“Your teachers should have taught you to mercilessly slaughter people from Luo Yue whenever you see them, but you didn’t listen! You didn’t listen!” – Luo Shi
“I think Luo Yue’s teachers also teach this kind of thing…” – Fan Tong
A boy and a girl were up in a tree, and a miserable wail alerted the group of beasts under the tree to the location of their prey. The situation was out of control.
However, that was the situation three minutes ago. Presently, the young man had left the safety of the tree and cleanly killed all of the beasts in order to escape from the incomprehensible and unacceptably awkward situation. That person was still in a bit of a trance; his brain felt like it had yet to start working correctly again.
The young woman jumped down from the tree and very quickly helped him recall what had happened a moment ago, bringing his mind back from its violent combative haze.
“Yue Tui, you really are very strong. Ah, you killed so many beasts in such a short time…” Zhu Sha looked around at all the beast corpses, a little surprised.
For a while, Yue Tui did not know where to look. Just a few minutes ago, Zhu Sha had changed into a woman – a beautiful woman with long hair and a graceful figure. It… seemed like it had happened when they’d climbed up the tree?
Disregarding whether or not he was used to talking to girls, he had just seen his originally male friend suddenly change into a female. For Yue Tui to adapt quickly would be a little difficult. Moreover, according to what Zhu Sha had said before, it seemed “she” could still change back to a “he.” In the end, should he be considered a boy or a girl? What kind of situation was this? What should Yue Tui do?!
Seemingly not noticing Yue Tui’s pale face, Zhu Sha quickly lost interest in the beast corpses and walked over to him. However, as soon as she’d move forward a step, Yue Tui would retreat a step, and when she’d take another step forward, Yue Tui would retreat another step…
“Yue Tui, what are you doing?” Zhu Sha grumbled resentfully, not understanding why he was backing away. She was dissatisfied because she knew she couldn’t do anything about it if Yue Tui didn’t want her to get any closer, as his speed was at a level she couldn’t hope to match.“Zhu Sha, you, you… In the end, are you…” In a trembling voice, Yue Tui tried to ask her, but he still wasn’t sure he wanted to know the answer to that question.
“Isn’t my appearance the only thing that’s changed?” Zhu Sha said, her tone of voice clearly conveying that she thought her change was a common occurrence and therefore nothing to be concerned about.
A female appearance? A male appearance? Hearing Zhu Sha talk about it before was one thing, but…
While Yue Tui was still struggling to process those words, Zhu Sha took the opportunity to walk up to Yue Tui, who had turned pale with fright, and grabbed his arm.
“I only changed into a woman. I was just curious what would happen if I did. Look at me, ok~~?” Clinging to his arm, Zhu Sha looked at him with bright, shining eyes, sounding a bit like a spoiled child when she spoke. This caused Yue Tui to break out in cold sweat.
No, not all people can suddenly change their gender, ack – th-there’s no need to stand so close to me! He felt bewildered, his brain still unable to process the situation. If nothing changed, his heart really wouldn’t be able to take it anymore, so he had to immediately find a way to get the world to make sense again.
“You, you, first change back into a boy!” If a girl continued hugging him, Yue Tui’s mind would remain a mess.
After Zhu Sha had changed into a girl, her attitude also seemed to have changed a little. Originally, as a boy, he hadn’t liked to snuggle up close to Yue Tui like this.
“Why?” she asked.
Now that Zhu Sha had changed into a girl, however, he needed to get to the heart of the matter, since he couldn’t conveniently disappear. “Because like this, talking to you is very difficult! Like this, like this, it’s very strange…”
“Then, you should also change into a girl. Would that work?”
“It’s not possible for me to do that kind of thing!”
“Not possible? Don’t tell me there’s a problem with your body?”
Zhu Sha was puzzled. Then, as if she was doing something that was completely socially acceptable, she reached into Yue Tui’s clothes to see if she could find the “problem.”
Yue Tui couldn’t help shrieking loudly. “Waaaah!” Automatically responding to the “crisis” his subconscious had detected, he instinctively hit her on the head and knocked her out. His hand moved so fast that Zhu Sha didn’t even have time to utter a sound, and she immediately collapsed onto him. After being knocked out, however, Zhu Sha remained a girl, which was problematic.
Just as Yue Tui became upset about the trouble he had brought upon himself, he suddenly realized what he had done. “Ah…” His face went through many expressions as he looked at the unconscious Zhu Sha. He felt that he couldn’t stay here, but he absolutely couldn’t leave Zhu Sha either. After hesitating for a short while, he could only compromise and carry his unconscious companion with him.
