Saturday, 16 January 2016

Chapter 89 - Fortune telling


Xiao Huan frowned slightly but her pair of eyes slowly brightened, looking carefully at that piece of white paper with the three characters, Qin WuYan, written in neat and proper handwriting, the brush strokes were upright, smooth and round, the corners understated and smooth, considerably a beautiful piece of handwriting.

Xiao Huan blinked her eyes, suddenly smiled and said, “This customer, there is a ‘Yan’ in your name, it has double fire with the sun’s maximum power but with the suppression from the word ‘Wu’ in the middle, things have taken a new turn and instead became soft, feminine; in addition, ‘Qin’ word resides in the west, signifying that you will have great advantage towards the west cold and Yin (translator’s note: yin is the feminine and negative energy) place!”

She placed the paper gently on the table, looked at Qin WuYan and said, “The west death marsh is a place of dampness and yin energy, your luck will definitely not be bad in your journey there.”

A trace of smile surfaced on Qin WuYan’s face, the young yet pale face appeared to have some color returned to his face, he nodded and said, “Thank you Miss, here is ten taels, please keep it well.” After speaking, he took out ten taels and placed it on the table.

Xiao Huan looked at it but did not take it. Zhou YiXian beside her, stretched out his hand to take it and kept it in his bosom, [he he] laughed and said, “Thank you customer.”

Qin WuYan smiled but did not show any intention to leave, instead he took out another ten taels from his bosom and placed it on the table. Zhou YiXian was surprised and said, “Customer, this……”

Qin WuYan calmly said, “I have another friend who is also going to that death marsh, I will like to trouble Miss to read his fortune also.”

Xiao Huan was surprised, Qin WuYan had already took over the pen and wrote down two characters on the paper, passed it over to Xiao Huan, smiled and said, “His name is Ghost Li!”

The main street which was bustling with activities, the ambient sounds suddenly quietened down.

Some quietly retreated, some quietly came nearer, human figures indistinctly seen on the street corners and rooftops, although it was daylight now but it suddenly became rather chilly.

The ones there would naturally feel this inexplicable change, Zhou YiXian frowned slightly and looked around him, he had not said anything but Xiao Huan had already pushed the paper over, nonchalantly said, “Sorry customer, fortune telling requires the person to write it personally so that we can tell.”

Qin WuYan did not become angry, only smiled and said, “Really?”

Looking at him, he did not seem to be leaving or having any intention of giving up, he still stood in front of the table. Xiao Huan’s expression changed and just at this moment, a hand suddenly stretched out from beside and wrote ‘Ghost Li’ two characters on the paper, then someone indifferently said, “Miss, please look at my two characters.”

Xiao Huan turned and looked at him.

Ten years of time seemed to pass in a flash!

Xiao Hui leaning on his shoulder, its quick-witted eyeballs turning round and round, and his face, nothing seemed to change, still looking the same as before.

On the main street, a deathly quiet, in the dark and in the open, surrounding these two young people, as if there were two forces, monitoring each other, confronting each other……

Xiao Huan, after staring blankly for a long while, took over that piece of paper.

“Ghost Li!”

She read aloud softly.

These two words, a far cry from the beautiful characters written by Qin WuYan, the strokes were heavy, clumsy and not versed but every stroke and line was extremely clear, the strength used while writing seemed to desire restraining oneself but at every stroke ending, it appeared that it was unable to hold back and revealed a few abilities, a whiff of one’s pride assaulted over.

Xiao Huan’s eyes at this moment seemed to become brighter, after a while she placed the piece of white paper down, paused for a while then said, “This customer, what do you want to ask?”

Xiao Hui suddenly jumped down from Ghost Li’s shoulder and landed on the table, took that brush and curiously played with it.

Ghost Li took a look at Xiao Hui and said, “I want to go to this death marsh too, will Miss please take a look at my fortune?”

Xiao Huan looked at him, suddenly laughed and said, “All humans have souls, the souls that linger after death, most become Yin spirit ghosts dread by the common people. Since customer chose this kind of mournful name, obviously you do not believe in Gods and ghosts, why do you need to ask me?”

