“What are the Magic Sword Guards?” ―Zhu Sha
“Ah, it’s probably a harem.” ―Yin Shi
“Eek!” ―Yue Tui
“Absolutely. Not.” ―Yiye
Standing on the yellow earth beneath the cloudy sky, accompanied by the corpses of the two people he had allegedly killed, Fan Tong rigidly conducted an intense staring contest with his weapon. Correction, as he didn’t know exactly where Puhahaha’s eyes were, Fan Tong was staring at its… whatever.
A million different thoughts tumbled through his head, but he couldn’t utter even a single word. He felt like he was about to explode. Perhaps the situation was too absurd, his expressions twisted and turned, but still nothing came out of his mouth.
After a long while, when faint snoring could be heard from Puhahaha, Fan Tong finally asked in a trembling voice, “You… You are not a soul-purging weapon! Is this a trick? You didn’t glow and you can’t speak, how do you explain that?” His words became a hideous mess again.
“I am a soul-purging weapon. I can clearly speak. I’m not glowing now, but I was just a moment ago. In short, be careful when you use me, and don’t hit yourself.” Puhahaha seemed a bit impatient with his reply.
You are trying to trick me, right? This is all a lie, right? Moreover, just now, I hadn’t caught how the mop attacks, so could it be that even a light sweep to the head from it will damage the soul?!
“How can you sometimes glow and sometimes don’t? Can’t you control it? Aren’t soul-purging weapons always glowing?”
“Humph. This horsetail whisk is not an ordinary horsetail whisk, I’ve already said that several times.”
This has nothing to do with you being a horsetail whisk, okay?
“Of course the glow of the soul-purging force is controllable, but our souls aren’t linked yet, and our harmonization isn’t good enough, so I’m in control of it right now.”
Put this way, it would be better for me if our relationship improves. But… the whole thing about linked souls, harmonization, and whatnot… I would prefer my partner to be a beautiful woman if we’re going to use those kind of words! Why does it have to be a mop!
“Then why did you glow just now?! You can’t indiscriminately kill people! In the future, make sure you always glow!”
No! I mean never glow in the future!
“Always glow? Fan Tong, I didn’t know you were so bloodthirsty.”
Don’t just ignore all my earlier statements!
“Yes, I’m saying always glow, I like killing people.”
Hey! Don’t twist my words again! What a rotten curse!
“Even if you say that, it’s awfully tiring for me. I still need to rest. I want to sleep.”
You’ve already rested for a long time… No wait. This is good. Quick, refuse me because you’re tired! By all means, never give off that soul-purging glow again. I’m begging you! We better establish a good relationship soon. If we can directly speak to each other using telepathy, we can avoid so many misunderstandings.
“I want to become physically linked with you.”
…I’ve had enough of this.
“…Y-you, want to do what?! B-b-become linked, w-what kind of linked with me? Maybe you can’t tell, but I’m a male! W-w-who wants to link with you…”
I also don’t want to become linked with you; I’m not a pervert. From your voice alone I already know that you are male, not female…but from your tone you sound kind of flustered?
“What I’m saying is, I want to chat with you through your body, this way it’ll be more convenient and we both would not benefit…”
Please stop with the physical body thing already. I give up. I’ve already been cast off as a promiscuous devil by these misunderstandings. However, the sentence about it being unbeneficial to both of us, after all the reversed sentences from before, is actually correct.
“I followed the wrong master. I followed the wrong master! I was fooled by honeyed words and ended up with a master who has dubious intents and harmful plans. I don’t care about you anymore, I’m going to sleep.”
This is an enormous misunderstanding, truly. Fortunately, you didn’t say you would consider it; otherwise, I would have to seriously consider my own future.
“A white tassel?”
Just when Fan Tong’s heart calmed down, it flew back up his throat again at the sound of an unfamiliar voice.
“You’re the person who killed my troops?”
Fan Tong frantically turned around and saw that several people had entered his line of sight without him noticing. It seemed that the leader of these guys was the person with an angry-looking face pointing a sword at him, looking like he would strike any second. While he was distracted, how long had these few people been standing there? Fan Tong did not know; he was only paying attention to the marks on this person’s belt.
Two gold threads. Two gold threads! He has two gold threads! He’s pretty much the same rank as Lord Ling Shi! Killing me would be as easy as slicing open a watermelon!
I didn’t kill those people! I have nothing to do with this! Don’t seek revenge on me; it’s all the doing of this meddlesome mop―Puhahaha! Wake up! What are you doing?! Do what you did just a while ago! Make me a ruthless killer who kills without batting an eyelash! Or else, I’ll surely die!
“Eh? Fan Tong, quickly commit suicide. I can’t extract your memories again on such short notice. If you don’t kill yourself now, it’ll be too late.”
Puhahaha did wake up, and had even guessed what he was thinking, but his reply sent Fan Tong into an abyss of despair.
“Who asked you to leave the killing unfinished, a survivor ran off and called for reinforcements…”
…And he even called the big fish. I know, I know now. I regret what I said just now. Why does it matter if you kill? Why does it matter when soul-purging weapons enter the equation? It’s still better to kill than be killed…
With no warning, the gold-threaded expert lashed out at Fan Tong with his sword. Fan Tong cried out in surprise and barely dodged the strike, contorting into an awkward position to get out of the way in time as his life flashed before his eyes. He knew that the other person wasn’t using his full strength as he could still dodge the attack in time. The other was simply testing his abilities.
“Was it really him? But he’s a white tassel! His form is terrible and full of holes. He also doesn’t have any strength.” The expert with two gold threads asked incredulously as he fixed his gaze fixed on Fan Tong. He was suspicious of the things his informer had told him since Fan Tong did not seem like a strong fighter at all.
That’s right! I’m weak and unworthy of being killed by you, so please let me go―
“My Lord, it’s him. It’s definitely him. He’s still standing beside their corpses!” The escaped Western City soldier pointed at Fan Tong in panic.