“Ling Shi Gege, are we still going to wait here for Yin Shi to meet up with us?” Although she had heard the conversation a moment ago, Bi Rou still wanted to confirm their plan. After all, Yin Shi’s words could not be relied on. He could very easily say “west” when he meant to say “east,” but Ling Shi seemed to understand Yin Shi a certain amount due to spending a lot of time around him. Therefore, if Ling Shi decided to wait here longer, he probably wouldn’t be wrong.
“Yes. As the only just passed, the surrounding airflow is still unstable. We can’t determine his exact location right now. Although he should be able to locate us no matter where we are, it’s still best not to run off.” Ling Shi answered her question and even explained his answer.
At that moment, Cute Girl A asked curiously, “Lord Ling Shi, may I ask what the Qing Ping Storm is?” It was a term none of them had heard before. Judging from how Ling Shi’s expression had flipped, it must be something rather dangerous. Therefore, they naturally wanted to know more about it.
Just a moment ago, when they’d encountered the Qing Ping Storm, Ling Shi had reacted quickly to protect them. All they knew was that he had used Fuzhou to form a protective barrier around them, and when he’d finally removed the barrier, they’d been transported to an entirely different area. They didn’t understand what actually happened at all.
“It’s somewhat like an unusual geographic phenomenon.” Ling Shi naturally had an answer to an intellectual question like that . “It mainly occurs within the borders of Eastern City’s territory. It’s a large-scale sandstorm that often combines with broken rock and discharges electrical currents, causing considerable destruction to the land it sweeps over… If swept up in the storm, people with a purple tassel or lower will die unless they are extremely lucky. Qing Ping Storms move very fast and their trajectory is unpredictable. People who get caught up in them can be dumped anywhere, which is why we were scattered just now.”
In other words, if they hadn’t had Ling Shi’s protection, those few girls were afraid that they would have died. Cute Girl B felt fear in the pit of her stomach. “Fortunately, we have Lord Ling Shi here, so it seems like only Fan Tong ran into trouble. We were really lucky.”
If Fan Tong had been present, he would have inevitably protested that sentiment. Why should one person bear the burden for an entire group’s bad luck?
“It’s not good luck. That Qing Ping Storm normally only appears in more dangerous areas, but the one just now appeared in a place like Resource Area 2…” Ling Shi concluded. “Perhaps it’s because I used the jade plate too much.”
That jade plate… What was it exactly? To give off so much energy to have influenced the weather? The three girls remained silent when Ling Shi reached this conclusion until Yin Shi’s flustered voice came through their communication charms.
“Ah! Ling Shi! Where is this?! I’ve been separated from you guys and I have no idea where I am!” No one knew what to say in response.
“What do your surroundings look like?” Ling Shi asked patiently.
“About that… There are all sorts of things near me. The Qing Ping Storm that swept through was very strong; I killed all those beasts, but I can’t find their bodies. Where should I go?”
Even if the corpses were still there, considering his original twisting route and the method used to kill them, Ling Shi was not confident he could find the correct route, even if he tried to retrace his path.
“You know that the Qing Ping Storm sweeps people away; are we still on our original path?”
“Ah! Old man! How could you kidnap Xiao Rou and the others, and then make the Qing Ping Storm carry them all over the place?! Why are you not on our original path waiting for me?” He once again made an unreasonable request. Moreover, Ling Shi was obviously the one who stayed on their original path, but Yin Shi still couldn’t find them; nevertheless, he had the nerve to criticize Ling Shi.
“I don’t want to bother with you.” Ling Shi said as his patience had officially run out.
“Eh? You don’t want to bother with me? But I want to go find Xiao Rou! So, what am I supposed to do?!”
“Why don’t you use your love to find her then? If you aren’t able to find her, then that just means your love wasn’t strong enough in the first place. Goodbye.” After he finished speaking, Ling Shi bluntly cut off his group communication channel. Yin Shi apparently continued to sob to Bi Rou about Ling Shi’s heartlessness, but it didn’t matter because he wasn’t there to hear it, and as such had nothing to do with the ensuing conversation.
“Xiao Rou, my heart feels so cold, my legs ache, I’m so tired…”
“Yin Shi, can you ignore it?”
If he was able to hear Bi Rou, it meant that Yin Shi was still acting pitiful. Ling Shi glanced over at her, and spoke without thinking through what he was about to say. “Ignore him. He’s the only one who didn’t caught up by the Qing Ping Storm, so what could he possibly do to help us?”
“Xiao Rou! Xiao Rou! Talking to you, but not being able to be with you at your side. I feel as though I could die.”
“No, I don’t want you to die! Yin Shi, don’t die!”
“…” Since it seemed like they were amusing themselves, Ling Shi did not feel inclined to interrupt and destroy the bubble they’ve created amongst themselves.
