Sunday, 27 May 2018

Chapter 234 - Despair

Qing Yun Hill, Small Bamboo Valley.

This was already the third day that Tian Buyi’s body had been sent back by Ghost Li but perplexingly, Suru was still preventing the Big Bamboo Valley disciples from reporting the grievous news to fellow branches. This not only made Song Daren and the rest feel bewildered while grieving; even Ghost Li felt it was strange.

It’s just that nobody dared to bring this matter up with Suru. Suru, keeping vigil over her husband’s body in Observed Silence Hall, which was protected by a Taoism celestial magical weapon, her face of sorrow and grief, was enough to stop them. And as there were only a few people in Big Bamboo Valley, they had always been low-key. If there wasn’t an important matter, no one would come to this secluded summit. Therefore when Big Bamboo Valley held vigil in the Observed Silence Hall for three days, no one in Qing Yun sect actually knew about it.    

However on this clear dawn morning, finally an outsider had come, quietly landing at the summit, white clothes like snow, floating celestially. It was Lu Xueqi.

Brilliant faint blue light flashed. Propitious energy gently surrounding it, Tianya Sword quietly shone in her fair hand. Lu Xueqi looked around and only saw lush greenery mountains and rivers. It was peaceful as usual; nothing seemed abnormal. But up ahead, on both sides of the Observed Silence Hall, two white mourning curtains hung, revealing the sorrow in this place.

She quietly glanced at the white curtains, walking towards Observed Silence Hall. It was not long before she discovered Song Daren and the rest in mourning garb, walking out from the hall, and looking slightly strange and at the same time awkward.

When they saw that it was Lu Xueqi, and that she was alone, Song Daren and the rest  were visibly relieved.

Lu Xueqi cupped her hands in greeting and said, “Small Bamboo Valley’s Lu Xueqi, greets Song senior brother and various other senior brothers.”

Song Daren, Wu Dayi, He Dazhi and the rest did not dare to be negligent. Each returned the gesture, following which Song Daren said with a bitter laugh, “Why did Lu junior sister come over to our place here? It looks like we’ve embarrassed ourselves.”

There was no smile on Lu Xueqi at all. Instead seriousness and sorrow were expressed as she said, “Xueqi did not have any other intention in coming here. I only wished to attend Teacher-Uncle Tian’s memorial service and visit Teacher-Aunt Suru. If the various senior brothers could please please convey this message, Xueqi would be extremely grateful.”

Song Daren and the rest looked at each other, hesitated for a moment, and then Song Daren said, “Junior sister Lu is too polite. Really, you should not be considered as an outsider, right?”

He suddenly paused, saw Lu Xueqi’s face had an inexplicable blush, Song Daren also felt some embarrassment, and laughed to pass it off, saying, ”It’s like this. Shiniang she is not here right now. This morning she went off by herself to the bamboo forest at the rear of the mountain rear.”

He sighed, grief revealed on his face as he quietly said, “Shiniang is too grieved over the loss of teacher. This time she even brought teacher’s body, and told us that she is going to bury teacher by herself.”

Lu Xueqi frowned, a trace of uneasiness brushed past her heart. This situation was even stranger than what she had expected before she came over. Putting aside the question of not informing others, but without even notifying her own daughter Tian Linger, Suru was going to bury Tian Buyi by herself?

A thought flashed through her. After a moment of hesitation, she turned to Song Daren and asked, “Then, that person?”

Song Daren was initially lost. But looking at Lu Xueqi’s expression, He Dazhi, who had always been quick-witted, pulled his sleeve and made an expression, and he immediately understood. He hesitated and said, “Little junior brother has also gone to the rear of the mountain.”

Lu Xueqi was surprised and looked up at Song Daren. Song Daren said with a bitter laugh, “Shiniang didn’t allow us to follow. She only called little junior brother to follow along.”

Lu Xueqi was quiet. After a moment she bowed to Song Daren and the rest, then said, “Many thanks senior brothers. Since it is so, I will not further delay all of you. I will come another day to offer my respects to Teacher-Uncle Tian.”

Song Daren and the rest returned the gesture. Song Daren hesitated for a moment and said, “Junior sister Lu, this matter is rather complicated. I hope that you still...”

Without waiting for Song Daren to finish his words, Lu Xueqi already interrupted and said, “I know, senior brother Song, please don’t worry. Xueqi will definitely not mention a word to others.”

Song Daren nodded and did not speak anymore. Lu Xueqi did not speak anymore either, but turned and left.