It seems like I won’t be declared innocent anytime soon.
However, even if Fan Tong overlooked the fact that this world did not have a , about the corpses… Well, Fan Tong was undoubtedly the murderer. Though, if someone told him to repeat his actions, he wouldn’t be able to do it.
“Anyways, since you’ve already seen us…”
Wait a second! I said wait a second! What outdated script are you going off of to kill people in order to silence them? Don’t make me struggle for my life again!
Fan Tong felt like a frog being watched closely by snakes. In addition, the man with two gold threads was wielding a soul-purging weapon.
I’m finished. It’s that glow again, don’t tell me I’ll really be purged here? If I die here, will anyone ever discover my body? Although, I shouldn’t care whether or not my body will be found since my soul would be purged. If there comes a time when someone passes through here one day, discovers my body, and suddenly realize, “This was originally Fan Tong. So he actually died here,” then I want to believe that they would grieve for me! However, if I die here, wouldn’t I be dying next to Puhahaha? I can’t be buried next to a mop! I want to change the mop to something else!
…That’s not to say I would die willingly if the mop was exchanged for a beautiful girlfriend. But to make me accept that I’ll buried beside a mop, that’s…
The gold-threaded man had already raised his shining sword and was about to hack at Fan Tong, apparently not wanting to waste any more time dealing with a nobody.
With death so near, Fan Tong actually didn’t feel a single trace of fear. He could only stare with widened eyes at the sword speeding towards him and face the killing strike.
Congratulations! Your life has officially ended. May I ask if you want to go back and look at the scene of your death, look back through your memories, or directly end your life and become a piece of dust in the cosmos?
While he was watching the soul-purging weapon fly towards him, Fan Tong felt those words flash through his mind. Those meaningless words were spewed out of his imagination as a last form of comfort. Repeating his death scene would not help him rest in peace. As for looking back on his life… What would he want to look back on? Being crushed to death by a moshou? His cursed mouth deciding to ask for a license plate number of 666 during the most prosperous time in his life? Or a mop becoming his life partner? The more Fan Tong thought, the more he grieved. However, he also couldn’t help but marvel at the speed of his thoughts. He’d managed to think of so many things in the few seconds the sword flew towards his head… What came after this? Obediently accept his death? Would his unfortunate life be finished? In the end, was that good or bad?
Suddenly, Fan Tong felt himself being pushed to the side and heard the clashing of metal striking metal. He looked dazedly at the situation, only to find that the person who pushed him away was Yue Tui.
Yue Tui had stopped the blade right before it cut him. He held his weapon in his right hand, accurately blocking the gold-threaded man’s soul-purging sword, while his left hand, which had shoved Fan Tong in the chest, went to support him before he fell.
In short, it seemed Fan Tong had escaped calamity once more. He had his misgivings a moment ago. His head was in such a mixed-up state that he almost said, “Yue Tui, why did you push me?” Then he realized he wasn’t dead.
“Yue, Yue Tui!” With great difficulty, Fan Tong retrieved the function of his vocal cords. Pleasant surprise and fear went through him. He was pleasantly surprised because he had temporarily escaped with his life, but fearful and worried that his friend might have come here only to die with him.
“Fan Tong, are you alright?” Although Yue Tui was concerned about his situation, he couldn’t look towards him, since he had to keep his eyes on the enemy in front of him. Thus, although Fan Tong wanted to nod in answer, his friend wouldn’t be able to see it, so Fan Tong had to use his voice again to respond.
“I’m not alright.” Sure enough, he said the wrong thing again.
“Where are you injured?” Yue Tui nervously turned his head towards him, which, in turn, made Fan Tong nervous.
Wah! Don’t look at me! The enemy is still in front of you! Wah! He’s lifting his sword to attack again! Yue Tui! Quickly look in front of you!
Yue Tui kept his gaze fixed on Fan Tong while he accurately blocked the next strike from the gold-threaded man’s weapon. Fan Tong was speechless.
“Fan Tong, it doesn’t look like you’re injured. Do you have any internal injuries?”
Yue Tui’s clear, sky-blue eyes swept over Fan Tong. He looked concerned, but also puzzled.
I think… that this isn’t important right now. Hurry up and remember that I have a speech problem. Also, are you really human? Do you want to consider turning your head back around to look at your enemy? Regardless of whether you can fight him like this, looking down on people like that isn’t good. It’s like you aren’t taking him seriously…
The gold-threaded man became infuriated and started giving off a strong murderous aura. Yue Tui’s brow furrowed, and he had no choice but to face the other again. He looked like he had no intention of conversing with them, and Fan Tong wasn’t capable of holding a normal conversation, so he adopted Yue Tui’s silent attitude. He had hoped that after he was saved, they could quickly leave, but the enemy kept pushing forward, leaving Yue Tui no choice but to fight.
While Fan Tong was thinking, the sounds of swords crossing kept up a constant racket. Fan Tong couldn’t keep up with the speed of the fight. At times, Yue Tui and his opponent even fought hand-to-hand. Yue Tui stayed on the defensive, but looked like he hadn’t suffered any damage.
“Aren’t Ye Zhi’s white tassels the weakest rank? This is so strange!” said the Western City soldier.
I’m sorry that we’re strange… No, the only strange one is Yue Tui. I’m an ordinary weakling. The only strange thing about me is my weapon. Don’t get me wrong. I’m not strange, really. Instead of us white tassels, you should instead criticize that man there with two gold threads who’s been brought to a standstill by a New Resident with a white tassel. Those gold threads are starting to seem fake.
The swords continued to clash, but then, something unexpected happened. Probably from the strain of repeatedly clashing with a powerful weapon, Yue Tui’s sword broke. It cleanly broke in half, with the top half falling to the ground. Fan Tong looked at Yue Tui’s expression, feeling his own eyes widen in panic.