The Qing Ping Storm had swept through the surrounding area, and as a result, there was sand everywhere… On the ground and in the air, making them incapable of seeing what lay ahead further away. A large stone sheltered them. Ling Shi had effortlessly kept up the Fuzhou barrier, making the area in their immediate vicinity clear. They couldn’t see their surroundings, though.
Even though unable to see clearly, sensing life forms was not a problem for Ling Shi. When he felt someone that was not a beast approaching, Ling Shi immediately stood in front of Bi Rou and the others to shield them, causing them to look towards him in confusion. “There’s an enemy,” he explained.
“An enemy?” This answer was simple, but they still didn’t understand. Ling Shi smiled a little, and his eyes looked ready for battle. “It’s some Luo Yue trash.”
Walking in the sand-filled environment, although everyone was unhappy, these few people were especially displeased.
“As I said, I simply do not want to be here on this damn mission. This damn Ye Zhi! Just by walking around here, we ran into that stupid, weird weather phenomenon!”
From the group came the voice of a relatively short, young man. From the terrible look on his face, it was obvious that his temper was on the edge of blowing up. It seemed that when it came to dealing with his violent temper,, his companions were already used to it. Only a few of the people who were accompanying him shrank back in fear, afraid that he would take out his anger on his subordinates.
Judging from their attire, language, and looks, they were definitely visitors from the Western City – even though no one had invited them. In order to keep a ‘low profile’, they were wearing simple clothes as a disguise instead of wearing Western City’s clothes. However, the Western City’s clothes and the Eastern City’s had always been two different styles, no matter how simple or elaborate they were. Despite their simple clothing, it was easy to tell that they were from the Western City.
“Yiye, do you see any chickens? After that strange storm swept through, I haven’t seen a single living creature besides us…” the blond man walking ahead of him looked over his shoulder and asked the violent teenager.
If Yin Shi were here, he would probably point at them and yell, “Long time no see,” and then the blond man’s face would immediately look like he encountered someone who owed him millions of strings of money. Though, it was no wonder he wore an ugly expression when looking at Yin Shi, even though he usually used a very neutral face when talking to other people.
“Right now, who has the leisure time to look for chickens?!” Yiye glared and snarled at him, a murderous expression on his face. It was really a pity that the people around him were all his comrades, which meant he couldn’t kill them.
Actually, in Yiye’s mind, it wasn’t that he couldn’t kill them. Rather it was because killing them wouldn’t be a good thing, so he just didn’t bother.
“We came to kill chickens and pluck their feathers. In that case, isn’t it important to actually find the chickens?” the blonde man earnestly asked in reply, causing Yiye’s eyes to take on a more ominous glint.
“This order is extremely stupid! Englar must have fallen down and knocked his head or something! He wants feathers for his pillow, so he sent the Magic Sword Guards to Ye Zhi to kill chickens? Acting willfully has to have a limit! If he wants to send us out, he needs to find a better reason!” Yiye angrily ranted.
Yiye had a tendency to get angry without provocation at any given time, but this time, his troops all silently agreed with him. The reason they had to come here was quite ridiculous.
The Western City’s Young Emperor was there, and directly following him in rank were the Council of Elders and the five Magic Sword Guards. The Magic Sword Guards were responsible for the Young Emperor’s safety, and therefore had a very high status. Logically speaking, the Magic Sword Guards and the Council of Elders were too high in rank to be randomly dispatched on missions. However, they had been ordered to go to the Eastern City’s territory just to kill chickens and collect their feathers… All on the Young Emperor’s whim. The Young Emperor had causally ordered them: “I hear Ye Zhi’s land has chicken feathers that make good pillows. Set out today and bring some back for me… Please.”
When they received that kind of order, every single one among them felt as though a black cloud had appeared over their heads. Plucking chicken feathers?! He dispatched the Magic Sword Guards to the enemy’s territory to pluck… Chicken! Feathers! To. Make. A. Pillow?! The shame didn’t end there as this mission wasn’t even kept secret and the Emperor directly announced his orders while addressing the entire country. This made the Western City’s citizens gossip continuously while speculating what the emperor’s intentions could possibly be. His actions were clearly and deliberately aimed at alienating the Magic Sword Guards, suggesting that their respected positions were not the same as before.
Or was it because he wanted to send away the small force and take the opportunity to do something in their absence?
Or as Yiye would say, was it just because the Young Emperor had hit his head too hard and wanted a soft pillow?
Regardless of the reason, because they felt the Emperor was playing with them, the guards weren’t too happy. Their so-called ruler’s way of thinking was simply too hard to understand. He often acted as if he thought everyone else’s minds were as strange as his. This meant his personal guards had to wrack their heads every time to understand his orders, sometimes the process made them want to vomit blood in frustration. They had no choice but to obey his orders and set off, playing the situation by ear.
