Edited by renderedreversed
“Dida” was the sound of the water in the stone cave.
“Where is this…” I kept sobbing while sitting on a rock. Zihui squatted in front of me and gave me a towel.
“You can say that it’s my home. A Xiang, don’t cry anymore.”
I took the towel and wiped my face, choking while I said: “Although I’m stupid, I still remember that father and mother were very good to me. Shifu, Shifu was obviously also very good to me…but why did he kill my parents? Why did he lie to me?”
Zihui was silent for a moment before he said: “A Xiang, you can’t return to Shengling Sect anymore. What are you going to do next?”
“I…haven’t thought about it yet.” I shook my head: “I hit Shifu. Shifu wouldn’t want me anymore. I also don’t want to go back to Shengling Sect. Home…I also can’t go back home. I…don’t know.”
Zihui grabbed my hand and quietly looked at me. In the darkness of his eyes, I saw a hint of purple fly across.
“From now on, a Xiang, let’s live together, alright?”
He stretched out his hand and touched my face. I, for some inexplicable reason, felt that this wasn’t right. I wanted to hide, but his hand left as quickly as it had come.
“You can be my wife. I’ll treat you better than your Shifu. I won’t lie to you and I won’t abandon you.”
I looked at him for a moment: “But, Shifu still hasn’t agreed…”
Zihui was stunned for a moment and then said with a laugh: “Shifu? Silly girl, he slaughtered your whole family. You really still see him as your Shifu?”
The tears fell again: “I can’t see him as Shifu anymore?”
After all, Shifu was really good to me.
“Right, you can no longer have the bond of disciple and master after this blood feud.”
Zihui held my hand tightly. Like an irresistible temptation, he said: “I’ll marry you and take care of you in the place of your Shifu. Are you willing?”
I looked at how my tears fell onto his hand. Then, I nodded. Zihui laughed, stood up, and touched my head.
“A Xiang, this is nice. In my family, there’s a tradition that whoever marries into my family will need to drink a bowl of this medicine. It makes the body more fit to live with me. A Xiang, do you want to drink it?”
I nodded mechanically. Zihui left my sight. Soon he came back holding a bowl of red medicine. I didn’t have any suspicion and swallowed it. A fishy, sweet and warm feeling, like drinking a mouthful of blood, enveloped me. My chest felt stuffy.
Zihui patted my head with a face full of happiness. He pointed at the stone bed and said: “These two days must have tired you out. Go take a rest.”
In fact, I didn’t want to sleep. But, I didn’t know why that after listening to his words, my feet moved on their own toward the bed and I obediently laid myself down. I closed my eyes. My world turned dark. My brain was filled of Shengling Sect and Fengxueshan Manor and, and Shifu’s face: one moment laughing and in the next, angry…
I thought that I would never see that kind of Shifu anymore. After becoming Zihui’s bride, I would settle down in this stone cave.
I didn’t want to step out of this cave. I always thought that there were monsters outside who wanted to eat me. I became truly lazy. Here, no one let me do the laundry or make the bed. Nobody liked to let me fan him and turn the page of his books.
Zihui was often absent. I sat all day long on the stone bed and didn’t know what time or day it was. I lived with nature, but I didn’t think that these days were relaxed. They were like a block of stone, pressing down on my heart and making it hard to breathe.
Today, Zihui came back. I was complaining about the bad air in this cave, air that made a person’s heart feel stuffy. Zihui smiled distractedly and said: “Excuse me, I lack a heart. I don’t know what a stuffy heart feels like.”
I didn’t understand.
“But everyone has one ah. It’s here.”
I pointed at my heart. This is also one of those things Shifu taught me. Thinking about it made me feel melancholic.
“En, I know,” Zihui was still smiling. He seems like in trance. “I’ve also had one, but I didn’t cherish it and gave it to someone else.”
“Can you give a heart to others?”
“Ordinary people can’t, but it’s possible for demons and gods.”
Zihui’s lips straightened. It was a sensual sight with some coldness.
“The heart can be made into an excellent elixir.”
I was shocked: “Someone else made an elixir with your heart?”
