Thursday, 25 February 2016

Chapter 117 - Hope


Ghost Li’s body shook greatly, immediately his face was wild with joy, the long sombre expression on his face, with one swept, was cleanly brushed away. Controlling his agitated emotions with difficulty, Ghost Li’s trembling voice said, “Please, please enlighten me senior!”

The nine-tailed celestial fox looked at him intently then suddenly smiled and said, “That girl must be someone you love deeply right?” Ghost Li did not answer but the longing and anxiety expressions on his face intensified.

The nine-tailed celestial fox shook her head and sighed but her eyes were gentle and full of pity, softly said, “If it is as what you had said, that girl’s body is still whole then naturally it would be that strange magical power that forced her soul to split up and scatter. By right once the three souls and seven mortal forms are dispersed, even God or deities would not be able to save her but as long as there is still one soul remaining, then there is hope.”

“Although the soul is made up of three souls and seven mortal forms but all of it are still the essence of a human, in the same human soul, a mysterious attraction between each other exists, the Central Plains cultivated taoists have only limited knowledge on it but many years ago, I saw with my own eyes a mysterious person conjuring ‘Soul Return Unusual Art’ and called back a man’s soul and three mortal forms which were unfortunately absorbed by an evil demon.”

“As such, although the situations are slightly different but as long as the body of your friend is not destroyed and the remnant of the soul still exist then there is hope.”

Ghost Li’s expression initially was very excited but when he heard ‘Soul Return Unusual Art’ these four words, he suddenly recalled something, frowned and said, “Senior, the Soul Return Unusual Art that you have mentioned, don’t tell me you are referring to the ‘Black Shaman Tribe’ in the southern ten thousand great mountains?”

The nine-tailed celestial fox’s eyebrow arched, expressing her slight surprise, nodded and said, “Why, so you also know about this Black Shaman Tribe? This Black Shaman Tribe is mysterious and unfathomable, the Black Shaman Master that offers sacrifices to the deities in the tribe is especially proficient in this type of ghost, spirits and soul skills, as long as you can find the Black Shaman Master, then your friend most likely can be saved.”

Ghost Li did not speak, after a long while, unable to conceal the disappointment on his face, quietly said, “To tell you the truth, the information about this Black Shaman Tribe having the possibility of saving my friend, I already heard it ten years ago. But in the past ten years, I have come to this southern border countless of times and even explored for a long time deep inside that inhospitable mountains and rivers. But no matter how carefully I searched, I cannot find even a single information about the Black Shaman Tribe. Everyone told me that long before a thousand years ago, that Black Shaman Tribe had already become extinct…”

“Thousand years ago?” The nine-tailed celestial fox frowned while listening and now suddenly raised her voice, interrupting Ghost Li.

“That’s right, what is it?” Ghost Li looked up at her.

That gentle lovely girl frowned slightly, as if pondering about something, her soft long hair wrapped around her shoulder, when the night breeze blew over, strands danced beside her face.

After a long while, she raised her head and said, “Being incarcerated for so long, my head is not that agile anymore, I needed to think before I can recall. When I met that Black Shaman Tribe person, it was two hundred years before I was caught by FenXiang Valley. So to say, at least around five hundred years ago, the Black Shaman Tribe people still exist.”

Ghost Li stared intently at her, the expression on his face changed greatly, the nine-tailed celestial fox saw it and suddenly said, “Alright, alright, considering the fact that you are my benefactor, I will help you in this! Tomorrow I will bring you to the southern border to find and see if there is still any traces of the Black Shaman Tribe in the place where l last met that fellow.”

Ghost Li inhaled deeply, was quiet for a while, bowed slightly at her, said, “Many thanks senior, I’m beyond grateful, if my friend can be saved, no matter what assignment senior has in the future, just go ahead and order me will do.”

The nine-tailed celestial fox looked at the man in front of her, saw his unswerving determination, a faint warmth still remained in his eyes, wondered who was it that he thought of?

With her thoughts, she for some reason, her heart felt soft, the men in the mortal world, there would always be heartless ones, there would also be devoted ones.

The late night, deserted, only at a unknown area deep inside the forest, the cries of the wild insects reverberated in, the looming overcast, as if bending over to narrate.

A slight breeze blew, the branches in the forest swayed, making rustling sounds.