No, the sword broke! How are you going to fight now, Yue Tui? I told you earlier not to buy a broken weapon, but you didn’t listen! How is your broken weapon going to compare to that person’s godly weapon? What should I do? Should I lend you the mop? But you nearly destroyed every weapon you touched before, would you also kill Puhahaha… It’s not that I’m taking pity on Puhahaha. I only regret those two hundred strings. I also don’t want to hear Puhahaha’s miserable screams.
That being said, if he were to try to use his soul-purging weapon in this situation, would he hear a stream of protests like “I’m going to die,” “don’t be so reckless,” “do you even know how to fight?,” and “not like that!” If that happened, Fan Tong would only be getting in the way if he tried to fight. That wouldn’t be strange.
“Fan Tong!” Seeing that he only had half a sword left, Yue Tui pursed his lips and extended a hand towards Fan Tong. “Give me your horsetail whisk!”
…What? What did you say? What did I hear? A-are you serious? I only meant it as a joke when I thought about it, but you actually want to go through with it? Did you forget that you are a weapon-killing fiend? You really want to try and fight with a mop? Do you really think that it’s feasible for you to use this mop as a sword? Can its soft hair really block the other person’s weapon? Although I suspect that it actually can be used as a sword because of what happened earlier, but, but…!
“Puhahaha, are you willing?” Fan Tong knew that they were pressed for time, but he still asked for Puhahaha’s opinion since this was a life or death situation. If it was willing to sacrifice its life for the greater good, if it was willing to burn itself out so that others might live, then he wouldn’t think twice about handing it over to Yue Tui, but if it wasn’t willing, then he wouldn’t try to reason with it. He would just watch and see if Yue Tui could use a broken sword to bring about a miracle.
“Puxiu. Huh? What? Willing… Are you proposing to me?” But since Puhahaha had gone to sleep, it had no idea what Fan Tong was asking.
Who wants to marry you? Is your brain still on the subject of “linking physical bodies” from earlier?
Taking advantage of the moment, Yue Tui’s opponent waved his sword at Yue Tui. This time, Yue Tui dodged, not meeting the strike with his stub of a sword. Fan Tong’s survival instinct kicked in and he grasped Puhahaha to hand it over. Just then, another voice cut in:
When he heard that voice, Fan Tong instinctively thought that they were saved. However, their rescuer was standing behind them, so there was still a possibility that they would die. The person who had appeared at the most crucial point in the battle was someone who kept getting lost in Resource Area 2―Yin Shi.
Now we’re both in a deadlock. Our side has a pure black tassel, so we have a better chance of victory, but because the black tassel is Yin Shi, I can’t feel any ease.
Oh, Lord Yin Shi, every time, you appear just when we need you, just when the situation gets lively. Can we trust you? Can we trust you to rescue us? Can we really? Although according to Ling Shi and judging from the rate at which you can kill chickens, you are quite strong. But how will you do against this expert from Luo Yue?
How much power did the Western City’s two gold threads represent? Fan Tong did not know if Yin Shi was more powerful, since he also didn’t know how much power the Eastern City’s pure black tassel represented. He didn’t know, but… compared to whether or not Yin Shi could defeat the enemy and rescue them, Fan Tong was more concerned about whether or not they would accidentally be killed in the crossfire. He hadn’t died yet, and had, with difficulty, survived until an ally arrived, but if that ally accidentally killed him, it would be too tragic. He really hoped this sad tragedy would not occur.
When another person entered the fighting scene, the gold-threaded expert appeared to be evaluating the situation. As soon as he saw who the new person was, his face twisted in frustration.
Yin Shi appeared from behind them and from the right, halted the fight between the gold-threaded expert and Yue Tui. Fan Tong retreated, keeping a safe distance, and the Western City soldiers raised their guard.
“Can’t you see that they’re white tassels?” Yin Shi said as he walked towards them with an unusually serious look on his face. “Don’t you know that if you kill someone with a soul-purging weapon, even if they’re a new resident, they’ll die?” he asked, using the Western City’s language but not expecting an answer.
“Shut up! You hateful person!” After scolding him, Yin Shi unsheathed a long knife. “The people I hate the most, are strong people who prey on the weak!” As he spoke, he swung the knife. As he was still too far away to hit the enemy, he probably hadn’t intended to hit him. As he brandished the ordinary seeming knife, silver light glinted off of it, and that cold, clear light ruthlessly lowered the surrounding temperature. His ink-black hair fluttered in the cold breeze, and he closed his red eyes in anger.
It all happened so quickly. The fatal silver light, Yin Shi quickly striking with the knife, and his opponent letting out a piercing scream. The weapon in his opponent’s right hand fell to the ground and blood gushed from his injury.
The knife had cut straight through his armor as if it wasn’t even there. Although the scene was very bloody, Fan Tong looked at the damage that was caused to the gold-threaded expert in such a short amount of time, then looked back to the knife belonging to Yin Shi. Just like always, he couldn’t help but reflect on the situation.
Lord Yin Shi, you’re so handsome… Wait, isn’t that wrong? Where did that weird thought come from? Why did I involuntarily think this kind of thing? Isn’t this kind of starry-eyed infatuation the same as Bi Rou’s? I must have thought it because his actions were very handsome, yes, that’s exactly what it was! But I’m still not happy about this… However, what was that just now? That light? Didn’t Yin Shi use a broken weapon?
Steam was rising from the wound on the gold-threaded expert’s arm, and the Western City’s soldiers were thrown into panic.
“Escort the Lord away from here!” Because of the serious situation, they had already decided to ignore the unstable environment and directly used magic. Yin Shi had no interest in pursuing them as he watched them disappear before his eyes. Thus the enemy got away, and his focus went to the other people present.
“Ah, were you injured? Were you? Were you?” After he walked over to them, he reverted back to his original idiotic mental state.
“I wasn’t…” Yue Tui shook his head, his expression complicated. Subsequently, he seemed to think of something and turned to Fan Tong. “Fan Tong, are you alright? Just a moment ago, you said you were injured?”
This time, Fan Tong finally got his wish and shook his head in reply.