Zihui was silent for a while before he coldly laughed: “No; I pulled it out myself, made an elixir out of it, and gave it to someone else.”
He said it so lightly. I curiously approached him and poked is chest.
“In here it’s empty? Does it hurt? Does it feel cold?”
After waiting for a long time, and still Zihui didn’t answer, I lifted my head to look at him. He was staring at me. Only after waiting a really long time this time did he touch my head and say with a wry smile: “Silly girl.”
Suddenly, Zihui rolled his eyes. His smile changed. It was like that day before. He took me to the bed and sat down, then he patted my head lightly with his hand and said: “Rest.”
He only said this one word, but that one word turned my vision black and I lost all five of my senses.
I didn’t know how much time had passed, but strangely enough, my eyes could somehow see again. I was still in this cave. I was still sitting on the stone bed, and Zihui was standing next to me. There was one more man in front. Seeing him, I shivered. Intuitively, I wanted to run to him…but for some reason, I couldn’t move even the slightest bit if I wanted to. I was afraid and wanted to speak, but even my lips wouldn’t open. My body was like a corpse.
“I waited a long time for Celestial Star Chu Kong.”
“What have you done to her.” Shifu stared at me, frowning.
“Celestial star, don’t worry. I temporarily closed her five senses. She’s fine; she just can’t feel the outside world.”
Shifu’s eyes turned away from me and he coldly said: “You used so many efforts to seduce my stupid disciple. In the end, what do you want?”
“The heart of a demigod.”
I was startled. Zihui, he…he wanted Shifu’s heart!
“Oh, the little demon’s ambition is not small.”
Shifu’s gaze faintly swept over me.
“Why are you so sure that I’ll give it to you?”
“I’m not sure; I was just playing with luck. I guessed that coming to the human world is just another experience to the gods. To Celestial Star Chu Kong’s eyes, this lifetime is only a road to another beginning. Your body of this lifetime is only a temporary shell. Immortals are always cold toward life and death, but Celestial Star treat this silly girl like she was something very special. So, I made a bet. Since I only have one month left to live, I’m not afraid of offending you. Sure enough, even with how a Xiang treated you, you still helplessly chased after us.”
Shifu’s eyes squinted slightly. His hand tightened around his whip.
“Oh, do you really think that I value this stupid disciple? You desire to kill her, then kill her. You desire to eat her, then eat her. I’ve come because I want to destroy you, an outrageous stone demon. You dare to calculate against xiaoye! Even if I scattered your soul, it wouldn’t be enough to compensate me.”
I couldn’t explain why, but somehow, my mind was at peace. It didn’t last long before I was struck by an overwhelming chill. It felt as if a snake was wrapped around me. I was at loss, but then Zihui smiled: “My power isn’t a match for the magical powers of a celestial star. If Celestial Star wants to kill me, then kill me. I’m helpless. It’s just that I and a Xiang have already married. My blood flows in her blood. She and I are connected, possessing the same soul. Our life and death are bound to each other. If Celestial Star doesn’t care about this stupid disciple, then you can scatter both of our souls.”
“Married, soul connected… You…”
Shifu gritted his teeth. The hand holding the whip began to tremble.
I felt Zihui’s hand from behind. He grabbed my shoulder and sat down beside me. Then, he said: “Celestial Star, see, do you want to settle our grudges today, or do you want to see me and a Xiang’s soul cease to exist in a month? Never to be reincarnated again. Will that lessen the resentment of Celestial Star?”
Shifu turned silent. His eyes were quietly cold, the color dark as the night. Suddenly, he waved and fiercely smacked Zihui’s face. I felt an inexplicable pain; my face burned with it. My cheek became sticky with blood.
“This whip, Celestial Star didn’t use his full force. If Celestial Star doesn’t believe me, you can kill me and test it: see if we both die,” Zihui said laughingly.
“I’m a clean stone demon and can’t do sinister things. No matter if it’s becoming my wife or giving me a heart, it must be done willingly. If even the slightest force is used, the effectiveness will be gone and it’ll cause great harm. The heart of a demigod can help me get back the power I lost. I can change back to an immortal demon. A Xiang can also live on for a long time. To save or to kill is all in Celestial Star’s hand.”