Regardless of the Young Emperor’s intentions, gathering chicken feathers and bringing them back hardly caused any harm. Although the Young Emperor’s command was for all five members of the Magic Sword Guards to leave, only three had actually gone on the mission. Of the two that didn’t come, one was well-known for coming down with debilitating colds and had requested leave due to another bout of illness. The other person had been out of the city for a while already, so no one could contact him with the order.
“We can’t be rude to His Majesty. His Majesty’s thought processes are indeed profound, we shouldn’t look only at the surface,” the blond man said, resolutely scolding his companion for his irreverent words. The troops under their command remained silent. Yiye used a “there’s no saving this guy” expression to look at him.
“You’re the emperor’s slave! You might as well have stayed behind in the Western City to lick Englar’s shoes!”
“You can’t call out His Majesty’s name directly like that! And even if you say that, didn’t you come along on this mission in the end as well?”
The Council of Elders could be considered equal in rank to them, so if the elders gave them an order, they could set it aside and ignore it. The Young Emperor’s orders, however, were different. Regardless of whether the Council used the Young Emperor as a figurehead, as long as he held the title of Western City’s ruler, he commanded the entire nation, and that included the Magic Sword Guards. It was fine if Yiye didn’t call him by his title of ‘Young Emperor’, but calling him the same thing that the enemy country called him was something he couldn’t do too many times, since he still had to pay attention to propriety. However, it seemed like if he received too many commands like the chicken feather mission, he might actually commit treason.
“… Do you want to die?” So, when Yiye looked at the blond man with chilling eyes, the troops all broke out in cold sweat fearing for the blond man’s safety, since none of them were confident that Yiye wouldn’t attack him. If he were to attack him, Yiye would definitely beat him up. The three gold threads on his belt weren’t fake; he absolutely wouldn’t lose to the blond man, who only had two gold threads.
“Right now, we should be looking for chickens and trying to find our missing people.” The blonde man didn’t consider his threat to be a problem, and remained concentrated on carrying out their ‘mission’. Yiye snorted disdainfully, and seemed to have no interest in acting according to his proposal.
Three people from the Magic Sword Guard had come on the mission together, but the third person and his troops had been separated from them when the sandstorm started. Both sides were trying to find each other, but they were unable to use their communication magic at the moment, so their only hope of finding the other party was walking around.
“Yiye, they should be in this direction, why are you walking off in another direction?”
“Looking for fun.”
“Looking for fun?”
“Didn’t you see that mark in the sky earlier?!” Yiye snorted coldly, and perhaps because he finally found something that interested him, a ghost of a smile appeared on his face. The people of Western City called it his bloodthirsty smile. “Eastern City’s Lord Ling Shi must be in the area. As for killing chickens, I’m not interested in that! A duel to the death might not be so bad. If I can’t find him, I can at least take care of some Ye Zhi residents.”
“Not without permission you won’t! If the high-ranked people from Ye Zhi find out that we’re here, our mission will be obstructed!”
“Isn’t ‘killing’ the entire reason we came on this mission? It doesn’t matter if you won’t come with me, but if you dare and try to stop me… I’ll cut you open, and when we go back home, we’ll see if Englar’s willing to use his blood to save you!” Yiye disregarded his companion’s advice, and immediately turned to leave. His tendency to ignore what others said regardless of the situation was the same as usual. He had a complete lack of group awareness and never got along well with other people.
“Yiye…! Really now…” The blond man was starting to become frustrated because he knew there was nothing he could do to stop the other. He had to decide whether he should ignore Yiye or join him in this kind of situation.
“My Lord! There’s a land chicken over there!”
“What? Where? Quickly surround it and kill it! Pluck its feathers! For His Majesty!” Once a chicken entered the picture, he forgot the matter he had been worrying about… Not until the chicken was killed and its feathers plucked did he realize that he could no longer see Yiye.
Half annoyed and half frantic, the blonde man ordered everyone to chase after Yiye. As for what they would do after they found him… He couldn’t possibly predict what that would be.
Fan Tong was growing tired of listing the number of unfortunate things that had happened from the beginning of the sandstorm up until now. However, it still shouldn’t be the most unfortunate point in his life, as he didn’t clearly understand the situation. Therefore, he still had no idea how unlucky he truly was to have fallen prey to such bad luck this time.
Speaking of which, he didn’t have as much bad luck in his original world, did he? Even if his life was fated to be a tragedy because of the curse, hadn’t he turned his misfortune into a blessing when he used the curse to make his business prosper? At the time, he still had clothes, food, and a moderately wealthy life.