“Fan Tong, it looks like you’re fine, you lucky dog. Then, I can sleep without any worries. Puxiu – hu – ”
What lucky dog? Mop, don’t use this kind of insincere description as an afterthought! And once you’ve finished speaking, don’t immediately go to sleep again! Is this a kind of talent, being able to sleep no matter what?
Calming down after having his emotion stirred up by Puhahaha’s insult, Fan Tong looked at the knife at Yin Shi’s waist and curiously asked, “Yin Shi, is that the knife you bought as an ornament?”
Hey, can you not turn my words into such a discourteous question?
“Eh? You figured it out. At that time, I actually bought the wrong one. I’m really good at sword-fighting, although using a shorter knife doesn’t really make a difference…”
Did you or did you not make a mistake? Is this called succeeding by a stroke of luck?
“Ah, Xiao Yue, your sword broke? Let’s trade blades. Both are broken, so they’re about the same.”
I think your brain is broken. You want to trade for a broken sword? How could the broken knife that you’re using be the same? Furthermore… Xiao Yue? Who is Xiao Yue? If Yue Tui is Xiao Yue, then what am I…?
This question made Fan Tong tremble with fear. He really did not want to hear what Yin Shi would address him as, and hoped that he would continue forgetting his face and name, but he didn’t know if that would the case.
“Oh… ok.” Yue Tui blankly handed Yin Shi his broken sword and sheath, trading weapons with Yin Shi. His face was still blank as he tried to adapt to the diminutive nickname.
“Lord Yin Shi, who was that person? It seemed like you knew him.” There wasn’t enough room in Fan Tong’s heart to once again feel sad again about speaking incorrectly.
Yin Shi immediately answered his question. “Hmm? It seems like… he might be… ought to be… perhaps, someone I saw when fighting at the Chen Yue pathway? I don’t know him. I’m not an expert at remembering people’s faces.”
Are you not an expert at remembering people’s faces, or not an expert at remembering men’s faces? Moreover, you’re also not an expert at remembering people’s names… Especially men’s names. You’ve known Ling Shi for so long and you still can’t remember his name! With Luo Shi, you probably remember his name because he looks like a beautiful girl. But then again, Ling Shi looks like a beautiful woman… I’ve gotten sidetracked.
“Ah, Xiao Yue, why are you here? Weren’t you up in a tree together with Xiao Zhu?” Yin Shi finally remembered, speaking another sentence that made Fan tong speechless.
“I… He…” At the mention of Zhu Sha, Yue Tui looked a little embarrassed. His vague manner made it impossible to tell what he was feeling.
“I’ll bring you to him. He’s unconscious, so I couldn’t move quickly enough while carrying him. I set him down in a safe place.”
Oh, what a sensible decision. If you had been slower even by one second, I would have been done for.
“Oh, ok, I’ll contact Ling Shi first.” Due to Ling Shi having already shut off the group communication, and Bi Rou helping Ling Shi “concentrate on leading them” and shutting off her own communication charm, Yin Shi had been bored senseless. Now that he needed to get in touch, he had to directly contact Ling Shi instead of the group communication.
“Don’t disturb me, I’m busy.”
Yin Shi was confused. “Ah? Busy? Old men can still be busy?”
“Entertaining Luo Yue’s lost sheep.”
“…Ah! Don’t kill them! Come to an agreement today, I forbid you to kill them!”
“You say that as if they’re chickens, not people. Anyway, you got lost; you’ll only be able to stop me if you hurry over, boss.”
“What? Are you trying to make me angry? I’ll find you right away, so don’t kill them!” Yin Shi ended the communication, looking very short-tempered.
Yue Tui couldn’t help but ask, “What’s going on?”
Since it was a private chat, Fan Tong and Yue Tui only heard Yin Shi’s words, so they weren’t very clear on the situation.
“That damn old man once again forgot his boundaries and wants to selfishly kill people. Quickly, bring me to Xiao Zhu, and then let’s go find him. Ah, do you guys know the way?”
So you simply got lost and found us by a stroke of luck? Sure enough… Sure enough, only Yue Tui was able to find me… But you’ve lived in the Eastern City for such a long time that Resource Area 2 should be almost like your back garden, yet you have to rely on a New Resident to lead the way. No matter what or when, you always manage to be such an excessive person, it’s almost admirable.
Yue Tui brought them to a nearby underbrush and pushed the tall grass aside. When they walked through it, the first thing they noticed was the area by Yue Tui’s foot. For the first few seconds, Fan Tong thought that it was a corpse’s resting place. However, after Yue Tui bent over and pulled the person out of the bushes, both Fan Tong and Yin Shi’s eyes filled with suspicion.
“Xiao Yue, who is this girl?”
“Yue Tui, what about Zhu Sha?”
Why did a appear when you were supposed to be together with Zhu Sha? Oh wait, “a third person” probably shouldn’t be used that way. I also didn’t mean anything strange by saying you’re together with Zhu Sha.
“This… This is Zhu Sha.” Yue Tui said with a very embarrassed look on his face. After standing in stunned silence for a few minutes, Yin Shi recovered his wits first.
“Eh?! Isn’t Xiao Zhu a boy?!”
Exactly. You’ve seen him half-naked and we’ve been roommates for so long. Don’t lie through your teeth, Yue Tui! Do you think we’ll fall for your lie? Why don’t you just honestly explain this girl’s origins? I had thought you were a very pure person, but to imagine that you made a girl faint and then left her in the underbrush…
“S-she really is Zhu Sha!” Yue Tui insisted urgently and turned the girl’s face over to allow Fan Tong and Yin Shi a closer look.
This… Her face does resemble his, but that isn’t strong enough evidence to convince us that this is Zhu Sha. Isn’t your evidence a little weak for the claim you’re making? She also has a pretty impressive chest. Zhu Sha clearly didn’t have any boobs.
“Her clothes are a bit torn…” Yue Tui’s face flushed bright red as he followed Fan Tong’s line of sight.
