Sunday, 3 June 2018

Chapter 235 - No Regrets

Ghost Li’s heart was torn with anxiety as he dashed ahead at full speed. With his current skills, the trees and grass by the side of the path were all flattened in an instant, like a gap cleaved through the middle of the sea. Due to his speed, the wind hitting his face indistinctly felt painful but he did not notice it at all.

Right now in his heart there was only Suru who was at the rear bamboo forest.

Da Huang’s barkings lingered in his ear madly. Ghost Li’s figure creating a sharp piercing sound as he abruptly charged from the foot of the mountain stone stairs up to the sky. While in the air, Ghost Li’s heart suddenly froze, almost involuntarily dropping down.

On the ground, not knowing since when, two human-sized pits had appeared with two piles of soil beside. From the wetness of the soil it must have been dug by Suru earlier on. Thinking about the purpose of these two pits, Ghost Li’s face turned pale, his scalp tingling. Tian Buyi’s body was still lying peacefully in the original spot but Suru, whom Ghost Li was most worried about, was lying on Tian Buyi’s chest, unmoving.

Beside that, Da Huang was facing Suru, barking wildly and incessantly.

Ghost Li’s heart sank. Looking at the slender figure who had just been standing before him a short while ago, he was suddenly afraid to go near and take a look. At this moment, on the stone stairs behind him a pale Lu Xueqi appeared. She stood there at a distance, quietly watching everything.

Ghost Li suppressed his racing heart, softly calling out, “Shiniang?”

Suru did not move; there was no response.

Ghost Li’s slowly approached. Every step seemed to take much effort. Da Huang continued barking. Finally, he came near to Suru and quietly said, “Shiniang… don’t scare me…”

A trembling hand touched Suru’s shoulder. Ghost Li clenched his teeth, increased his strength and flipped Suru’s body over. A surprised and slightly smiling face appeared before him.

Suru was smiling. Her lips seemed to have an expression of faint relief on them. Maybe it was because she was with her husband. Her body was still warm, her face peaceful and dignified, only without vitality.

Da Huang was still barking madly but its voice was gradually getting hoarse!

Ghost Li’s legs weakened. He sat on the ground, a moment later his mind blank.

“Shiniang has gone too....”

This was his only cry in his mind, reverberating incessantly in his heart.

The next day, the other Qing Yun sect branches received Big Bamboo Valley’s solemn news, that branch leader Tian Buyi and his wife, Suru, had both passed away.

Tian Buyi and his wife’s status within Qing Yun sect was substantial and had always enjoyed prestige. This solemn news shocked the entire Qing Yun sect in an instant. Immediately numerous fellow sect members flew over to mourn. From Longshou Valley Tian Linger rushed back and was all tears before her parents’ spiritual tablets. Most of the other branches’ elders, although all being cultivators, teared up as they turned sentimental; especially Small Bamboo Valley Master Shuiyue, who was the closest to Suru.

In this solemn and sorrowful atmosphere, there was some unusual signs. With Tian Buyi and his wife’s status, all of the other branches came in force. Yet from the eldest branch Tongtian Peak, although most of the senior generation elders came but only the sect head, Qing Yun sect head Reverend Daoxuan, was not seen. This inevitably was seen as an act of contempt against Big Bamboo Valley.

Song Daren and the other disciples came forward to receive their fellow sect disciples and send them away after. They were dressed in mourning garb, their expressions in sorrow, and couldn’t be more respectful, but when they saw Xiao Yicai and his fellow disciples their faces revealed anger, their conversations were also much colder, and Xiao Yicai and the rest were conscious of it and felt it was better not to say much. Other than smiling bitterly, they could only stand aside and kept quiet.

The incense smoke lingered, the sounds of crying unceasingly. In this mournfulness, it was probably the sadness of loved ones passing away that persisted in the tranquil Big Bamboo Valley summit. After living their lives, not knowing if there was really a spirit after passing away, if there really was, when the loved ones saw all these things happening from the netherworld, what would they feel?