Why then did his life become so completely different when he changed worlds? Was it because there was some rule that after dying once, a person must embark on and live a new life? Who made up that damn rule? So… Did that mean his life right now could be considered the same as reincarnation? In that case, was the fact that he was transported here in his current state, instead of being reborn, a good thing or a bad thing?
“Where in the world am I?! Why am I not alive?”
It should be where in the world am I, why am I not dead. Get it right. Since I have a tendency of being in mortal peril, this kind of situation is abnormal even for me.
Fan Tong remembered that he had been unconscious for some time, and when he woke up, he was unable to see anyone and felt like he had been thrown into a washing machine and rolled around a few times too many. His appearance was a mess, and it seemed like he should have lost the mop, but no, it was still hanging securely at his waist… Everything bad happened, everything he could think of. If it were not for the fact that the ground under his feet resembled the ground in Resource Area 2, Fan Tong almost believed that he had been swept away to another world. He really was unfortunate. If this kind of thing happened once, it could happen again, so he shouldn’t have any hope.
Although… In this world, he had somehow already accumulated a huge debt he needed to pay off. If he went to a different world, he wouldn’t need to pay it off anymore, but because of the relationships that he had established with great difficulty, he couldn’t just disappear! It had been so difficult to make friends, so he couldn’t end his friendships just like that. Moreover, he even had connections to the city’s higher-ups. Seeing as he had a small hope of being successful, he couldn’t just leave everything behind!
… What small hope of being successful… I’m just trying to console myself!
Fan Tong felt that, since he was letting his imagination run wild and talking to himself, he truly was an idiot. He then decided to think about what he should do next. Everyone was scattered, so the best thing to do would be to return home, then use the Fuzhou communication charm to tell everyone that he was safe. If he stayed in place and passively waited for people to find him, how long would he have to wait? An even more miserable prospect than that was―would they even bother trying to find him? Fan Tong thought that in Yin Shi and Ling Shi’s eyes, he was unremarkable, a negligible existence. They wouldn’t bother returning to look for him. Bi Rou and the other two cute girls also wouldn’t have any reason to come find him, Zhu Sha… would most likely, about the same…
Perhaps the only person who cared about his safety was Yue Tui, but Yue Tui had also come with them to kill chickens today. So, in other words… if he decided to stay here and wait around, he might die of thirst and hunger over the course of three days, then float back to the surface of the rebirth pond, where his legs would cramp from pain and he could die a few more times, and when he finally stood in front of his companions again, it would go something like the following:
“Why did you abandon me? I waited for you for such a long time!”
“Eh? We thought you had gone somewhere, how come you didn’t return until now?”
Or, even worse… It could also go like this:
“Fan Tong? Wah! I almost forgot about you!”
“What? Fan Tong went missing? I didn’t notice.”
And so on…
In order to prevent this kind of humiliation, he could just forget about waiting to be saved. Fan Tong then realized that when he was on his own, it was very easy for his thoughts to become terribly pessimistic. Once he realized this, he really wanted to find the way home himself, though first he needed to find out where he was and which direction he needed to walk in.
Fan Tong did not consider himself someone with a terrible sense of direction. At most, he only got a little turned around, but right now, it didn’t matter whether or not he had a good sense of direction. If anyone could find their way back to their original location after being unexpectedly thrown to a random place, that person couldn’t possibly be normal.
Fan Tong felt that he was definitely a normal person. In other words, he had no way of getting home.
When someone’s in a bind, talking to something would definitely help. For this reason, Fan Tong placed a hand on the mop at his waist. “Hello… Broom, broom.” The mop was now apparently a broom.
Forget it, mops and brooms are similar things. I don’t really care anymore!
Seems it woke up just now. It’s broad daylight, why are you still asleep?
“Mop. Don’t wake up. No, I mean don’t sleep! Quickly, wake up!”
“Oh… Who are you talking to? I am a horsetail whisk.”
It’s incredibly insistent in saying it’s a horsetail whisk.
“That’s no good! A horsetail whisk is not a horsetail whisk! Anyways, quickly wake up, Puhahaha!”
I need to make something clear. I’m not bursting out into laughter here, I’m just calling its name.
“What problem do you have that you consider important enough to disturb my sleep…” Puhahaha’s tone of voice was that of someone very unwilling to speak, rendering Fan Tong momentarily speechless.
From the time you were created up until now, just how much have you slept? Have you still not had enough?
“Puhahaha, do you know where the road is? I don’t want to go home.”
“If you don’t want to go home, then walking around aimlessly would do the trick.”
That’s not it… By then, Fan Tong was already tired of correcting his own speech inside his head. However, Puhahaha didn’t understand his circumstances and went on talking without paying him any attention.