The nine-tailed celestial fox gently placed Xiao Hui on the ground, stood in the forest, quietly standing, after a long while, she closed her eyes, slightly turning her head, like she was listening for something and also as if she was using soul and body to feel the taste of freedom in this world.

The footstep sounds behind her suddenly stopped, Ghost Li’s voice was heard saying, “The night is late, why hasn’t senior gone to bed?”

The nine-celestial fox did not open her eyes and did not even turn around, only unhurriedly said, “What about you! Why are you not asleep?”

Ghost Li was quiet for awhile, said, “I can’t sleep.”

The nine-tailed celestial fox turned around, looked at him, smiled and said, “Feeling some nervousness?”

Ghost Li did not speak, the once almost despair thoughts suddenly renewed with hope, he could not not feel excited by it and thus insomnia.

The nine-tailed celestial fox smiled sweetly, full of seductiveness, even the night around her also seemed to turn tender. She was heard saying, “There is one thing, I will like to tell you.”

Ghost Li quickly said, “Senior, please say.”

The nine-tailed celestial fox glared at him, said, “That can you not call me senior anymore, there is nothing bad about you but just that don’t you know if you keep calling a woman senior here and senior there, it will make that person turn old, it is very rude you know?”

Ghost Li was speechless.

So no matter whether it eighteen, twenty eight or two thousand eight hundred years old, as long as it was a woman, definitely would fear aging…

“Then, how shall I address you?” Ghost Li carefully asked.

That lady was stunned when she heard it and then an exasperated expression surfaced, after a long while she then faintly said, “That’s right! What shall I be called? I have long forgotten my name. Why not this way, since you saw my true white fox self, then you can just call me Xiao Bai.”
[Translator’s note: Bai means white]

“Xiao Bai…” Ghost Li awkwardly called out once, his expression very peculiar.

The nine-tailed fox seemed not to mind at all, instead swept her gaze around and saw the monkey Xiao Hui crouching on the ground looking around, and then thought of something, she asked Ghost Li, “Oh right, then what is the name of this monkey, you can’t be calling him three-eyed divine monkey right?”

Ghost Li said, “I adopted this monkey when I was young, I called it Xiao Hui.”

The nine-tailed celestial fox, who was also the gentle and lovely lady called Xiao Bai now, was astonished and then laughed, she stretched her hand to carry Xiao Hui up, assessed it, her eyes full of smiles, said, “He he, we indeed have affinity, you are called Xiao Hui, I am called Xiao Bai.”

Xiao Hui in her embrace grinned, [zhi zhi] laughed, placing its monkey hands on her shoulders, looking very intimate.

Ghost Li stood aside, saw the scene there, for a moment could not say anything. After a while, he shook his head in the dark and quietly walked away.

The next day.

The sky slowly lightened up, just that the southern border sun still had not revealed itself, the sky was dim, full of dark clouds, it was a cloudy day.

But there was still enough sunlight and it did not feel suffocating. Occasionally a slight breeze would blow, brushing past the body, without that heat from yesterday, boosting one’s mood up.

The icy cold feeling flowed around in the human body, the Inferno Mirror on his chest also emitted a gentle warm. The two extreme energies existed at the same time in his body. Right now, all  seemed to be quiet too, coexisting in peace.

Ghost Li slowly opened his eyes, made a wry laugh.

In fact, nobody knew it better than himself about his body condition. Yesterday night those words that Xiao Bai, also the nine-tailed celestial fox, said about his body, were all proven during that fight with the Fire Beast when his body had suddenly collapsed.

Even he himself did not know, how long could his body hold up?

He lowered his head, watched that black fire stick quietly lying beside his hand, for so many years, it had always silently accompanying him.

He suddenly smiled, grabbed the fire stick tightly, like, connected by blood.

As long as BiYao could be saved, the rest, what did it matter?

Suddenly, a wind movement was heard above this small mountain, coming in from afar in the sky, a human figure flew down.

Ghost Li frowned, stood up and looked up, his eyes cold.

After a moment, that figure landed, lights flashed and gradually faded, revealing a yellow figure.

Jin PingEr!

Ghost Li’s eyes stared, his heart feeling shocked, he concealed at this small mountain summit but this Jin PingEr could actually still find him, it was really unbelievable, unless she had been secretly following him and even he himself also did not detect it?