Watching as that white figure left, Wu Dayi walked up and said, “Big senior brother, I guess she is most likely going to the rear of the mountain. Will this be alright?”

He Dazhi indifferently replied, “How would it be only ‘most likely’? Clearly this junior sister Lu is definitely going to the rear of the mountain to take a look. Today her arrival at Big Bamboo Valley is certainly acting on behalf of Small Bamboo Valley Master Shuiyue’s orders. If she doesn’t check out Shiniang’s condition, it will be hard for her to report to Master Shuiyue when she returns.”

Song Daren said, “It is also good that she goes over. These past few days I keep worrying that something might happen because of shiniang, but shiniang refuses to let us follow along and we cannot defy her orders. Although lao qi also went along but we all know that if shiniang asked lao qi to leave, given his character and that he has always respected and revered shiniang, most likely he also will not defy her. Having this Small Bamboo Valley Miss Lu going over to take a look won’t do any harm.”

The rest heard it and all nodded in agreement, then all became silent. Song Daren sighed, turned and walked back to the hall.

At a glance the scenery of the bamboo forest behind the main summit looked similar to Small Bamboo Valley. Everywhere you looked you could see exuberant green bamboos, rustling and swaying with the wind. The sun was setting, shining out a few rays of light in the bamboo forest, onto the ground.

On the thin leaves, numerous crystal beads of water congealed, smooth and shiny, like most precious pearls.

Where Ghost Li was, for a moment he couldn’t help but feel lost. Many years ago, this was where he started his life in Big Bamboo Valley. He could not recall how many dawns and sunsets during which he had swung his knife to cut the trees, covered in sweat, quietly logging the trees in this secluded forest. Thinking back, those years which he once felt as dull were now like a dream. However that tranquility that he once had could never be found again.

The bamboos rustled in waves, the mountain breeze blowing gently just beside the ear.

He sighed in his heart, putting aside that meaningless sentiment, and turned around to look at Suru.

Tian Buyi’s body laid not far away. Da Huang still lay beside it. Every since Tian Buyi’s body returned, this dog almost never left Tian Buyi.

Under Tian Buyi’s body there was not a single sheet of bedding. This seemed disrespectful to the deceased but from Ghost Li to Song Daren and even Du Bishu, none of them dared to have the slightest doubt about Suru’s actions.

However, although they would not be suspicious of Suru’s grief but her actions were really bewildering. Ghost Li wanted to ask but right now Suru, who had her back to him, looked as if a wall was there.

At this moment, Suru spoke, “Why, do you have something to tell me?”

Ghost Li was shocked and then hesitated for a moment. Finally he spoke in a careful way, saying, “Shiniang, I have a few words, I do not know if I should say them.”

Suru indifferently replied, “Just say it. I too know those words. Most likely it is not only you who is thinking that way.”

Ghost Li stiffened. He guessed that, knowing his shiniang was an exceptionally intelligent figure and seemed like even in her grief over her husband’s demise, it did not affect her wits at all, Ghost Li coughed and said, “Shiniang, please pardon disciple for being bold, disciple understands shiniang’s feelings because of teacher’s passing away.”

His words stopped there and Ghost Li involuntarily glanced at Tian Buyi, his heart a spasm of pain, before continuing on, “It’s just that, disciple beseeches shiniang that no matter what, not to take it too hard. Other than that, although shiniang is grieving but for teacher’s funeral affairs it is better to make preparations in the early stage. Furthermore senior sister Linger, whether because of reason or emotions, must be informed to come back and offer her respects to teacher.”

Suru did not turn her head back; did not speak.

Ghost Li felt uneasy, lowered his head slightly and quietly said, “Shiniang, if there are any words which were spoken inappropriately, please do not be offended.”

Suru shook her head, slowly turned around and looked at Ghost Li, saying, “You have not said anything wrong. What you said is correct.”

Ghost Li looked at Suru, surprised. Today Suru dressed up differently from the past few days. Although she was still in mourning garb but her face looked as if there was makeup on, looked like there was more vitality and even revealed more of her mesmerizing beauty.

Ghost Li lowered his head, for a moment at loss at what to say. After a while he said, “Shiniang, disciple still has a matter to speak. May I be as bold as to consult shiniang?”

Suru indifferently replied, ‘You can speak.”
***
Ghost Li said, “Concerning teacher’s demise, both disciple and shiniang are in mourning but concerning teacher’s body, it’s really not appropriate to presumptuously move it, and furthermore to the rear of the mountain.”