I stared at Shifu. My heart was bursting in horror. Suddenly, Shifu smiled and my breath stifled. I heard him say: “Very well. This way, xiaoye will settle it with you.”
Shifu pulled out a knife like the one the cook used, a ten-inch-long knife. Then, he stabbed the knife into his own chest. Shifu’s complexion turned white. As if he didn’t feel any pain, he guided the knife down his chest. I could hear the sound of flesh tearing apart.
I was so scared that I nearly went mad. The hand on my shoulder stiffened slightly. It seemed like Zihui also didn’t expect this.
Shifu said with a carefree voice: “Stone demon, do you think that I, xiaoye fell into your trap?”
His wrist turned. His complexion whitened a little more, but his expression didn’t change. Perspiration dotted his forehead.
“It’s only because your luck is good and happened to encounter one of xiaoye’s weak days. If you let me run into you in the future… I’ll let you experience a life more painful than death.”
But future… What future?
My mind felt like an earthquake had just ran through it. I struggled to shout out loud, but I couldn’t move at all.
Shifu twisted the knife. His clothes were immediately soaked in blood. I could hear the beating of his heart in his chest, just like the times my nightmares had brought me to Shifu’s bed. He would say: “I’m here; no one will dare to bully you.”
At that time, I could hear his warm, calm voice while I was lying in his arms. It cut through all my uneasiness.
Shifu turned around and bent over a little. I heard a sound that couldn’t be smothered; red splatters of blood dripped onto the ground. Shifu tossed the red thing up and caught it in his hand, just like tossing a worthless stone.
“Here…well, this is xiaoye’s reward for you.”
The hand on my shoulder left. My eyes couldn’t move; I could only stare blankly at Shifu. Shifu was also staring at me. He was white as a sheet. Gently, he moved his lips: “You’re not allowed to tell her about today. You’re not allowed to tell her about me. This girl is extremely stupid. If you lie to her for a few times, she’ll forget.”
“For a silly girl, you would give up a life, and now you don’t want her to remember your good deed. Don’t you feel taken advantage of?”
“Humph…none of your business, just…”
Shifu grabbed his chest and coldly laughed: “If you don’t let her live a long and good life, I have many opportunities to make you suffer.”
After those words, he turned away. Leaning against the cave, straightening his spine…it was difficult, but his posture was relaxed as he walked away.
The cavern of my chest also seemed to have been emptied. I couldn’t think of anything. I only felt like I should stay at Shifu’s side. No matter what was done, no matter how deep our blood feud was, I should be by his side like before: turning the pages of his book, fanning him, making his bed, and doing laundry.
I didn’t know how long it had been since Shifu left. My head felt warm. Zihui was patting my head and said the word “free”. I felt loose, almost like someone had inflated my bones. My whole body felt soft, and trembling, it came back to life. I looked at the pool of blood on the floor. My nose felt sour, tears fell.
Zihui was a little surprised.
He nodded like he understood.
“You were with him for so long. You must’ve learn some tricks. No wonder you could break the seal.”
Zihui stretched his hand and pulled me up.
“Don’t be too persistent about this life. Your Shifu is not a normal person…”
I shoved him and grabbed his hand, biting down as hard as I could on it. I really wanted to crush his bones.
“Give Shifu his heart back! Give it back to him!”
I kept repeating those words. My mouth tasted Zihui’s blood and my own tears.
Zihui didn’t push me away. He only gently said: “He shouldn’t be able to go far. After a while, we can go together and bury him.”
His warm blood rolled down my throat. This lazy body of mine from these past days suddenly relaxed.
Shifu, Shifu…I can’t figure out Zihui. What demigod’s heart, what blood feud. I only knew that Shifu must be very sad now. He was alone with an empty chest. So much blood had been shed, and nobody was taking care of him.
I no longer cared about Zihui and stood up. I ran out of the cave.
Having not moved for many days, I felt a little dizzy. Only when I came out of the cave did I see that the area was actually a stone hill surrounded by cliffs. There only path was to the top of the hill. On the road going up was bright red blood. I followed the blood trail and called out: “Shifu, Shifu.”