“Anyway, I’m going back to sleep. I don’t know where we are and I don’t care. I just want to sleep.”
After listening to Puhahaha, Fan Tong suddenly felt that asking the mop for directions was an extremely stupid idea. Moreover, the mop kept on ignoring him. No matter what, he was still Puhahaha’s master. When would he ever gain credibility as its master?
“It seems like I was really lucky this time as I wasn’t killed by that green leopard.” I meant to say that I was horribly unlucky this time. It’d be better if I died. Death would end all my troubles. I can even conveniently abandon this stupid mop. But I didn’t die. Now I can’t go home and I’m considering whether or not I should commit suicide and go back to the rebirth pond.
“What do you mean by lucky? The only reason you’re alive right now is because your companion pushed you out of the center of the storm, allowing you to escape uninjured.” Puhahaha suddenly retorted, startling him a little.
That’s right, someone had indeed pushed me. Who was it? But weren’t you asleep? How did you know that?
“Fan Tong, there’s an enemy behind you.”
How can you call your master’s name without any honorifics! Wait a second. An enemy? What enemy?!
Fan Tong didn’t know whether he should care more about the fact that there was a threat to his safety or that the mop had been able to sense the enemy before him.
“How do you know it’s not a friend?”
“Your manner of speaking is very awkward.”
It’s not under my control. Even if I wanted to explain my language barrier to you, I don’t know if you can understand written characters, since you don’t seem to have any eyes to read with.
“They have the mark of the Western City. You should be someone from the Eastern City, right? So they’re the enemy.”
Oh… If it’s like that, then it’s really easy to distinguish between enemies and friends.
Slow down. People from the Western City… Wait, not Westerners, but p-p-p-people from the Western City?
“Don’t die. If you die, remember to come back here for me.”
What nonsense! Even if you’re being sincere, I still feel like you’re rejoicing over my misfortune because it doesn’t involve you! Moreover, if I die, then being able to abandon you would be the only consolation I have!
“After we come over here, can’t they prepare? I won’t tell you how to use this broom… horsetail whisk, how to use this horsetail whisk!” Whenever Fan Tong was nervous, the curse acted up even more than usual. His words had turned into a completely incomprehensible mess, even he himself didn’t know what he had intended to say.
“What? Am I still asleep? I don’t understand you at all.”
I’m sorry, this time it’s really not your fault, it’s my problem. But the enemy is almost here, wah! It seems they’ve already spotted me! I don’t even have time to run away! Don’t you dare think of going to sleep! Our fates are tied together! Do you understand? Our fates are tied together!
That seems like a lot of words, but I didn’t open my mouth, so Puhahaha didn’t hear me at all.
“Puhahaha, how should I use you to fight?!” Fan Tong finally yelled out a correct sentence, but Puhahaha answered him with:
Puhahaha was snoring at him.
“…” You seriously fell asleep?! Even if you’re still sleepy, don’t just go and fall asleep!
When isolated and left without help, people would have to think of ways of saving themselves. However, Fan Tong couldn’t think of any way to save his own life. He desperately searched his clothes, but the only thing he found was the blank Fuzhou paper that Ling Shi had given everyone. Staring at the blank piece of paper in his hand, Fan Tong’s mind went blank as well. Why did he still have something light and insignificant like Fuzhou paper while the heavier and a hundred-times-more-useful Fuzhou communication charm got lost in the winds? Did the heavens actually want him to die? Whether he could cast Fuzhou or not, having Fuzhou paper was better than not having anything at all. Now he only needed ink and a brush to write the Fuzhou charm. He had paper on hand and managed to find a bottle of ink on him, now he only lacked…
Fan Tong suddenly had an idea and stared down intensely at Puhahaha.
“W-what are you planning?” Probably sensing his burning, vicious gaze, Puhahaha suddenly woke up.
Fan Tong raised the Fuzhou paper in his hand. Puhahaha understood what he was going to do and immediately protested.
“You can’t use me to write characters! I am a horsetail whisk, not a writing brush!”
“It doesn’t matter if you’re a horsetail whisk, a mop, a feather duster, or whatever! Aren’t you all cleaning utensils? Right now, you’re the only thing I have on me that can be used, so just obediently become a brush!”
“I have my pride as a horsetail whisk. If you get ink on me, I’ll hate you for the rest of my life!”
Is a horsetail whisk really all that amazing? Are you going to die if I use you as a writing brush? Why are you so stingy? Don’t you know that it takes considerable skill to write using a horsetail whisk? It’s something the average person can’t do!
Despite having those thoughts, Fan Tong didn’t think it desirable to be hated by his weapon for a whole lifetime. If things turned out badly, Puhahaha might use its hair to strangle him to death one day. To avoid offending his partner, Fan Tong considered dropping the idea, but he looked back at the slowly approaching enemies. The moment they saw him, they had brought out their weapons.