However, most likely Tian Buyi would not show that he was sad!

A figure drifted down from Qing Yun Hill, looking to be in a daze. In the afternoon time, he entered HeYang City alone.

People walked up and down the main street. Although it was not the same bustling scene of the past but it could be seen that this city was slowly recovering its vitality. Some passed away during the catastrophe, some fortunately managed to survive. And there were even children who had grown up to be adults; one generation after another, multiplying endlessly.

Ghost Li stood at the start of the street, quietly looking at the crowd. The strangers passed him by like wave after wave, unceasingly. As he stood within the crowd, he was surrounded by many  humans, all similar to him, with life, aging, sickness, and death; quietly living in the cycel of reincarnation.

But why must humans live?

Ghost Li suddenly thought like that.

His teacher and Shiniang had both passed away in front of him. After the grief what was left other than numbness was exhaustion.

In this lifetime he felt he was always walking on a path that was longer than others, and on this path he was still unable to see the end.

As he woodenly walked, around him the hustle and bustle continued. He could clearly hear voices of those shouting to sell their wares, and if he wished to even the voices of mothers reprimanding their children on another street. It’s just that all of these felt so far away from him. In his trance-like state he felt he did not belong to this world.

Without thinking he walked to a certain area, looked up, and found a restaurant sign that looked familiar. Deep within his heart something moved, and he subconsciously walked in.

The number of customers inside the restaurant was pathetic. Evidently the restaurant’s business had not recovered to its pre-catastrophe period. The waiter received them, smiled and asked, “Customer, are you having a meal or a drink?”

Ghost Li was silent, for a moment he was unable to answer. After leaving Qing Yun Hill, his mind was in a trance, as if nothing excited him. That feeling, with some despair, was like ten years ago when he had witnessed Biyao received that sword for him. But after this ten years, that mania was gone and instead replaced by exhaustion.

“Customer, customer?”

The waiter raised his voice slightly, and Ghost Li woodenly shook his head, walked to a secluded seat by the side and sat down.

The waiter followed over, still smiling and asked, “Customer, what would you like to have?”

“Here…” he slowly spoke, suddenly remembering something from deep within his memories, “Here, do you still have ‘Steamed Mei Fish’?”

The waiter was stunned and then smiled, said, “Customer, you must be a previous customer of our Shanhai’s restaurant. This steamed mei fish was our signature dish initially but now you can’t get it anymore."

Ghost Li was surprised, asked, “Why is that?”

The waiter shrugged his shoulders and said, “Isn’t it all because of all those demon beasts? When the monsters occupied this place, everywhere within a several hundred mile radius from here suffered calamity. Even the fish in the river outside the city were all wiped out. Today, not to mention fish that could be served as a dish, it would be rare to even find one you could fry.”

Ghost Li seemed disappointed, his expression for some reason dimmed. The waiter sighed for a while then remembered his work, and quickly asked, “Customer, why don’t you order some other dishes?”

Ghost Li stared off in a daze and spoke casually, “Forget it, just bring some dishes for wine over.”

The waiter nodded, turned and left. Halfway there, three customers walked in. The waiter was surprised and, secretly thinking to himself that business was actually getting good, went up to receive them. Unexpectedly, after the three people assessed the restaurant, they suddenly saw Ghost Li and one of them called out, the voice seeming to carry a feeling of surprise.         

Ghost Li heard the sound, found it familiar, turned to look and was also stunned. As it is said, ‘there is nowhere in the world where people could not meet’; the three people were Zhou Yixian, Xiao Huan and Wild Dog Taoist. The one who called out was Zhou Yixian.

For some reason, when he saw them, Ghost Li felt an inexplicable closeness. Although they were not good friends but right now his heart felt lighter.

Zhou Yixian’s stunned expression in an instant disappeared, replaced by a face full of smiles. He walked over with quick steps, the ‘Immortal Guide’ banner hanging on the bamboo pole in his hand swaying with the movements. When he reached Ghost Li, he smiled and said, “He he. It is really unexpected, we meet here again.”