Ghost Li quietly looked at her and did not speak but Qin WuYan who was beside suddenly laughed and spoke, “Wrong, wrong, Miss you are wrong.”

Xiao Huan was shocked by his words and said, “Where was I wrong?”

A faint gleam appeared in Qin WuYan’s eyes, facing Xiao Huan but his gaze from the corner of his eyes seemed to sweep towards Ghost Li, he smiled and said, “In ancient times, Wisdom King split the heaven and earth apart, Wisdom Queen created all living things and humans, this is already an eternal truth, how can it not be believed?”

The Evil Sect had always revered two saints which were the Wisdom King and Wisdom Queen, the ordinary sect members had always been unparalleled in their faith, just that to the Good Faction, naturally it was immoral. Except that this Qin WuYan was asking emotionlessly and seemed to be questioning something.
Behind him the unseen pressure from the main street, following the turning of his head, suddenly rose.

Ghost Li unhurriedly turned, facing him, Qin WuYan at the same time turned around.

The two youths in this simple and crude street, coldly facing each other.

The surroundings were quiet, Zhou YiXian suddenly felt a buzz at the back of his head and a wave of dizziness, even his breathing unconsciously started to get tense. He secretly looked around, after a while he discovered many people that looked unrelated to this place, either listening attentively, or secretly looking, some simply stared directly over here and in their hands they were holding their magical weapons, holding stances that looked like they would make an attack anytime.

Ghost Li’s nostrils slightly contracted, his voice also turned slightly deep and said, “Du gongzi (translator’s note: young master or son of official)?”

Right now the smile on Qin WuYan’s face also gradually disappeared, showing a solemn expression but his voice still remained calm, he said, “Xue gongzi!”

[Pa!]

Suddenly, a muffled sound resounded in the scene, the two tensed forces which were secretly facing each other were unexpectedly frightened, like a sharp whistling in that soundless tightly strained situation, it nearly exploded.

Even the calm expressions maintained on Ghost Li and Qin WuYan’s faces, the corners of their eyes also seemed to twitch slightly.

A panic-stricken embarrassed voice rang out, “Not, nothing, I, I didn’t do it on purpose……”

Everyone looked over, Zhou YiXian, in his moment of nervousness accidentally dropped the money that he had just accepted onto the floor, making a muffled sound. Sweat appeared on Xiao Huan’s forehead, she angrily stared at him, Zhou YiXian’s face turned red, too embarrassed to speak but in his heart, he was shaken.

In these ten years, the Evil Sect’s power had greatly flourished, the younger generation produced a number of young outstanding talents, the three most outstanding, those gossipmongers combined their names and called them ‘Three gongzi’, namely: Wan Du Sect Qin WuYan, known as ‘Du GongZi’; Ghost King Sect Ghost Li, called as ‘Xue GongZi’; and the last one was HeHuan Sect Jin PingEr, known as ‘Miao GongZi’. [translator’s note: Du - poison, Xue - blood and Miao - ingenious]

Among the four great branches of the Evil Faction, only in Chang Shen Hall’s younger generation,  nobody was listed in it and no qualified successors to carry on.

For the past few years, in the Evil Sect, these three young men could be described as the ones who called the wind and summoned the rain, at this young age they were already in command of their branches’ supreme authority and in their trails from time to time there would be bloodshed, struggles and bloody battles were inevitable but they had never met each other before. Someone once said, the day that the three of them faced each other, perhaps it would also be the day that the real great battle between the four great branches of the Evil Sect would start.

And right now, the two most powerful branches in the Evil Sect, Wan Du sect and Ghost King sect, were in the stares of these two young men who were facing each other.

The atmosphere in the place was strangely quiet and strained, Zhou YiXian felt himself almost could not breathe and wanted to secretly pack up and take Xiao Huan away but right now no matter what he dared not moved, these two young men were renowned fiends and he definitely could not afford to offend them.

At this moment, Qin WuYan suddenly laughed and said, “Ghost Li brother, junior has long admire your big name, today I finally have the chance to meet you, it is really the blessing of three lifetimes!”

