Tuesday, 24 May 2016

Chapter 130 - Pursue


The sky gradually lightened up, after ablazing for a night, the inferno in Seven Mile Cave finally burned out. Just that after the fire, what was left were only broken walls and smoking burnt woods.

FaXiang and the rest although highly skilled but after hard at work for the entire night, their bodies inevitably would feel worn out, a few lower-skilled FenXiang Valley disciples had smudges of black ashes on their faces.

However when they again gathered together and felt a sigh of relief, glancing around, the Miao commoners’ eyes were full of hostility, not a slightest goodwill towards the help that they had rendered.

FaXiang made a bitter laugh, although he felt indignant but he was unable to explain anything, he was about to turn and speak to the rest when suddenly there was a commotion within the group of FenXiang Valley people.

FaXiang was surprised and took a look, ShangGuan Ce descended from the sky and landed, walked unhurriedly towards them.

Yesterday he was the first to fly off and after a night he was the last to arrive, this senior from FenXiang Valley made everyone turned and looked at each other.

“He he!” a cold laughter came from FenXiang Valley LuShun, “Senior brother, you are really early!”

ShangGuan Ce was expressionless but he was frowning tightly and obviously he looked troubled. He could not be bothered with LuShun, walked around and surveyed the surroundings, shook his head slightly, sighed and spoke to Li Xun, “The matters here are more or less settled, bring the juniors back to FenXiang Valley first!”

Li Xun actually also felt disgruntled and had many questions, he wanted to question this teacher uncle where exactly had he gone last night, if not with ShangGuan Ce this highly-skilled senior around, it would be much easier to deal with Ghost Li and there would not be so much trouble.

Just that those were only his thoughts, in the end he did not have the guts to offend FenXiang Valley ShangGuan Ce whose status was on par with the valley master, Yun YiLan, he immediately acknowledged with a “Yes.”

LuShun stood at the side and was infuriated, said to ShangGuan Ce, “What do you mean by this, last night you ran off and today you are giving orders upon your arrival?”

ShangGuan Ce indifferently said, “I met with some incidents last night, I will tell you the details after we return to the valley.”

LuShun’s face changed and was about to comment further when ShangGuan Ce, clearly irritated, with a slight anger said, “Lao Si, we will speak when we are back!”
[Translator’s note: Lao Si means number four, a kinship term]

ShangGuan Ce’s expression was stern but not angry, after being shouted by him, LuShun for that moment did not dare to speak anymore, Li Xun hesitated for a moment but eventually still inform ShangGuan Ce, “Teacher uncle, after we return, that nine-tailed celestial fox…”

ShangGuan Ce shook his head and said, “The nine-tailed celestial fox’s issue is not urgent, we will speak when we are back.”

Li Xun did not dare to comment further, nodded his head and led the group off, before he left, he could not help but turn to look at Lu XueQi who was standing together with FaXiang.

That white-attired girl’s face was cold, did not even glance at him.

Li Xun with a long sigh in his heart, like turning over a bottle of five flavours, an indescribable feeling, he left slowly. LuShun although not very willing but also followed along.

ShangGuan Ce sighed, turned and cupped his hands before FaXiang and Lu XueQi, said, “Both made great efforts to assist our lowly valley, my humble self is really grateful.”

FaXiang and Lu XueQi did not dare to be lacking in manners, returned the gesture, FaXiang smiled and said, “ShangGuan teacher uncle is too polite, Qing Yun, Tian Yin Temple and FenXiang Valley are part of Good Faction family, coming to each other aid is one’s duty. But teacher uncle’s expression don’t look very good, not sure if something happened last night?”

While speaking, he looked at ShangGuan Ce, an amiable smile on his lips, an indescribable compassion and calm, it was a look of a Buddhism holy monk.

ShangGuan Ce humphed in his heart but a grateful smile appeared on his face, said, “It is not considered any serious matter, old man me met a few thieves and wasted some time, that is all. But since most of the affairs are already settled, our lowly valley really do not dare to further trouble both of your good-selves, both please return! In the future if there is any chance, my humble self with valley master Yun senior brother will definitely pay a visit to your sects.”

FaXiang and Lu XueQi looked at each other, both of them were clever people and how would it be that they would believe the nonsense that ShangGuan Ce encountered thieves. The mountain bandits and rogues that could rob ShangGuan Ce most likely were not even born yet! But even though they knew ShangGuan Ce had the intention to evade but they could not expose him there and then, both of them could only bow and nod in agreement.

ShangGuan Ce made a few polite exchanges and then left.

Watching his figure disappearing into the high clouds, Lu XueQi suddenly spoke, “He has much on his mind.”

FaXiang smiled, said, “Yes! Wondered what exactly ShangGuan teacher uncle had done last night…” he suddenly stopped, Lu XueQi’s face other than being cold and detached, it was still cold and detached, not a single trace of smile, looking at her, this white-attired girl gazing afar, her eyes clouded with complicated thoughts, she looked to have much more on her mind than ShangGuan Ce.

What was she thinking again?

FaXiang softly chanted and did not speak.

Mountaintop.