Jin PingEr, still carrying that familiar smile, said, “Gongzi, you have indeed found a good place to hide!”

Ghost Li snorted, suddenly said, “Ms Jin is the one with good skills, really awesome.”

Jin PingEr, like she did not understand Ghost Li’s sarcasm at all, smiled and said, “How can I be compare to Gongzi, last night Gongzi only tested your abilities slightly and could cause the entire FenXiang Valley to be turned upside down, it was really Heaven and Earth changing countenance, this humble girl is really impressed!”

A thousand thoughts went through in Ghost Li’s heart but he still could not imagine how this HeHuan girl managed to find him. But that did not show up in his expression, he indifferently said, “The volcano eruption yesterday was a natural catastrophe and had nothing to do with me. Instead I wonder what news has Miss enquired last night?”

JIn PingEr’s eyes glimmered and was about to speak, suddenly she frowned slightly, from behind Ghost Li, a flapping sound and first, the grey-furred monkey which had been accompanying Ghost Li ran out and then followed by a woman walking leisurely out from the forest, her skin like snow, her face like a painting, with ten thousand different kinds of amorous expressions, a thousand kinds of tenderness, all in that graceful posture, it was an extremely beautiful woman.

And the most important thing was, Jin PingEr looked over and saw that woman had only a coat, with no other clothes in-between it, the openings indistinctly revealed white fair skin while she was walking, making her even more alluring.

That clothing, very obviously belonged to a man and on yesterday night, she still saw it Ghost Li wearing it and now, Ghost Li did not have his coat anymore.

Jin PingEr’s eyes glimmered, suddenly smiled and said, “This sister is so beautiful, why have I not seen her in the past few days?”

While speaking, with a vague smile facing Ghost Li, said, “In the past I have heard the devotion and love GongZi has for Miss BiYao, Miss BiYao also had her soul destroyed for GongZi, sacrificing her body to block ‘Zhu Xian Mysterious Sword’ and GongZi because of Miss BiYao, betrayed Qing Yun and joined the Holy Sect, assisting Ghost King sect leader to go on a punitive expedition everywhere, killing numerous people. And even in the past ten years, did not hesitate to risk your life to penetrate deep into the southern border ten thousand great mountains to look for ways to treat Miss BiYao, all of these, how can any woman in the world not be moved and admire?”

Her voice became more and more gentle and her expression too. But instead there was a twist in her words, “Just that time is heartless, the years manifested, the past is over, GongZi again found a good mate, I have to congratulate GongZi on this, he he, someday allow me to personally visit Majestic Fox Mountain and send my congratulations to Ghost King sect leader.”

Ghost Li’s expression turned dark and cold, until the end of her speech, he turned even more stony but he only coldly snorted and did not say anything.

Instead it was the nine-tailed celestial fox who glanced at Ghost Li and again at Jin PingEr who was standing opposite, suddenly laughed loudly and said, “This lady, you have misunderstood, actually it was because this humble girl had met with robbers last night and was almost robbed of my chastity, luckily this Ghost Li GongZi happened to pass by and helped me, I could then fortunately escape, as for the clothing on me, it was also GongZi who temporarily lent it to me for cover.”

Jin PingEr turned and looked at Xiao Bai, with her experienced eyesight, how could she believe those words and looking at Xiao Bai who was smiling delicately, how would she look like someone who was threatened by robbers yesterday? With Jin PingEr’s glance, if there were bandits, who ignorantly, met this girl, most likely…

Jin PingEr shook her head and could not be bother to think about this matter, just that Xiao Bai’s beauty was comparable to her, she could not help but take more glances and then turned to speak to Ghost Li, “GongZi last night at FenXiang Valley, did you discover anything?”

Ghost Li indifferently said, “Nothing, last night after arriving at the valley, I only encountered the volcano eruption and thus withdrew.” He paused slightly and looked at Jin PingEr, “You went to the hubbub at the valley entrance, what happened there, the relationship between that human fish and FenXiang Valley master, did you have any discovery?”

Jin PingEr smiled, her expression composed, shook her head, sighed and said, “It was really unfortunate, I also did not have any discovery, yesterday night the hubbub at FenXiang Valley entrance was created by fights among their own disciples, as for that human fish, it is really a hopeless muddle!”