With this laugh immediately the tensed atmosphere was greatly relieved, Zhou YiXian could almost immediately felt it, the constant invisible pressure pouring in from all around, with his laugh, started to retreat slowly.

Ghost Li although did not smile but his expression soften, maybe in both of their hearts, they both knew that now was not the time for them to fight.

“Qin brother is too kind.”

Qin WuYan, as if the earlier confrontation had never happened, smiled and said, “With Ghost Li brother your good self arrival here, most likely the rare treasure in the death marsh will definitely not be able to escape from brother’s hands.”

Ghost Li looked deeply at him and suddenly said, “The world is so big, Ghost Li is just an inferior person. If Senior God of Poison wish to have this object, senior needs only to speak out and definitely nobody will dare to take.”

Qin WuYan’s face expression slightly changed and immediately said, “Our teacher no longer pay attention to the world’s affairs, what’s more if it is to belong to someone, it should be Chang Shen Hall YuYang Zi senior who run this place.”

Ghost Li looked at him, calmly nodded and said, “Qin brother’s words are right.”

Both of them looked at each other and suddenly laughed. Qin WuYan cupped his hands, turned and with his hands clasped behind his back, left. Looking at his natural and relaxed figure, if one did not know his identity, maybe one would have thought that he was an elegant gongzi from the  secular world.

As his figure walked further away, the pedestrians who were walking along the bustling main street just only suddenly broke off and dispersed, in a short while almost half had disappeared.

Ghost Li unhurriedly turned his head around, his gaze landed upon Xiao Huan who was standing at a side, Xiao Huan’s bright pair of eyes instead did not show any slightest sign of fear and met his gaze.

Ghost Li looked at her for a long while and looked at Zhou YiXian and finally back to Xiao Huan, suddenly a trace of smile emerged on the corner of his lips and he quietly said, “You have grown up.”

That not-seen-for-ages smile suddenly appeared, as if a wisp of spring breeze had melted some ice but it was just a fleeting moment, when Xiao Huan regained her senses, Ghost Li had already carried the monkey Xiao Hui and headed towards the west. The surrounding people either followed from afar or followed near, gradually another half disappeared.

Without knowing why, Xiao Huan suddenly felt an inexplicable disappointment and silently looked at that young man’s back figure, she saw from far although there seemed to be a crowd clustering around him but no one dared to go near, other than the monkey on his shoulder.

Even that figure, also seemed to be somehow melancholy.

She watched silently, engrossed.   

"Hey, young lady!" Suddenly a loud shout rang out beside her.

Xiao Huan and Zhou YiXian, who was packing up ,were shocked. When they turned to look, they saw a Taoist man with strange facial features and the shape of his face was like a dog, standing in front of them, he said, "Young lady, seems like you can read fortunes very well, read the fortunes for your Uncle Wild Dog Taoist too!"

Xiao Huan looked at him and said, "O! What does customer wish to see, by face or by characters?"

Wild Dog was about to answer when suddenly a sound of [ZiZi] was heard from beside, everyone was surprised. Xiao Hui the monkey, without knowing why, had ran back and in two to three steps it had scurried to the fortune-telling stall side, a pair of eyes rolling to and fro at these three people.

Wild Dog stared at Xiao Hui and angrily said, "What are you hurrying, are you afraid your Taoist Uncle will eat up this young lady?"

After speaking he turned his head around and spoke to Xiao Huan, "I am illiterate, you will tell my fortune from my face."

Xiao Huan smiled and said, "Customer, what do you want to know?"

Wild Dog paused for a while, frowned while he thought about it and said, "I, I bear a huge responsibility, can you tell me if I will make it big in the future?"

Xiao Huan looked deeply at his features for a long while and said, "You have a strange appearance, unique among the thousands but definitely not the special look that will achieve great merit or undertaking. The three wrinkles on your forehead formed early and pushes the merit lines aside. Moreover it severed the merit lines in the middle, causing weakness in the lines at the back," She smiled and said, "If you do not have a benefactor to help you, it will be hard for you to succeed in this life."