Ghost Li’s lips revealed a faint smile, although it disappeared almost immediately, but he still said, “Senior please sit.”

Zhou Yixian nodded and sat down unceremoniously. The waiter stood beside, smiled and asked, “Are all of you together?”

Zhou Yixian rolled his eyes at him, and said, “What nonsense. If we are not together will we sit together?”

The waiter hurriedly nodded, said, “Yes, yes, everyone please have a seat. I will go prepare the dishes. It will be ready immediately.”

Zhou Yixian laughed non-stop, but pulled the waiter over, ordered another seven to eight dishes and also three to four pots of wine. The waiter nodded his head in succession, and quickly went to prepare.

Xiao Huan was not as happy as her grandfather, instead her face was black and rather unpleasant. Especially after Zhou Yixian again pulled the waiter over to order more dishes and wine, she appeared even more gloomy, and almost wanted to speak but in the end bore with it. After the waiter left she could not help but sneer, “Grandpa, you ordered so many dishes. Is it that after you saw your saviour here, you want to give him a proper treat?”

Zhou Yixian’s face sank as angrily replied, “Xiao Huan, what nonsense are you talking about? With the kind of friendship this brother Ghost Li and I have, how can we use these dishes to compare?”

Speaking this, he turned and smiled at Ghost Li and then sighed, shook his head and said, “Look at this HeYang City. After the catastrophe, the people are no longer simple and sincere. No one is willing to read their fortunes. The ways of the world are hard now, ah…”

Xiao Huan’s face changed, glanced at Ghost Li and glared at Zhou Yixian, her face slightly red. Ghost Li seemed not to sense it, only indifferently said, “Yes, senior please don’t worry. I have once received your care for many days. This time please take it as my treat to thank you all.” Xiao Huan’s face immediately turned red but Zhou Yixian was greatly relieved instead. He nodded his head and smiled, “That’s right, that’s right, you are worth teaching!”

Wild Dog Taoist looked at Xiao Huan, and again at Ghost Li. He wanted to speak but stopped himself.

At this moment, the waiter brought some cold dishes up, and also two pots of wine. Zhou Yixian unashamedly took over the pot and poured for everyone. Raising his cup, he said, “We are all wanderers of the world. To be able to meet here, it is really a rare fate. Let’s drink to that!”

After speaking, he tilted his head and drank his all in one shot, and then shook his head slightly, looked like he was rather pleased with the wine. Ghost Li looked at him, his lips moved, not knowing if he smiled but his facial muscle looked extremely stiff. Most probably even if he smiled it would not be shown. He slowly took up his cup, and placed it to his lips. However, the next moment, he suddenly sighed. His sigh contained much helplessness and pain, as if what he was holding was the most bitter thing. Unable to drink, he slowly placed it back to the table.

Xiao Huan couldn’t bear it anymore, shouted back at Zhou Yixian, “What a rare encounter! Somebody saw someone else from far on the main street, shouted noisily and then rushed here to scheme free food and drinks!”

Zhou Yixian’s expression did not change, only rolled his eyes at Xiao Huan and said, “Child, your words are unrestrained, your words are unrestrained!”

Ghost Li seemed not to mind Xiao Huan’s words. He looked distracted and occupied with some thoughts. Xiao Huan had known him for many years yet this was the first time she saw him like this. She couldn’t help but feel worried, and asked Ghost Li, “Did something happened?”

Ghost Li was silent for a moment but he did not reply to Xiao Huan, instead spoke to Zhou Yixian, “Senior.”

Zhou Yixian again poured himself another cup of wine. When he heard that he smiled and said, “What is it?”

Ghost Li’s gaze seemed empty. He quietly said, “I remember ten years ago, when I had just come down from Qing Yun Hill, in this HeYang City you once read my fortunes, right?”