Suru suddenly cut in, “Are you lecturing me?”

Ghost Li quickly shook his head and said, “Disciple does not dare!”

Suru glanced at him, but did not speak; her expression slowly turned amicable, as if she thought of something. Suddenly her face showed a mournful expression and said, “Lao qi, do you know how many years your teacher and I have been married?”
****
Ghost Li was surprised. Indistinctly he could feel shiniang’s words contained a deep sorrow, but while knowing it, he did not know how to console her. While worrying about it, he replied, “Disciple does not know.”

Suru smiled, turned back, and slowly sat down beside Tian Buyi. Quietly she said, “Actually not only you, even I myself have also forgotten. How long a time in these mountains I spent it together with him, I am contented. How could I think about how many years it has been? He always laughed at me for being silly, said that in the future if our cultivation was not sufficient and we were unable to ascend to the celestial realm and again enter into reincarnation, at that moment of being separated by life and death, he did not know what kind of scene that would be like.”

Her voice gradually became deeper, “I asked him, what he was thinking, and he said he had no other request, but that if he were to leave earlier than me, as a cultivator he did not want any grand funeral, not even a coffin, but to ‘come naturally, leave naturally’, so to speak. He only hoped to be in the mountain ground behind the main summit, that was sufficient for him, so that he could keep watch day and night over the people in the mountain ahead and not be lonely.”

Before she finished, tears were already flowing down her face.

Ghost Li clenched his teeth, unable to speak.

Da Huang’s head lifted up slightly, looked at Suru and then crawled down again, its tail wagging slightly.

Suru looked at Tian Buyi for a long time, then suddenly waved her hand and said, “You can go down the mountain now. Come back after an hour!”

Ghost Li was shocked. Feeling somehow reluctant, he called out, “Shiniang”

Suru said, “What is it?”

Ghost Li hesitated. Finally he gathered courage and said, “Shiniang, teacher’s promise which was made with you while he was alive, we disciples naturally do not dare to defy. It’s just that before teacher is buried, shouldn’t we inform senior sister Linger?”

Suru was quiet for a moment, then said, “That’s fine too. Go down and inform Daren. Let him go secretly to Longshou Valley and call Linger over!”

Ghost Li nodded, turned and left. When he reached the entrance stairs, he couldn’t help but glance back. Looking at Suru sitting beside Tian Buyi, her lonesome figure, really made one feel sad. His heart felt pain again, and he quickly turned around and did not dare to look again, walking on.

On his journey his mind recalled the scenes from the past few days. Suru did not ask Song Daren and the rest to notify the other Qing Yun sect branches. This was already extremely strange, but even Tian Linger was not allowed to be notified, this was not reasonable. Today, in handling Tian Buyi’s funeral affairs in this way, although Tian Buyi had made an agreement with her but this was too sloppy.

Ghost Li sighed in his heart and shook it off. Actually as a cultivated person, funeral affairs were not important. Flesh, bone and skin, buried in the soil, would also not be a bad thing.      

He pondered it like that quietly, not bothering to fly, walking down the mountain path. Without realising it, he had reached halfway down the mountain. When he first came up the mountain, following behind big senior brother Song Daren and little junior sister Tian Linger to the rear of the mountain, it was so difficult to travel on this path. The past memories were so vivid, lingering in his heart.

But he began to wonder... that senior sister Linger, how had she been all these years?

A faint bitter smile on his lips, he shook his head, and then he suddenly stopped, looking ahead surprised.

On the path, a white figure suddenly appeared, standing quietly. In the morning light not a single trace of looking mortal, quietly watching him.

Ghost Li looked at her, both of them looked for a long time but yet had no words to say.

The mountain breeze blew over, ruffled her hair and clothes, moving with the wind.

Finally, it was Ghost Li who first spoke, “Why did you come here?”

Lu Xueqi quietly said, “My teacher instructed me to come and pay my respect to Teacher-Aunt Suru.”

Ghost Li nodded quietly, hesitated for a moment, and said, “Shiniang is recovering at the rear of the mountain. It’s just that right now she wishes to be alone and instructed me to come back after an hour.”

Lu Xueqi nodded too, and said, “It’s alright. I will just wait.”

Ghost Li acknowledged and kept quiet. Lu Xueqi seemed at a loss at what to say too. Between the two of them, while it gradually became quieter, although both stood and did not move, the distance seemed to increase.