These words were spoken casually by Xiao Huan but Wild Dog Taoist turned ashen upon hearing it, his expression was extremely ghastly. Unfortunately at this very moment, Zhou YiXian joined in, stretched out his hand with a laugh [Hehe] and said, "Customer, ten taels thanks!"

Wild Dog Taoist dog's eyes opened widely and shouted furiously, "Pei! This woman is speaking rubbish! Your Wild Dog Taoist Uncle has always been fortunate and lucky, what hard to succeed, and still dare to ask me for money, you are looking for death!"

Zhou YiXian got a shock but Xiao Huan's expression instead never changed, Wild Dog was about to turn and renege on his payment when suddenly the monkey Xiao Hui who was squatting by the side, [Zizi] shouted twice and suddenly jumped up and leapt onto Wild Dog's body.

Wild Dog Taoist immediately got a shock and flailed his arms and legs wildly, he angrily said, "Damned monkey, what are you doing......"

He had not finished his words when Xiao Hui, taking advantage of his flustered state, jumped off again and this time, landing on the table in front of Xiao Huan, grinning while facing Xiao Huan, [Hehe] laughing.

Xiao Huan looked at the monkey and felt that it was extremely adorable, she could not help but smiled and said, "Little monkey, what are you doing?"

Xiao Hui's left hand stretched up to scratch its head, its eyeballs rolled one round, and it took out its right hand which was behind and spread it opened in front of Xiao Huan.

Xiao Hui took a look and was shocked, in the monkey's hand, an ingot of fine silver. Looking at the size, most likely it was worth more than thirty taels. At this moment, Wild Dog Taoist who was standing behind, was also shocked, he felt his chest and immediately was livid, "Bastard, dare to steal your Taoist Uncle's money, rebelling rebelling!"

A flash of grey light in his hand, the fang magical weapon appeared, his hand raised and about to hit on Xiao Hui's head.

Xiao Huan's face expression changed, her left hand withdrew into her sleeve and was waiting to do something but Xiao Hui the monkey instead [ZiZi] called out at Wild Dog, jumped up and down on the table and making threatening gestures, looking at it, it seemed to be even more aggressive than Wild Dog Taoist.

Wild Dog Taoist's hand raised until mid-air, suddenly he seemed to recall something, rather unwilling but eventually lowered his magical weapon, harshly said, "Good, you win! One day you this bastard and that brat will come and beg me!"

After speaking, he turned away angrily and walked off.

Xiao Hui the monkey leapt up high, turned its head over to face Xiao Huan and [Hehe] laughed. The more Xiao Huan looked at the monkey, the more she liked it and stretched out her hand to pat Xiao Hui's head, she laughed lightly and said, "Thank you little monkey!"

Xiao Hui beamed with joy and could not stop using its monkey hands to feel its head, even its tail, at times it straightened out and swayed, at times it coiled up.

Zhou YiXian kept the silver that was dropped onto the table carefully and was extremely happy, he walked over and stretched out his hand to try and pat Xiao Hui's head too, at the same time he said, "Hehe, good monkey, good monkey......"

"Zi!" Unexpectedly Xiao Hui suddenly screeched and opened its mouth to bite, if not for Zhou YiXian withdrawing his hand in time, his hand would have been bitten. Zhou YiXian was stunned but saw that Xiao Huan was laughing heartily and patting Xiao Hui's head, one human and one monkey extremely harmonious but puzzled why was he treated that way, he felt embarrassed.

Xiao Huan felt Xiao Hui was becoming more and more adorable and hugged Xiao Hui in her bosom, teased and played with it. Zhou YiXian started to pack up but he was feeling extremely sour, shook his head sighed and said, "Ai! What are the ways of the world now, even a monkey is also so lecherous......"

Xiao Huan's face turned red, gave her grandfather a stare and angrily said, "Grandfather, what did you say?"

Zhou YiXian laughed awkwardly and dared not continue on but turned his head over and still with a troubled sage appearance, "Ai! Moral degeneration! Moral degeneration!"