Desolate wind was blowing. I turned around a corner and climbed on top of the hill. Shifu was lying there, his blood having dripped all over the floor. I felt my heart tighten, and it did not open again. My throat seemed to be blocked and I couldn’t make the slightest sound. I knelt in front of him and whimpered: “Shifu….”
I picked up his head. My fingertips felt how cold he was. He was so powerful, just like a hero who could conquer everything. Why was he so pale and frail now?
Shifu’s closed eyes suddenly moved and opened. In his eyes flashed a panic I didn’t understand. Then, he sighed and his lips moved: “Stupid…”
I busily kept saying: “All of this was because of me…because of me.”
“Stupid disciple, your snot’s dripping on my face… Dirty and ugly.”
Shifu’s hand rose halfway, but he didn’t have any energy left and put it down. I held his hand, buried my head against it, and cried. Shifu sighed: “Ten years ago, slaughtering Yang family was not my intention. But the lives of more than thirty people have indeed been buried by Shengling Sect’s hands. If you want to blame me, then blame me.”
“I don’t blame you.”
I shook my head.
“I don’t blame you. I’ll go back with Shifu to Fengxueshan Manor. I’ll also fan and turn the pages of your book for you. Also, I’ll massage your leg and back for you! I…I’ll never want a husband again. I only want Shifu. Let’s go back. Let’s go back together.”
Shifu looked relaxed as if he could see through the sky. His voice was weak and small: “I didn’t fall into the demon’s trap and I also didn’t lose to you…”
Shifu gritted his teeth hard.
“I just didn’t win against destiny.”
“Can’t win… Forget it. You saved me, I saved you. Previous lifetime…this lifetime, we…”
Shifu was really tired and he slowly closed his eyes.
“Let’s go back, let’s go back…”
Beside those words, I couldn’t say anything else. The wind whistled around us. Not only Shifu’s, but it seemed that my own heart had also been cut out. It felt really empty.
I didn’t know how long I sat there, holding Shifu. Suddenly I heard a loud call. It’s Zihui. He stood two steps away from me and whispered: “I’ll follow his wishes. In the future, I’ll take care of you in your Shifu’s stead. I’ll treat you the same as he treated you. Don’t be so sad anymore.”
I looked at him in trance. I touched Shifu’s empty chest. Confused, I thought: Shifu isn’t a good man, but he was good to me. In this world, no one can compare. There’s no one who can be my Shifu anymore. There’s no one to hold my hand and take me back to Fengxueshan Manor anymore. I can’t go back anymore…
I tightly held onto Shifu’s body and took few steps back. The mountain’s wind whistled in my ears. The sky was getting further away from me. Everything was so blurry; only Shifu’s cold body was still beside me. I would wait for him; I would always wait for him. I would wait until one day in the future, on a sunny afternoon, through the curls of smoky incense, I could hear him softly call to me again: “Xiao Xiang Zi, come here.”
I closed my eyes. The world was silent.
The soul collectors put a shackles on me. Step by step, I walked on the road to the Netherworld. With every step, more memories came back. Heaven, the Netherworld, Yue Lao Temple, the bridge, Soup of Oblivion…
Heheheh he he…
Chu Kong, you’ve really done it now! You’ve really done it now!
Can’t believe that I actually cried while translating.
This is the end of the second lifetime. From here on they know about their feelings and we won’t be having those frustrating moments anymore. After this lifetime, they’ll be animals in the third lifetime. The fourth lifetime is the lifetime where XXZ finally admits that she likes Chu Kong.
Actually, I don’t blame Zihui. He needed to choose between life or death. He knows that Chu Kong won’t really die, so he asked for Chu Kong’s heart. I probably would’ve done the same if I was him. It won’t hurt Chu Kong and it’ll save him.
For those who are wondering about the murdering of the Yang family; Chu Kong didn’t murder them. He wasn’t there. When he arrived, they’ve already been murdered by Shengling Sect.
The scene where Zihui was surprised because XXZ broke the seal. The seal that she broke is the seal that sealed her memories away not the seal that closed her five senses.
The scene about XXZ taking a few steps back, meant that she jumped off the cliff with Chu Kong’s body.