Xiao Bai supporting Ghost Li, gazed towards Seven Mile Cave, watching the remaining last two outsiders also heading towards the sky, gradually disappearing.

“They have left.” Xiao Bai smiled, said.

Ghost Li silently looked away from the clouds, paused for a while and said, “Let’s go down!”

Xiao Bai nodded but looking at Ghost Li’s body, gently said, “Why not take a rest first! Your wound is again bleeding so much.”

Ghost Li shook his head, said, “My body is of no concern, finding the great shaman is more important.”

Speaking, he was the first to stood up.

[Zhi zhi, zhi zhi] The familiar shrieks sounded, a grey figure jumped out from beside and leapt up Ghost Li’s shoulder, although its movements seemed slightly unsteady but the monkey, after waking up from a drunken stupor, was clearly in a good mood, grinning all the way.

Xiao Bai also stood up, walked to Ghost Li, angrily stared at Xiao Hui, said, “What are you smiling about, last night your idiot master nearly died you know?”

[Si!]

A low growl, it was Xiao Hui baring its teeth, making angry body gestures, revealing its sharp teeth and staring around, its two monkey hands clenched in fists, waving up and down, looking to challenge someone.

Xiao Bai humphed, said, “Stop pretending, firing after the horse!”
[Translator’s note: A Chinese chess term to mean belated action or effort]

Xiao Hui rolled its eyes at Xiao Bai, [zhi zhi] called out twice, shrank its body and pulled Ghost Li clothes, a nonchalant look, sticking close only to its master.

Ghost Li patted its head, did not say anything, continued to walk down the hill, Xiao Hui turned around, looking extremely conceited, stuck out its tongue at Xiao Bai.

Xiao Bai with a wry laugh, shook her head and sighed, followed along, muttering in her breath, “This era, even monkey also has character…”

They walked into the Seven Mile Cave and met the Miao people again, each one of them had hatred in their eyes and one of them even recognized Ghost Li’s bloody demonic appearance, a terrified look revealed on his face.

Xiao Bai saw Ghost Li walking with difficulty, hurried up to support him, when Ghost Li tried to shrug it off, she quietly said, “I’m afraid those Miao people will not let us see the great shaman.”

Ghost Li supported by Xiao Bai, was really not used to it and was about to struggle free and walk by himself, after hearing Xiao Bai’s words, was stunned and said, “What is it?”

Xiao Bai looked ahead, Ghost Li followed her gaze, both of them were heading to the altar but at the foot of the mountain, several sturdy Miao men were assembled there, guarding the only path up the mountain. And when they saw these two outsiders approaching, as if they were facing strong foes, some of the soldiers already had their spears ready, facing Ghost Li and Xiao Bai.

Ghost Li was silent but his footsteps never stopped, continued to walk towards the group, Xiao Bai beside him, glanced sideways at him, said, “If they do not let us go up, what do we do?”

Ghost Li did not answer.

Crouching at Ghost Li’s shoulder, Xiao Hui, was also peering around, its expression was extremely surprised, it did not understand why only after one night, the place had totally changed.

When they came near, as Xiao Bai expected, all of the Miao soldiers, not one back away, each with hostile looks, gathered at the path to the mountain, weapons out of their sheath, facing both of them.

Ghost Li’s lips twitched, agitation flashed in his eyes, just that at this moment, he knew he should not force his way in, against the Miao soldiers he still would be able to explain himself but once if any of the Miao people was hurt, even if the great shaman was well and safe, he would not be able to help him and treat BiYao.

He breathed deeply, humbly said, “We wish to see the great shaman.”

The Miao soldiers, either they did not understand or were ignoring them, their expressions did not change. Even Xiao Bai also frowned, felt that it was a thorny problem.

At this moment, behind the group, Tu MaGu’s voice was heard suddenly, “The great shaman is severely wounded and unable to receive guest, all of you better leave!”

The group parted to make a path, Tu MaGu unhurriedly walked out from the back. Looking at his cold expression, bloodstained clothes, evidently he did not have it easy too last night. Right now his expression towards Ghost Li and Xiao Bai was completely different from the previous day.

Ghost Li remained silent for a while, said, “Is the great shaman alright?”

Tu MaGu with a smirk, said, “Thanks to both of you, the elder is not dead yet.”

Ghost Li heaved a sigh of relief but Xiao Bai could not bear it anymore, indifferently said, “The great shaman’s injuries are not caused by us, tribe leader, even if you are angry, you should not vent it on us.”

Tu MaGu, since last night was already seething with anger, the reason why he was still speaking to the two outsiders was because they did not hurt any of the Miao people and Ghost Li even saved a child. But after hearing Xiao Bai’s detached words, immediately his anger boiled and both brows drawn into a line, looking to explode.

Suddenly, hurried footsteps were heard from behind the crowd, a young shaman-looking Miao person ran down from the mountain, after assessing the two outsiders, he went near Tu MaGu and whispered to him.

Tu MaGu was clearly stunned, disbelieving what he had heard, questioned quietly in Miao language and that young shaman resolutely nodded.

Tu MaGu heaved a long sigh, turned and said, “The great shaman wants to see both of you, follow this shaman and go up!”

