and comforted at the same time. But in the end, for Lin Weirui, it was a good thing. As the two of them chatted away, they showed a heartfelt smile, saying that when a girl grows up, they couldn’t keep her in the house anymore, ah…..

When they arrived back at the courtyard, Lin Bianyu took the pagoda flowers and sent Fu Hua and Yu Rui to deal with them. Lin Rufei came into the courtyard as usual and was about to look at the bud, but then he suddenly noticed that the branches were empty and nothing was left.

Lin Rufei looked dumbfounded at this scene for a long time before he started searching in panic. However, after looking around all over the grass, he saw no signs of the bud and Lin Rufei immediately grew anxious. He hurriedly called out, “Fu Hua, Fu Hua!

“Young master, what’s wrong?” Fu Hua was startled by Lin Rufei panic calls.

Lin Rufei asked, “Has anyone come into the courtyard?”

Fu Hua responded, “No, no one has come in. Young Master, what’s wrong?”

Lin Rufei hurried eagerly, “Where is the flower bud? Where is the bud on the cherry blossom tree?”

Fu Hua froze, seemingly not expecting Lin Rufei to become so anxious because of this matter, “Oh, young master. The flower bud you’re talking about was blown down just now by a gust of wind. I saw it fall on the ground, so I picked it up and placed it on the table in your room.” Everyone knew that the cherry blossom tree was their young master’s treasure, naturally, the flower bud was as well. Although she didn’t know why the bud suddenly fell, she knew that her young master would certainly be heartbroken, so when Fu Hua noticed it, she picked it up and placed it in Lin Rufei’s room. 

When Lin Rufei heard these words, he let out a long breath of relief before hurriedly running into his room. Indeed, he really saw the flower bud intact on the table, only, because it had fallen onto the ground, the flower bud was now covered in some dirt. Lin Rufei carefully took it in his hand and gently swept away the floating dust on it: “Why so fast?”

The bud stayed in Lin Rufei’s hand, like an embryo about to spit out its pistil.

Lin Rufei took a look at the Spring colors outside and lost his smile: “So it seems, it’s also already Spring……so it should be time.” He opened his eyes and his fingertips lightly brushed against them. He suddenly noticed that there were tears falling and in those tears, a tinge of pink was mixed in. Lin Rufei opened his eyes again and a single cherry blossom petal slowly fell from his eyes, like a feather, quietly landing on top of the bud.

When the flower bud and the cherry blossom petal touched, there was actually a slight tremor and the petals began to slowly bloom. Just like that, it revealed the white pistil, and in the center of the pistil, lay a naked little man. The little man also seemed to have noticed Lin Rufei’s gaze and in a sense of haziness, he also opened his eyes, rubbing them, emitting tiny little cries.

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[1] An examples of window flowers: (they come in various designs) 
[2] Golden house hiding a beloved: basically like hiding/keeping a lover. 
Cayce hanya seorang mahasiswa yang kebetulan menyukai cerita silat, kesukaan cayce dengan cerita silat dimulai pada saat saya SMP. Banyak kesan tersendiri buat cayce mengenai cerita silat itu sendiri…

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