Zhou Yixian and Xiao Huan were surprised. Wild Dog Taoist instead felt puzzled. Naturally he did not know about the past events. Zhou Yixian frowned, thought a moment and then said, “Oh, I still remember a bit. What is it? Why do you suddenly ask about the past?”

Speaking till here, his face suddenly revealed a mysterious expression, he lowered his voice and spoke harshly to Ghost Li, “It couldn’t be that, after ten years, because our readings were not accurate, you intended to get a refund?” “Grandpa!” Xiao Huan scolded Zhou Yixian, looking as if she could not bear it. She pushed Zhou Yixian to the side, and spoke to Ghost Li, “Big brother Ghost Li, do you have any troubling matters? Maybe...you can tell me?”

Ghost Li glanced at Xiao Huan, the tiredness in his eyes revealed a rare tender look but he still gently shook his head, and said, “I am alright, I only wanted to ask Mister a few things.”

Zhou Yixian arranged his clothes, coughed and again that ancient celestial demeanour surfaced. For a moment the small restaurant seemed to be lit up with his presence, dominated by him.     

“You can speak.” He indifferently said, “Between us, you can say anything. But you still hav to give the fortune fee to me.” He disregarded Xiao Huan’s embarrassed face, facing Ghost Li and blinking his eyes.

Ghost Li smiled faintly, patting consolingly at Xiao Huan who looked like she was going to burst out from being embarrassed, then turned to Zhou Yixian, a perplexed look on his face, and said, “Senior. You have roamed the world and have wide knowledge. I have something which perplexes me. I will like to ask senior, we live our lives for a lifetime, for what purpose?”

Xiao Huan and Wild Dog Taoist were stunned and looked bewilderingly at Ghost Li. Zhou Yixian frowned, his face slowly turning solemn. He did not answer rashly, instead after thinking for a period, he slowly said, “You look different from usual. Have you have encountered some unfortunate event?”

Ghost Li was silent for a moment then quietly said, “My mentor and shiniang passed away few days ago.”

“Ah!” Xiao Huan and Wild Dog Taoist both exclaimed in shock. Zhou Yixian frowned, sighed and quietly said, “Tian Buyi is also gone, it’s a pity.”

Ghost Li was silent. Zhou Yixian closed his eyes and then he was back to normal. “No wonder you looked full of anguish. It is only the separation between life and death, it is part of life, nobody can escape. You are not one of the common folks, why must you wallow in it?”    

The anguish on Ghost Li’s face deepened, and said, “But the cause of their demises... actually I also had a part in it!”

Zhou Yixian faintly said, “Even though it is so, when your teacher and shiniang passed away, did they ever blame you?”

Ghost Li’s head slowly dropped, after a long time he slowly said, “No, my debt of gratitude to teacher and shiniang are as weighty as a mountain. Even until the last moment, they were still concerned for me, even took this unworthy unfilial disciple back…” Until the end, his voice was already slightly choked.

Xiao Huan, sitting beside Ghost Li looked at him, her eyes also turning red.

Zhou Yixian smiled, a faint glint flowed in his eyes, as if he had jumped out of this mortal world and had seen past the emotions of the world. “Then I ask you again, when your teacher and shiniang passed away, did they have any regrets or hatred?”

Ghost Li hesitated, slowly shook his head.

Zhou Yixian smiled said, “Then this is it. You should be happy for them. To die without regrets, isn’t this the best ending for them?”

Ghost Li looked up at Zhou Yixian, his lips moving slightly, his expression confused.

Edited by metal.carratt

10 comments:

  1. Wow, thanks for the translation :) - so peaceful in a certain aspect :) :) :)

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  2. Thanks for the chapter Bringer .. too sad :(

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  3. thanks for the chapter!

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  4. The knowledge of Zhu Yixian when serious @_@

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    Replies
    1. Anyway, he is still a celestial fairy - at least in the movie ;-)

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  5. Thanks for the Chapter. Total how many chapters does the Book consist of?

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  6. Thanks guys! Harry, I think 22

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  7. Hi Bringer, My question was how many total chapters does the Novel contain.

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