Xiao Huan did not bother about him, turned around and thought for a while. She walked to the side and took out a small packet wrapped in paper from her own bundle, gently opened it, there were two sticks of glittering bright-coloured candied haws, a whiff of sweet-smelling fragrance wafted into the nose.

Xiao Huan took up one stick and passed it to Xiao Hui who was in her bosom, Xiao Hui took it but left Xiao Huan and jumped back to the table, its eyes rolling round and round looking at the candied haw in its hand and finally, carefully placed it into its mouth and licked it with its tongue.

Xiao Huan leaned on the side of the table, smiling broadly looking at it and said, "It's sweet isn’t it, it's really very delicious!"

Xiao Hui the monkey blinked its eyes and immediately nodded, holding the candied haw in its hand, it excitedly jumped here and there on the table and after a while, jumped off the table and using the hand that was holding the candied haw, waved at Xiao Huan and ran off from the main street, very soon it disappeared from view.

Xiao Huan looked at its figure gradually disappearing, laughed while shaking her head. In her heart she really liked this extremely intelligent monkey but too bad it was not hers and felt some regret. Turning her head around, she discovered Zhou YiXian was also looking at the same direction where Xiao Hui had headed, looking dazed and he seemed to be muttering something, she could not help but say, "Grandfather, it is only just a little monkey, you are already so old and still bear grudges, aren’t you afraid others may laugh at you!"

Zhou YiXian humphed and said, "What do you know, I suddenly thought of this, this monkey is so amazing and can actually steal the silvers from Wild Dog Taoist this kind of cultivated person without anyone knowing, if I were to keep this kind of monkey too, then if how much silver I wish to steal, I will have that much of silver......"

Xiao Huan became gloomy and angrily cried, "Grandfather!"

Zhou YiXian regained his senses, gave an embarrassed laugh and did not dare to continue, engrossed himself in packing.

Xiao Huan gave him a stare and turned over, she packed her bundle and also wrapped the remaining candied haw stick carefully, suddenly she heard a clear laughter from beside, someone said, "How is it that after three years not seen, you still like to eat candied haw that much?"

Xiao Huan was stunned and raised her head to look, she saw a young lady, wearing light yellow clothing, oval-shaped face and her features picturesque, the first look clear and attractive, the second look sultry and mesmerizing.

Xiao Huan was delighted, laughed and immediately put down the things in her hands and pulled that girl’s hand, she laughed and said, "Sister, how come it’s you?"

That girl obviously was familiar with Xiao Huan, pinched Xiao Huan's white face, smiled and said, "Three years not seen, sister you are becoming more and more beautiful, even I cannot help but be enthralled when I see you!"

Xiao Huan's face reddened and she scolded her, "Be serious! How come you are here?"

That girl smiled and did not answer, she instead faced the west, it was the same direction that Qin WuYan and Ghost Li headed, and gazed at it.

Xiao Huan was taken aback and said, "You are also going to the death marsh?"

That girl's eyes blinked, in a moment that captivating lovely face smiled and said, "Sister, do you want to go in and watch the fun?"

Xiao Huan frowned slightly and said, "But inside that place is really......"

That girl laughed lightly and said, "What are you afraid of, I am here! Don't tell me I will allow others to bully you? Even if you don't mind, my heart will ache!"

Xiao Huan gave her a look but could not bear it and laughed out, she said,"Alright, anyway we have not seen each other for a long time, I also want to spend more time with sister."

After speaking, she turned to Zhou YiXian and asked, "Grandfather, are you going?"

Zhou YiXian obviously knew this girl's identity, he expected that with this person around, it would be safe, immediately he laughed and said, "Go, of course I want to go."

That girl smiled and said to Xiao Huan, "Sister, let’s go!"

Speaking she put her arm around Xiao Huan's shoulder and whispered something in her ear, Xiao Huan giggled out and the two of them slowly walked off, leaving the entire stall stuffs for Zhou YiXian to pack.

Zhou YiXian stood dazed for a while, shook his head and sighed. As he packed, he bitterly lamented moral degeneration, people disrespected the elderly......  

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