Ghost Li frowned, for a moment was silent.

Jin PingEr was quiet for a while and then again turned to glance at Xiao Bai a few more times and then revealed a smile, turned and spoke to Ghost Li, “Since GongZi has a beauty for company, I will not stay here and be an eyesore, let’s separate here, maybe not long after if I have affirmity with GongZi, maybe in this southern border we will meet again.”

She turned to smile at Xiao Bai, flung her sleeve, a flash of light and transformed into a stream of yellow light figure, flew up into the air.

Ghost Li looked at the figure diminishing over the horizon, frowned. Xiao Bai walked to him, Xiao Hui jumped up with two, three leaps, although it was just one night, Xiao Hui seemed to be very close with this Xiao Bai lady.

Xiao Bai gently hugged Xiao Hui, after staying silent for a while, spoke to Ghost Li, “Have you ever told her that we will be here?”

Ghost Li shook his head in silence, after a long while said, “This is something I cannot not figure out, how powerful is this girl that she will know our movements? But I have checked my entire body and still did not find anything suspicious.”

Xiao Bai looked around, appraised Ghost Li and then looked at Xiao Hui, she smiled and said, “With your skills, that girl even if she wanted to leave any slightest trace on your body, I’m afraid it would also be difficult, the problem is not with you.”

Ghost Li turned his head, hesitated for a moment, said, “So, from senior...Miss Xiao Bai’s words, you seemed to know something?”

Xiao Bai used her hand and gently smoothed Xiao Hui’s head, smiled and said, “Xiao Hui must have never bathe, so the problem should be on Xiao Hui’s body…”

At the foot of the small mountain, Ghost Li and Xiao Bao found a small clear brook and gave Xiao Hui a bath.

Xiao Hui, from the time it was born, never had a bathing experience, naturally was hundred times unwilling and struggled with its might, [zhi zhi] called out incessantly.

Eventually, it was still Xiao Bai who had a way, she found wild fruits from somewhere and threw it in Xiao Hui’s hands, at the same time gently coaxed it and finally placed Xiao Hui in the water and bathed it.

Ghost Li watched with a frown at the side, after remaining silent for a long while, said, “Strange, why didn’t I notice the smell?”

Xiao Bai heard it, laughed gently, said, “You are a man and without paying attention, naturally will not detect, it is because I like Xiao Hui too much, last night hugged it and from there, I smelled a faint indiscernible fragrance, at that time I found it strange, Xiao Hui this monkey should not have this kind of smell but the fragrance is really too faint so I did not pay attention to it, just that this morning after meeting that lady, I then realized!”

She smiled and said, “That lady’s thoughts are really cautious and mysterious, good tricks, very clever!”

Ghost Li coldly snorted.

The sky was still shaded by foliage, the gurgling stream, Xiao Hui at times played with delight in the brook and seemed unwilling to stop, at times also splashed water droplets everywhere.

Xiao Bai who was crouching beside and bathing it, her face because of this playful monkey, was also covered with quite a few water droplets.

Ghost Li stood beside, gazed far off.

Beside the brook, Xiao Bai drew up her sleeve, her expression smiling, her eyes like water, gently coaxing Xiao Hui to behave while washing its body.

Looking carefully, a few water beads landed on her face, like sparkling pearls, either gently pouncing on the tip of her brows, or following the outline of her face dripping down, brushing past the almost translucent skin but still lingered and unwilling to drop.

A slight breeze blew over from the southern border wildlands, brushing past her long hair, sparkling water beads, also gently quivering…

Ghost Li suddenly turned his head over and stopped looking at that direction. Just that after a moment, Xiao Bai’s shrieks were heard from behind.

Ghost Li was shocked, turned over and saw Xiao Hui, after bathing, jumped onto the banks and without waiting for Xiao Bai’s checks, shook its entire body and immediately caused the water droplets on its furs to spray out in all directions.

Xiao Bai could not avoid in time, scolded while laughing. Her body had already been sprayed with much water droplets from this drizzle that appeared out of the sky.

Ghost Li’s lips moved, involuntarily also laughed. Then he turned his head around, sounds of Xiao Bai still scolding and laughing at Xiao Hui could still be heard. In this dim sky, suddenly there was a warmth not seen for ages, quietly brewing.   

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