Fan Tong didn’t want to be killed so that these people could keep their presence here a secret. His eyes widened in panic. “Hey! Puhahaha, now’s not the time to be headstrong. That weapon, it’s glowing…” It really was glowing, which meant it was a soul-purging weapon. If he got killed by that…
“Eh?” Puhahaha seemed to waver a little.
“If I’m killed, you’ll be abandoned here. Everybody will know about it and some random stranger will pick you up!”
Just who would know about it? And what stranger would ever want to take home a mop! How did my words get flipped into something like that?
“How can I possibly allow that to happen? If my master were to be killed and someone learned of this humiliating matter… And if I were to be picked up by some random stranger… How can I let that happen?”
Ah? Even though my words were flipped, my threat actually worked? Compared to what I wanted to say, what I actually said hit the nail on the head instead? You are worried about saving face? Does that mean I’m better than some random stranger in your mind?
“So, let me use you as a brush―”
“You can’t! I’m not a writing brush! I don’t want to get my hair dirty!”
Why are you so stubborn? Don’t you think that rather than being a mop or a horsetail whisk, being a writing brush is much better?
“Fan Tong, you have one other option.”
“Before the enemy kills you with his soul-purging weapon, commit suicide. Your soul won’t be destroyed and you can peacefully return to the rebirth pond. However, you must remember to come back here for me.”
…What wretched bird-brained idea is that?! You would rather your master die than allow ink to touch your hair? It’s not like I’m going to leave you dirty and never wash you clean.
“Hurry up, you have about three minutes to kill yourself. Don’t hesitate, the more you hesitate, the lower your chances will be of doing it successfully.”
Don’t describe suicide as some sort of advantage I would lose! You’re talking as though it’s a simple matter! Tell me how I should go about committing suicide in this kind of place! Should I find a tree and use your hair to hang myself? Is your hair even long enough for that? This is my first time knowing that while stranded alone and unarmed, not only is survival difficult, even killing myself is hard…
“Could it be that you don’t want to contribute your meager strength towards helping me defeat the enemies?” I spoke correctly, but as matters stand, asking the mop to help me fight seems a little too late. Even if it tells me the correct way to use it as a weapon, I won’t have time to learn.
However, Fan Tong secretly hoped that Puhahaha was concealing some extraordinary ability, like hair that could deliver electric shocks, or perhaps some sort of deadly weapon, or maybe it could spray out poison when its handle was rotated.
No matter what, Puhahaha was a mop that cost two hundred strings!
“Humph, I don’t think my strength is meager,” the mop said unhappily.
“But you have a very useful appearance. You are my weapon, yet you’re telling your master to go and commit suicide? What is this…” What useful appearance, why did my words once again turn into praise? I’m praising him at a time like this, I’m indeed getting the short end of the stick.
“You’re a useless master, but I’m the one who decided to follow such a useless master. It seems I should save you.”
What? My praise actually worked? No no no, slow down, I have to be saved by a mop? Could I be any more pathetic? What about my dignity? It doesn’t really look like it wants to save me. Does that mean all I can do in these three minutes is pray for its charity? Wait a minute, even though it said that, does it really have the ability to save me? Will it teach me the heaven-and-earth-splitting, exceptionally matchless twenty-one mop techniques, allowing me to reach enlightenment and instantaneously become a master who can defeat all of my enemies at once?
…I’m afraid that’s just my imagination, how can any of that be possible? I’m just delusional…
“I think people should use their own weapons to fight, and their own talents to keep on living. Forget it, I’m not going to save you.”
You really took three minutes to make a decision?! But I think you gave up too abruptly! Does it really not matter to you if a stranger picks you up?
“Even if you want me to fight by myself, I still know how to use a horsetail whisk! I don’t even know Wushu!”
“Eh? You know how to use a horsetail whisk? I didn’t know that.”
You don’t know! You don’t know? In this world, the only one who knows how to use a horsetail whisk is you, but you don’t know that?
“You said you don’t know Wushu? But you obviously know some swordsmanship. Why don’t you pretend I’m a sword?”
Aren’t you going overboard by saying that a mop can be used as a sword? Furthermore… when did I learn swordsmanship? In all my life, the only time I’ve ever touched a sword was when I went to pick out a weapon. Are you mistaking me for someone else?
“What are you listening to? When did I learn swordsmanship?” Again, I apparently can’t distinguish the difference between “say” and “listen.”
“Oh? Is that so? You have memories of fighting with a sword though… Right now, the extent of our harmonization isn’t good. All I can do is help you draw out your memories.”
Huh? What? Slow down! I haven’t agreed to that yet!