“The seams burst open after he became a girl!”
Oh? Well, I never paid any attention to what Zhu Sha was wearing before, but these clothes are a little tight on her.
“Ah, let’s wake her up and tell her to change back so that we can see.” Yin Shi’s eyes sparkled as he imagined the fascinating scene.
Yin Shi… You’ve already forgotten what you came here for, didn’t you? You forgot that you said we must hurry and find Lord Ling Shi before he starts a massacre, right? We shouldn’t be wasting time here!
“Shouldn’t we hurry to find Lord Ling Shi?” Yue Tui evidently also remembered their urgent task. However, was his reminder merely because he was concerned about the matter, or was it because he wanted to avoid whatever would happen after they woke Zhu Sha?
“Ah! Right! Then let’s go find him first! We’ll examine if Xiao Zhu is really Xiao Zhu afterwards.”
I feel like you should examine Lord Ling Shi along with Zhu Sha. Or have you already examined him? Nowadays, there seems to be a lot of men who don’t look like men and women who don’t look like women. Why can’t everyone be normal like me?
Ling Shi was in an extraordinarily cheerful mood. Smiling widely, he whimsically tossed out the Fuzhou charms he had drawn up in an instant. When the soldiers from the Western City were cut apart into pieces by the Fuzhou, his smile became even more gentle and brilliant.
According to the residents of the Eastern City, Ling Shi only smiled so beautifully and brilliantly when he was massacring the residents of the Western City. Only when Ling Shi was in an exceedingly good mood would they have the chance to witness such a beautiful smile. However, the blood and carnage in front of the three spectators made it hard for them to enjoy the beautiful sight of Ling Shi’s smile.
Cute Girl A and Cute Girl B had never seen someone being openly killed in front of them before. After seeing the first victim explode into pieces, they shrieked and fainted. Bi Rou remained as the sole spectator of the bloody massacre.
Bi Rou had seen the gruesome sight of a battlefield before, but it was different this time. She had originally came from the Western City, so she naturally felt a bit uncomfortable seeing the Western City’s soldiers being slaughtered before her. Earlier, she had tried to dissuade Ling Shi from starting a massacre, but their exchange had ended up like this:
“Ling Shi Dage, m-must you kill them?”
“But shouldn’t you conduct peace negotiations first to find out why they are here?”
“I don’t need to know their reasons.”
“They invaded our country for no reason at all, so they should be killed without question.”
There was no use pleading with him for mercy after that. As she realized this, Bi Rou remained silent. If she didn’t, she might be suspected of harboring traitorous feelings.
At first, Bi Rou couldn’t help thinking that maybe the reason Ling Shi didn’t bother negotiating or asking the soldiers for anything was because he didn’t understand the Western City’s language… As soon as the thought appeared in her mind, she remembered the expression on Ling Shi’s face as he slaughtered the soldiers mercilessly. Bi Rou felt that “he just likes to kill people” or “he feels very happy killing the enemy” and the like would be the most probable explanation.
“Ah, are there any more of you? Not a single one of you fled. Luo Yue’s soldiers truly are courageous.” Ling Shi flung his sleeves and cheerfully glanced at the few remaining enemies. Despite his unearthly beauty, the few remaining soldiers looked at him as if he were a monstrous beast.
Bi Rou scanned the Fuzhou boundary that surrounded them. The boundary prevented the soldiers from fleeing death, yet Ling Shi had praised them for not running away… Wasn’t this a bit cruel and immoral?
“Who could save us? Lord Yiye, where are you―”
The soldier’s shouts were cut off as Ling Shi cut him into pieces with Fuzhou. Although New Residents understood the languages of both cities, they still spoke their country’s language out of habit. Ling Shi didn’t understand their shouts. As he didn’t understand, he might as well kill them.
“Aren’t you all New Residents? Even if you were to die, you’ll still be reborn in Luo Yue’s rebirth pond. I’m not using a soul-purging weapon, so what are you afraid of?”
If Fan Tong were here, he would immediately protest that this wasn’t a question of whether or not they would be reborn. Those who had been killed would definitely end up mentally traumatized. He would also say that Ling Shi had no conscience.
“If I were still a resident of the Western City, would Ling Shi Dage also treat me with such ruthlessness?” Bi Rou’s mumbled to herself as her heart trembled in fear.
Surprisingly, Ling Shi actually heard her and answered, “Of course, enemies can’t go unpunished. However, if I saw someone I knew, I would use a less painful way of killing them.”
Less painful way of killing? Can you tell me what exactly counts as “less painful” in your book?
Although Ling Shi walked leisurely towards his enemies, he disposed of them smoothly and efficiently. Perhaps in a way, his technique could also be considered just and honorable.
However, regardless of whether or not it was just and honorable, the Western City soldiers might as well have been lining up for the guillotine. The only difference would be that at least the guillotine would have left their bodies mostly intact.
The explosion Fuzhou Ling Shi was using was beautiful and intricately drawn, but the soldiers’ bodies would splatter into gruesome piece once touching the charm. The unthinkable feeling of being ripped apart into pieces was deeply ingrained into the minds of the victims. Even if they were New Residents, bodily damage was still bodily damage. They would return to the rebirth pool and obtain a new body after their death, but no sane person would want to experience death by having their body ripped into many pieces,
Naturally, the soldiers tried resisting their cruel executioner. However, Ling Shi had stuck a defense Fuzhou on himself, making their attacks useless. Additionally, Ling Shi had thrown up a Fuzhou barrier, making escape impossible. One soldier managed to withstand Ling Shi’s Fuzhou attack, but when his companions tried to shield his injured body, they were all brutally killed. Eventually, most of them lost the will to resist. The few who still held out hope could only continue their calls for help.
But no matter how much they yelled, no one came to save them. Their noise only succeeded in annoying their executioner and boosting his killing intent.
“What insidious plot did you all come here to carry out? What are you planning?” Ling Shi muttered to himself as his raised his hand, sending a deadly fire Fuzhou toward several soldiers.