Ghost Li and Xiao Bai were both surprised, Xiao Bai frowned and thought to herself how would the great shaman knew they had come, Ghost Li instead was delighted, since the great shaman was willing to meet him, most likely he would also be willing to treat BiYao.

They followed the young shaman and passed through the crowd, walked up the mountain, the Miao’s stares revealed their bewilderment and anger but the great shaman clearly still dominated over them, not one walked forward to stop them. Instead after they had just left, some Miaos  spoke in gibberish to Tu MaGu and following which, many more joined in, probably most of the people did not wish for the evil outsiders to enter the altar again.

Tu MaGu berated them with a few words, at the same time glanced towards the altar, the commotion from the Miao crowd then gradually lowered down.

Ghost Li and Xiao Bai followed the shaman who was leading the way, walked up to that platform in front of the altar, both of them noticed almost at the same time, the front part of the platform, originally constructed and levelled using enormous stones, were laced with innumerable cracks, extending out in all directions from where the great shaman had stood last night, and in the centremost, the rocks had been smashed into pieces.

Both of them glanced at each other, Xiao Bai’s expression did not change much but Ghost Li felt slightly shocked. The southern border at the periphery, had never attracted the Central Plains cultivated sects’ attentions, not only the Good Faction did not think much of this place, even the Evil Sect also disdained it. Now that this time he had witnessed it himself, the enigmatic shaman skills of the southern border, were really something not to be trifled with.

[Hu hu lu lu…] The shaman before them urged them with strange Miao words, Ghost Li and Xiao Bai turned and walked over.

Deep inside the altar, the dimness in it was like an endless tunnel, swallowing their figures in it.

In the direction of the south, far from the Seven Mile Cave, that stretch of lofty mountain valleys, undulating mountain ranges, were the ten thousands great mountains that the southern border people’s countenances changed upon hearing its name.

Over here, sunlight almost was never seen, dark clouds swirled around, black wind howled. Occasionally some brave hunters during the famine years ventured into the mountains to hunt but not one came out again.

And among the southern border five tribes, eons ago their ancestors had already passed down a warning, to never enter that sinister mountain range, because in there, there was the abominable Devil King which all southern tribes feared and his terrible barbarians henchmen.

For so many years, this warning had been passed down from generations to generations and had always been known among the southern border five tribes, with the passing of time, the ten thousands great mountains shrouded within the black clouds, became even more mysterious.

A dark shaman clothed in black, like a spectre, suddenly appearing beside this mountain cave, even though it was already daylight but around him, darkness seemed to be still enshrouding him.

Behind him an enormous beast slowly appeared, its four paws treading the ground, the sharp claws protruding out was extremely sharp, its back arched, on its long and thick neck, was an enormous head, with one glance, almost could believe it was the legendary celestial dragon in Central Plains legends. However after taking a closer look one would discover the differences, the huge beast had a ferocious mouth of a prey, extremely sharp jagged teeth, the eyes giving off ominous glare frequently, guardedly surveying the surroundings, like it was choosing the humans to devour.

The dark shaman in front of the enormous beast, almost only one third of its height but for some reason, this ferocious beast was instead extremely respectful to this black-attired man.

The dark shaman was like the ferocious beast beside it, extremely vigilant and also checking the surroundings, after ensuring that nobody was following them, he turned to the ferocious beast, nodded and said, “You can go back.”

A muffled sound emitted deep from the beast’s throat, looked like it agreed but this sound seemed just like a roar, deafening.

The dark shaman seemed used to the ferocious beast’s reaction, after a moment, his figure flashed and disappeared into the stone cave, blending into the darkness. And the ferocious beast was too huge to pass through the cave, it looked as if it was about to do something when it froze.

In the deep low growl, the ferocious dragon slowly turned around, as if there was some movement that alerted the sensitive dragon, it again surveyed the surroundings, at the same time its nostrils expanded and shrank unceasingly, obviously its sense of smell was very sharp and was sniffing the air.

However, all was quiet, nothing happened too and after the dragon sniffed for a while, it did not detect anything and seemed to be perplexed. After a long while, it finally decided to give up, turned around again, growled and leapt, in the loud rumble, this beast actually headed straight up to the lofty towering mountain range.       

Its body strong and vigorous, its legs tearing along, the sharp claws entrenched deep into the rocks, like a steel nail hammered deeply in, stabilizing its body, it was seen dashing along the mountain ridge, in the next moment it had dashed up the lofty mountain top and disappeared into the dark clouds.

And in that gloomy cave, after a long time, behind a stretch of grass and flowers, a long sigh was suddenly heard, as if being tensed up for a long time and finally could relax.

After a while, the light yellow figure of Jin PingEr drifted out from the flowers and landed outside that dark cave. She faced that entrance, her face expression pondering, after a while, she seemed to make up her mind, clenched her teeth together, her figure shifted and also floated into that cave, towards that mysterious world, quietly slipping in.

6 comments:

  1. Thanks a lot!

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  2. Thanks a lot for the translations. Its one of the few things I look forward to every week. Wish there was more...

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  3. ohhhh, i think the icy plains are next xD, thank you very much :D

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  4. thanks for the chapter!

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