It was too late for Fan Tong to protest. An electrical current flowed into him from where his hand was grasping Puhahaha and he felt as if his head was exploding. Immediately, his mind went blank.
After the feeling that he was being possessed by an evil spirit passed, Fan Tong regained consciousness and saw a Western City soldier staring at him in fear, trembling like a leaf.
“D-don’t kill me!”
Eh? Ehh? What? What happened? Would asking him what I did just now be very stupid?
Fan Tong’s face frowned at Puhahaha. He lifted the mop up to his eyes, wanting to examine what he just did. However, the soldier thought he was going to attack and let out a desperate wail as he ran away frantically.
Although it was good that the threat to his life had disappeared, why was he being treated like a vicious murderer? Was there anyone who could explain what was going on to him? It seemed as though he had become an expert swordsmen a moment ago, but he had lost consciousness while it was happening. Wasn’t this a little too suspicious?
“Look at that, you can actually do something when you put your mind to it. You obviously know swordsmanship, but you still tried to cheat me into saving you.”
Fan Tong felt that being praised by a mop wasn’t anything worth being happy about. He couldn’t even make heads or tails of the situation right now. He needed to know what happened.
“Puhahaha, what did I do just now… Waaaaaaah!” Fan Tong turned around, trying to get a look at the situation, but he immediately noticed two fresh corpses with their eyes still open at his feet. He screamed and took a few steps back to maintain a good distance from them.
“You killed them, why are you scared?”
I killed them? I killed them! What do you mean I killed them?!
“You’re lying! How can a mop cause those kind of cuts on their bodies?”
“There’s no mop here, only a horsetail whisk.”
I actually wanted to say horsetail whisk, but the curse changed it to mop. The curse must think horsetail whisk and mop are antonyms of each other… but that’s not important!
“All right, a horsetail whisk. Regardless of whether it’s mop or horsetail whisk, they aren’t the same! Don’t tell me a horsetail whisk caused those cuts!”
“It’s because I’m not an ordinary horsetail whisk.”
That’s right, you are a horsetail whisk that cost two hundred strings. And?
Exactly what caused those cuts in the end? Am I really the one who killed them? Mom! I killed people! I actually killed people! Why did it turn out like this? Although compared to being killed, killing people is slightly better…
“Oh, are they New Residents? They’ll return to the rebirth pond, right?” Perhaps because he longed to be free of the guilt of this evil crime, Fan Tong’s question came out correctly.
That’s right. Even though they carried soul-purging weapons, I noticed that they were New Residents before I lost consciousness. Luo Yue’s New Residents are allowed to carry soul-purging weapons? Is there a special reason for that?
Just as Fan Tong was comforting himself, Puhahaha rained on his parade.
“…Why?” Don’t tell me it’s because they died within the Eastern City’s territory? That’s not right, I remember someone saying that as long as a person’s body has the Eastern City’s mark, they’ll return to the Eastern City’s rebirth pond regardless of where they die. Shouldn’t it stand to reason that Luo Yue is the same?
“Because,” Puhahaha’s said merrily, “I’m a soul-purging weapon.”
With an exceedingly cheerful voice, Puhahaha dropped an unexpected bomb on Fan Tong.
◎ Fan Tong’s Afterword
No! Goddamn it! Puhahaha, are you really a soul-purging weapon? Why didn’t you tell me earlier? That means I really killed them! I was supposed to be an ordinary citizen not involved in any worldly affairs, why did this have to happen to me?! Indeed, I bought a weapon that cost two hundred strings. Even if I didn’t pay the two hundred strings myself, it’s still two hundred strings. I wanted it to have some special ability, but I didn’t want this kind of illegal special ability that would cause harm to innocent people!
The Eastern City’s law clearly states that New Residents cannot use soul-purging weapons. Am I going to be arrested for this? But I did it unknowingly, I’m innocent! Puhahaha set me up, this heartless mop!
Didn’t Luo Shi say that soul-purging weapons can’t speak? That’s right, only self-aware weapons can speak! Moreover, Puhahaha doesn’t glow. Could Puhahaha simply be messing with me? Could it be pretending to be a soul-purging weapon to raise its own status? Should I find someone to appraise it? No, I can’t get someone to appraise it. If Puhahaha turns out to be a soul-purging weapon, I’d be in big trouble. That won’t do!
Ahhhhhhh! Did I kill them or not? Damn it! This is all Puhahaha’s fault, now I don’t even remember the other things I should be focusing on instead!
Next: Chapter 2: The Magic Sword Guards of Luo Yue’s Young Emperor
Previous: Fan Tong’s Foreword V3
Return: Main Page
Proofreaders: Sherry, PiKairi, Kudrat, dinoj