If Ling Shi had actually wanted to pursue the answers to those questions, he would have kept some soldiers alive so he could interrogate them. It seemed like he had spoken the truth when he had told Bi Rou earlier that he didn’t care to know their reasons. If he were to discover that the soldiers’ “insidious plot” was plucking chicken feathers, god knows how he would react.
Is there anyone who can stop him? Bi Rou thought.
As if the heavens had heard her request, someone appeared and charged into the scene and cut apart Ling Shi’s Fuzhou barrier with a silent brandish of his sword. However, it wasn’t Yin Shi.
When he noticed that his barrier had been cut apart, Ling Shi furrowed his brows.
Upon seeing their savior, the few remaining Western City soldiers cried tears of joy.
From his appearance, one would think that the person who’d sliced open the barrier was a short, but rather handsome teenager. However, his imposing aura and thunderous expression gave people the impression that he was a baby-face who’d missed puberty entirely and looked much younger than he really was.
Although anyone who looked at him wouldn’t be able to stop comments about his clashing appearance and age from popping up in their heads , not many in the Western City would dare utter those comments to Yiye’s face. Even the New Residents who were capable of regeneration were afraid of the consequences.
“Baby face,” “short,” “underdeveloped,” “deceiving the commoners,” “plush toy,” “little brother,” “child,” “pretty,” “cute,” “innocent,” “ three measurements,” “kid-sized,” “lucky to be young,” and etc. All of the above were words that should never be uttered anywhere near Yiye if one treasured one’s life. When greeting him, a simple “Lord Yiye” should do fine.
There really were a lot of taboo words that should never be spoken around Yiye when one counted the recent additions to the list: “His Wise Majesty” and “chicken feathers.” It was considered extremely life-threatening for anyone but the other members of the Magic Sword Guards to speak any of the forbidden words before him. As a result, people had to be very careful when speaking in front of him.
These taboos, however, were the Western City’s taboos. For Ling Shi, no such thing existed as he did not know the person in front of him. Even if he had, he would still say whatever he wanted in the face of an enemy. However, due to the language barrier, his enemy wouldn’t understand him even if he had said whatever he wanted.
“Oh… Sure enough, I managed to find you after following the abnormal aura. Ling Shi of the Five Attendants, right? Looks like I won’t be bored.”
The first one to speak was Yiye, who actually wasn’t there to rescue anyone. He only wanted to find a person to fight and kill in order to relieve his anger. Saving the lives of his soldiers was just a beautiful coincidence.
“L-lord Yiye! Save us! She’s a witch!”
“The women from Ye Zhi are terrifying! Ahh… I want to go home…”
Yiye’s words had been blocked out completely by the soldiers’ tearful laments. Ling Shi understood none of them. He furrowed his brows and glanced meaningfully towards the only other conscious person in his party, Bi Rou, who also understood the Western City’s language perfectly.
“What are they saying?”
Ling Shi would have just asked Yin Shi had he been there. Yin Shi would have translated the others’ words into something absolutely ridiculous, causing slaughter and mayhem within their own ranks. However, the person he asked was Bi Rou, so nothing of that nature would happen. Bi Rou, however, had no idea how to go about telling Ling Shi that the enemy had mistaken him for a woman.
At that moment, Bi Rou truly resented her roommates. As New Residents, they could easily understand both languages, but unfortunately both had fainted.
“Eh…” Bi Rou laid a hand on her cheek and hesitated. After she translated, she was sure both sides would begin a fierce battle. That wasn’t good, right?
“Xiao Rou, what did they say?” Because she had hesitated, Ling Shi’s smile became even more brilliant. He seemed even more determined to get her to translate. Bi Rou’s scalp tingled in apprehension.
“Ling Shi Dage, they said that you’re a witch and that women from the Eastern City are terrifying. Also, the person who just showed up knows your identity.”
Compared to seeing them fight, Bi Rou found that she was even more unwilling to face Ling Shi’s frigidly brilliant smile. Therefore, she chose to tell him the truth. What followed after wasn’t her problem.
After she finished speaking, Ling Shi’s smile vanished. His good mood from the massacre had completely disappeared.
“Luo Yue’s soldiers are truly weak, being bullied by a ‘woman’ and needing to be saved by an underdeveloped child, eh?”
Ling Shi completely ignored the three gold threads on Yiye’s belt.
Hearing the other side speak, Yiye snorted coldly, then asked the soldiers who had narrowly escaped death, “What did she say?”
“…” Silence reigned as the soldiers erupted into cold sweat. They had just escaped mortal danger, so they didn’t want to immediately rush off to die by their savior’s hand. Ling Shi’s words contained two of the terms that must never be spoken in front of Yiye! Even if they were only the translators, they would surely be in danger if those words came out of their mouths!
“I didn’t hear her clearly. You translate for Lord Yiye!”
“No, I also didn’t hear her clearly…”
“I didn’t even notice that someone was talking!”
“It’d be better if you did it, you…”
Seeing the soldiers trying to throw each other under the bus, Yiye’s eyes flashed impatiently. “You’re all useless! Do all of you want to go back and retrain?”
Despite his diminutive height and childish appearance, Yiye’s voice was deep―definitely the voice of an adult, not a child. At Yiye’s rebuke, the soldiers, scared witless, scrambled to kneel and beg for forgiveness.
“Spare me, Lord Yiye! Spare me!”
This time it was Ling Shi’s turn to be speechless, even though he hadn’t understood a single word they were saying.
“Are they putting on a play? A comedy?” Ling Shi finally asked.
“No. Ling Shi Dage, what you’d said earlier had put their lives in peril.”
“Really? Luo Yue really is a savage country if they even kill people on their own side.”
“If Yin Shi were here, both of you would try to kill each other too…” Bi Rou muttered, not knowing if this could be considered as supporting her homeland.