After a long period, Lu Xueqi softly said, “Are your injuries better?”

Ghost Li softly said, “Much better, “ while speaking, he looked up at Lu Xueqi, said, “That day if it was not for you, I might not even be standing here, I should be thanking you.”

Lu Xueqi was surprised, looked at Ghost Li, and said, “That day I... I... that sword...”

Ghost Li suddenly interrupted, and said, “Don’t say it anymore.”

Lu Xueqi’s face dimmed, stopped and looked down.

Ghost Li seemed to be hesitating, and then continued, “Shiniang has talked to me about those matters. She said I have mistaken you. I am sorry.”

Lu Xueqi’s body shook and she looked up. Ghost Li with sorrow on his face, was also looking at her, but even so, he still spoke every word slowly, “Shiniang’s words, I naturally believe them, but teacher was, after all, my mentor who raised and taught me, I know maybe I am too selfish but I hope you can give me some time, I also can...”

“I understand, I will wait for you!” Lu Xueqi suddenly interrupted him.

Ghost Li was stunned. He looked up at her: a beautiful lady, biting her lips, tears in her eyes. But in that instant her tensed body seemed to relax, and on her lips a faint smile and gratification.

Looking at that emotional girl, his lips moved. A tenderness suddenly surged from the bottom of his heart. He wanted to smile and say something to her, but who would expect that at this moment, from the bamboo forest on the summit’s behind them, a sound of a dog barking burst out from the distant.

His body suddenly froze.

That was Da Huang. Ever since Tian Buyi’s body was returned, Da Huang had always been quietly beside his master’s body, never barking loudly, but at this moment although it was faint from this distance but it sounded frantic, as if in extremely despair. He had never heard such a sound in several decades.

What had exactly happened, that would make Da Huang howl so hysterically?

The worry which had been buried deep inside his heart suddenly gushed out. Ghost Li’s face instantly turned pale. Even his hands started to tremble.

Lu Xueqi was also shocked. She felt bewildered and looking at Ghost Li’s expression, asked in shock, “What is it?”

Ghost Li did not answer but his body trembling, abruptly bellowed, “Shiniang!”

He was already dashing back like lightning towards the bamboo forest.

Lu Xueqi was extremely intelligent. In an instant she vaguely understood. Her face also turned pale, her body trembled. If because of Tian Buyi’s death, Suru in her grief underwent some unfortunate event, she could not imagine how Ghost Li would be, and how they could face each other, she totally could not imagine!

Watching that figure flashed back madly, she suddenly felt a never before known sense of helplessness, like a huge shadow shrouded beside her. She wanted to follow but her body and legs seemed to be trapped by an invisible force, unable to move at all. In her heart, she shouted with all her might, “No, no.”  

Edited by metal.carratt

15 comments:

  1. Thanks for the translation! I hope, Suru is fine :( - I have a very bad feeling about this :(

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  2. another sad events? .. hope i am wrong...
    poor Xue Qi

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  3. ever since xueqi killed tian buyi, i'm starting to hate her character. I know she's doing that to save ghost li life, but why must she killed him. Their relationship becoming more awkward. I don't think i can be together with someone who killed my teacher(father) for the rest of my life.

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    1. It was an urgent situation. One must think clearly and quickly, and in the short moment, that's the best she could think of. I dont like it either, but I think I cant blame her, nor Ghost Li.

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    2. When a sword flows out of my body, damn I think I would be dead immediately. In what I understood, BuYi at that time was already a walking corpse. Then xueqi freed him from XuZian contorl. Which BuYi also thank her.

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    3. I totally agree! Imagine a teacher, who is manipulated by a demonic sword, unable to act freely and forced to kill his most beloved student!! Ahhh - I think, that Xueqi was very brave and did really „free“ BuYi, although she has to kill him.

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    4. I don’t know. If you see someone that you love about to be killed, I hope you don’t just stand there feeling helpless. I would try to save the person I love no matter what. Even if it means them hating me, after all, love is a selfish thing.

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  4. Thanks a lot!
    Noo I hope nothing happens to Shiniang :(( . If she does something bad, then Ghost Li will feel even worse :((.

    Poor Ghost Li - Xue Qi :(

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  5. Thank you very much for the chapter :)

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  6. thank you for this chapter

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  7. thank you for the chapter..

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  8. Thks all, yes it was a very difficult situation for them..tho I still wish for Ghost Li to be with Biyao T_T

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