“Yin? That idiot who’s always protecting the enemy is nowhere on our side.” Ling Shi, of course, had heard her muttering and immediately replied. In any case, Ling Shi’s bad moods were often caused by Yin Shi. Under those circumstances, Ling Shi naturally wouldn’t have anything good to say about Yin Shi, so Bi Rou refrained from asking any more questions.
“Xiao Rou, do you recognize that child?” Because Bi Rou came from the Western City, Ling Shi decided to ask her.
“I know who he is, but I’m not acquainted with him. He’s a member of the Magic Sword Guards, the ‘Joker’ Yiye. I hear he has a legendary temper.”
Ling Shi knew what the Magic Sword Guards were. In the Western City, they held high offices in the government and extraordinary statuses as the direct subordinates and guards of Young Emperor Englar. They were important in the Western City, so much that they had their own personal platoons and were involved with the city’s military. Not even the Council of Elders would dare to offend them. Each member of the Magic Sword Guards had either been directly handpicked by their predecessors or had been raised to take on the position since childhood. It was said that the enchantments the five members of the Magic Sword Guards had passed down from ancient times could combine to form a magical barrier that was impenetrable to any attack. No one knew whether or not the rumors were exaggerated.
“The Magic Sword Guards?” Ling Shi’s eyes turned menacing. What were people of such an elevated status doing inside the Eastern City’s borders? Theories on all sorts of sinister plots started forming in his mind.
“Woman, draw your weapon. Even if you’re a woman, I won’t show you any mercy.” The crisis on the other side seemed to have abated, but Bi Rou couldn’t tell whether Yiye was directing his words at her or Ling Shi.
Ling Shi didn’t ask her to translate again, instead opting to raise his hand in preparation for battle.
Bi Rou hurriedly asked, “Ling Shi Dage, don’t you want to know what he said?”
“He’s already drawn his weapon, so he obviously means to fight. There’s nothing I need to ask.”
That was somewhat true. Yiye’s words weren’t really important anyway…
“Xiao Rou, don’t you have a weapon?” Seeing Bi Rou standing leisurely to the side, Ling Shi asked even though he didn’t think she would lift a hand.
“No, I don’t have one, but I can still fight…” Bi Rou wasn’t foolish enough to believe that Ling Shi was unaware of her origins. In any case, they were surrounded by strangers, so it wasn’t necessary for her to act like a weak girl with a grass green tassel.
“No, you don’t need to fight. Yin Shi said that I can’t allow even a single strand of your hair be injured, so I’ll defend you.”
Hearing Ling Shi’s words, Bi Rou didn’t know how to react. In the end, should she try to negotiate or not? Moreover, since when had Ling Shi ever done anything Yin Shi told him to do?
“But… but, that person has three gold threads and he’s the strongest member of the Magic Sword Guards. Are you sure you want to fight him by yourself?” Bi Rou knew that she was questioning his power and maybe even hurting his ego, but she couldn’t let him die in order to spare his ego. It didn’t matter whether or not his opponent was using a soul-purging weapon; both of them were Natural Residents who would not be reborn if they died.
“Perhaps I wouldn’t be able to defeat him, but there’s no question about my ability to protect you. I am very confident in my defensive capabilities, so there’s no need to worry. No matter what happens, you won’t need to raise a hand.”
After Ling Shi spoke, Bi Rou naturally couldn’t say anything more and instead wisely chose to take a step backwards to hide behind Ling Shi.
“In that case…” The smile reappeared on Ling Shi’s face as he got ready to meet his unusually powerful enemy head-on.
“Ling Shi of the Eastern City’s Five Attendants. It’s time to teach you a lesson.”
At the beginning of the fight, an invisible pressure enveloped their surroundings, causing everyone in the area to feel oppressed. Usually, when unable to figure out how to deal with an enemy, the average person would first try to get a feel for their opponent’s fighting style. Yiye, however, had no interest in this and immediately took action, going straight for his opponent’s vitals.
The speed of his initial attack had always caught people unprepared in the past. Before they could even sense the attack and be afraid, they were already dead. However, a single strike could not possibly decide the outcome of his battle with Ling Shi. Yiye first encountered a continuous stream of Fuzhou, the strength of which he was unfamiliar with. Despite this, he still smiled coldly as he struck out at the Fuzhou, intent on breaking it. He swept his sword in an arc, and the resulting wind blast broke the Fuzhou into shining pieces, which then dimmed and faded away. This scene had a sort of bizarre beauty to it.
Ling Shi used defensive Fuzhou to protect them from Yiye’s ingenious strike, but each defensive Fuzhou was destroyed after a few seconds as the distance between the combatants narrowed. At first glance, Ling Shi seemed to be at a disadvantage, as he used Fuzhou as his main fighting technique. If he were attacked directly with a weapon, the result would be very predictable.
When he had dealt with the Western City’s soldiers, his Fuzhou had seemed incredibly strong, but in front of Yiye, they looked more like cheap light tricks. After a few minutes of repeating the same motions, in order to disturb the pattern and use attack Fuzhou, Ling Shi waited until right after his defensive Fuzhou was blasted into pieces before casting a lethal spell, but the outcome was different from what he expected.
Yiye proved that the three gold threads on his belt weren’t just for show. He displayed a strength that was difficult to describe, but he did so effortlessly, as if he was still not fighting with everything he had. Before anyone else had realized what was happening, Yiye’s sword had already struck. With all of his opponent’s defenses gone, Yiye had taken advantage of the gap to try and chop Ling Shi’s head off.
Despite Bi Rou’s frightened shout, Ling Shi didn’t dodge or avoid the strike and simply lifted up his left arm to block. Ling Shi’s arm should have been chopped off, with blood spattering everywhere. However, the sword didn’t harm his arm in the slightest. His slender arm warded off a strike from a sword that had killed countless people without even suffering a scratch.
During the split second Yiye was distracted, Ling Shi quickly drew several Fuzhou with his right hand. The explosions caught Yiye off guard and threw him back. Once again taking advantage of the time he had bought, Ling Shi rubbed the place where the sword had struck his arm, then rebuilt his defensive Fuzhou.
“Ling Shi Dage, your arm…” Although his arm looked intact to the naked eye, it was impossible for that to be true. Bi Rou found it difficult to believe that he wasn’t injured.
“I learned this from my Gege. It’s not something you can learn.” Ling Shi answered her in that thought-provoking way, but his answer didn’t really explain anything.
“Lord Yiye! Are you all right?” This was the first time the Western City soldiers had ever seen Yiye fall for someone’s trap. In their minds, Yiye had always been untouchable. Thus, seeing this scene, they were just as confused as they were shocked. Although they were concerned, they couldn’t rush to Yiye’s side because of the oppressive power in the air. They could only watch Yiye get up from the ground, seemingly without difficulty. The Fuzhou spell didn’t seem to have caused him any real harm; his clothes were damaged, but there wasn’t any blood on him. When he lifted his head, however, the expression on his beautiful face had changed completely.
“Hahaha… Hahahaha―” He laughed crazily, as if he had completely lost control, but his eyes were clear and calm. They were not at all the eyes of a person who had lost his rationality. “Very good, this looks like it should be a pleasurable battle…” He raised his sword again, and an aura surrounded it, entirely different from before. “On this world, everything, without exception, must perish someday. After I kill you, I will be sure to remember your name.”
Although Ling Shi still couldn’t understand Yiye’s words, he could see the respect that was present on the other man’s face in addition to his imposing expression. Ling Shi raised his hand and drew a complicated Fuzhou pattern.
“Ling Shi Dage, will you really not allow me to help?”
If Yiye had made people cautious before, he now made them feel bone-deep fear. Bi Rou also felt the change and became worried.
“It doesn’t matter, he can’t kill me. You could actually consider running away. Since I’ve attracted his interest, he shouldn’t care what you do.” Ling Shi indifferently proposed that she flee, but if she went as far as to abandon her two unconscious roommates, she wouldn’t be able to forgive herself. New Residents could be reborn after death, but only if the enemy didn’t use a soul-purging weapon to kill them.
“How could I do that? I can’t abandon my companions and run away!” Bi Rou was clearly unwilling to accept his proposal. She didn’t even need to consider her answer before saying it.
“But you are not a New Resident…” Ling Shi sighed, but Bi Rou immediately interrupted him.
“So what? I despise this kind of thing! Every time, I’m never there when I should be fighting. Every time, I don’t do the right thing…” She seemed to be remembering the past as she spoke in a trembling voice.
Meanwhile, Yiye had already begun destroying the newly constructed Fuzhou barrier, which covered a wide area. He raised his hand and placed it near the barrier, and it collapsed as if it were made of ordinary paper. Ling Shi didn’t ask Bi Rou any questions about her past. He only silently reconstructed the destroyed barrier, but the quality wasn’t as good as before.
“Ling Shi Dage, don’t you have some means of escaping? Like a transportation spell, or some kind of Fuzhou…”
“I said I can’t die, at most I’ll be injured.” While they spoke, the speed at which Ling Shi mended the barrier grew slower and slower. Then the tip of a sword flashed red, like an incarnation of death. Even though Ling Shi knew it couldn’t kill him, he still didn’t want it to cut him again.
As he was trying to think of a solution, Bi Rou suddenly rushed towards Yiye, shouting a few sentences. Yiye looked shocked when he heard the Western City’s language come out of her mouth. As she continued speaking, the sound of her voice was interrupted by the appearance of several people.
◎ Fan Tong’s Afterword
Oh, it feels like so many things have happened. I have to say I am very happy to have escaped death. Yue Tui is definitely a good friend; being able to make such a friend isn’t bad at all. It’s a definite win! Ah, I really can’t understand his strength anymore. He even had the courage to use the mop; he really isn’t ordinary.
However, the unconscious girl hidden in the underbrush, is she really… tsk tsk tsk. Zhu Sha? Zhu Sha is clearly a boy. If “he” is really a “she,” then we are very blessed to be living with her. However, it looks to be an obvious lie.
Today was the first time that I didn’t feel jealous of Lord Yin Shi’s handsomeness. Seldom have I felt such a pure, sincere feeling… Is this the feeling that comes from surviving a crisis? A friend in need is a friend indeed? I don’t think that saying should be used in this situation.
As everyone knows, Lord Yin Shi is very handsome. However, during that split second when he brandished his knife, his divine handsomeness made me dizzy with admiration… Ah! Am I sick? Although it’s perfectly acceptable to hero-worship other men, Yin Shi is clearly an idiot. Don’t tell me there’s actually a fine line between heroism and idiocy? If so, all the heroes in the world would be crying! After we go back home, I better find Mi Zhong and inquire whether or not I need a psychologist. I rather miss the version of me that found Yin Shi’s handsome face annoying. I want to go back to normal. I can’t believe a mean, picky person like Yin Shi had saved my life. It just doesn’t seem right. After all, Yin Shi had been the cause of one of my deaths before. Maybe I’ll just regard this time as compensation.
Today, my mop and I managed to establish a complicated relationship. We’ve conducted the longest conversation in our whole history. Strictly speaking, the conversation was a failure as I ended up twisting my words again. My curse made it as if I were trying to woo the mop. Now it doesn’t want to talk to me anymore. I don’t know if this is worth celebrating.
In the end, I still don’t know whether or not it’s a soul-purging weapon. Should I consider it fortunate that Yue Tui and I haven’t gone to Wushu Xuan’s fighting class ever since we bought our weapons? Otherwise, I might have already been arrested for being a dangerous and suspicious person…
From the current situation, it seems a lot have happened on Ling Shi’s side. I can sense the lingering smell of Fuzhou in the air, plus there’s a murderous-looking child standing opposite of Ling Shi… Exactly what is going on here? Lord Ling Shi, has the illegitimate child you’ve abandoned come to find you? Who’s the mother?
Next: Chapter 3: Misunderstandings Can Still be Peacefully Resolved
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