Title: Did We Agree To Be Arch-Rivals?
Original Title: 说好成为彼此的宿敌呢[穿书]
Author: 轻风白杨 (Qingfeng Baiyang)
Translated by: ~PurpleLy~
By early next morning, everyone in Lesser Jade House heard the news of Su Yang’s decision to go into seclusion.
Although Lesser Jade House’s rules were not strict, the younger generations under the care of their respective shixiongs and shijies were not allowed to visit others’ residences at will. Of course, if disciples typically wanted to gather and exchange pointers, the martial arts field and various garden pavilions in Lesser Jade House were used as places to meet up.
But once Su Yang entered seclusion after relinquishing the jade bell, he could no longer set foot out of the garden as he wished. Apart from Di Ling and Gu Feidi, who were living with him, outsiders would not be permitted to see him.
Fan Xi appeared positively frustrated. After eating breakfast in a huff, he returned to Li shijie’s courtyard, quickly handed in his jade bell, and announced that he would also go into seclusion.
At dinner that day, everyone heard that… Luo Yin—the unremarkable and forgettable disciple who’d previously been taken away by Chi Tong—had also gone into seclusion.
This time around, Lesser Jade House had opened their doors and acquired eight disciples. In less than two days, three of them had gone into seclusion.
“Like that, it would seem that the rest of us are idling.” Xu Yunzhan poured half a cup of tea, handed it to Gu Feidi, and laughed, “It’s a pity that I can’t practice heavy sword moves within my courtyard. I need to go to the martial arts field every day to train. Looks like I won’t be able to go into seclusion even by the time I graduate from here.”
Pu Lingyun curled her lips and said, “Su Yang goes into seclusion probably because he knows that he’s different and disliked. Fan Xi is obedient to him, so when Su Yang doesn’t come out, he would, of course not want to be the target of public criticism. Therefore, he might as well follow suit!”
After speaking, she leaned forward and looked at Gu Feidi with a serious face: “Xiao shixiong, since you’re living with that demon spawn, try your best not to be led astray by him and be careful not to fall victim to his schemes.”
Xu Yunzhan smiled: “I think that Su Yang has always been pretending to be complex, but in fact his mind may not be that profound. Once he exited the stone forest formation, I initially thought he had plans for Gu Feidi, but I fear it may be far from it.”
Hearing these words, Gu Feidi suddenly let out a laugh.
He rubbed his left arm brace, and his gaze turned warm. It was obvious that it wasn’t him being sarcastic; but he’d discovered something that truly amused him.
“As it happens, his approach is sometimes…” Gu Feidi coughed lightly, “…In short, the rumours of the Jianghu are not credible. He is indeed pure.”
Pu Lingyun rolled her eyes, clearly unwilling to concede.
Xu Yunzhan asked, “So, why do you think he used the Lianxiang Rejuvenating Pills on you in the first place?”
Gu Feidi’s expression suddenly became a little downcast, as if he didn’t know what to think. After pondering for a moment, he slowly spoke: “If he wasn’t doing it under compulsion or being threatened by the Devil Sect Leader to use the medicine on me… If he fed me the medicine out of his own will, I think… at that time, he probably just wanted to save my life.”
At this point, he lowered his eyelashes and continued: “After all, once ‘Nirvana’ is stimulated and self-healing begins, in the eyes of outsiders, I look no different from someone whose life is hanging by a thread.”
Xu Yunzhan said: “If you can find the Return To The Nest volume, you can practice the complete Restoration Scripture, then you can control the stimulation and suspension of ‘Nirvana’. No matter how bad the injury is, you should have time to find a safe place to heal your wounds, at least you won’t suddenly faint and get into a bad situation.”
“Return To The Nest volume…”
Gu Feidi’s voice was very low and sounded a little understated, but what he said next was something truly shocking:
“…I’ve found it.”
“What?!” Xu Yunzhan sprang to his feet, his eyes gleaming with excitement. “How did you find it?!”
Gu Feidi smiled and said, “A lucky coincidence. It was hidden within another unrelated book at Wanjuan Pavilion.”
Pu Lingyun’s eyes were also bright as she grabbed Gu Feidi’s arm: “Xiao shixiong! If you can memorise it and write the whole part down from memory when you return to Tengyun Pavilion, Shifu would surely be very happy!”
Gu Feidi nodded: “…I must finish studying it before graduating. Only then can I fully comprehend what its meanings are. I have yet to accomplish a breakthrough for the ‘Scorn’ volume, so in order to start training for the Return To The Nest volume, I would need some time. As a matter of fact, I’ve already planned to enter seclusion to complete cultivation of the Restoration Scripture as soon as possible.”
Xu Yunzhan and Pu Lingyun were completely supportive of his decision. The three of them drank tea for a while, then went back to their respective dwellings.
Su Yang was practicing sword skills in the courtyard.
The master of Lesser Jade House had specifically asked Di Ling to take him to live in Zhichun Garden because there were flowers and trees in the courtyard for all seasons, and the flowers would be in full bloom all year long. It was now early summer; the pergolas in the courtyard were covered with blooming roses, and there were two lilac trees in front of the hall. In a pond at the corner of the small courtyard, light-pink lotus flowers were sprouting small, pointed buds, hidden amongst the emerald-green lotus leaves, gently swaying in the breeze.
While Su Yang had never practiced martial arts, and also because of the flowers in the courtyard, he would never have realised that the essence of martial arts was related to flowers and the art of dance was palpably connected to nature.
He didn’t know if all the martial arts used by Devil Sect were similar to dancing, but the Prized Flower Steps and Blooming Lotus Sword techniques he had trained in were all inextricably linked to dance.
For Su Yang, that was a good thing.
He was skilled at dancing, and at that moment, he’d already memorised all the moves of Blooming Lotus Sword technique. He only had to integrate his internal force flow with these sword moves.
His flaming-red robes and sleeves swished up and down. From a distance, it looked like a begonia flower blooming in the wind.
“The movement is smooth, and the control of internal force isn’t bad.” Di Ling approached slowly, put down the book in her hand, and said, “It’s just that your sword moves lack a killing aura and are too supple.”
Su Yang stopped his movements to wipe his sweat: “I’ll settle the moves and internal strength first. As for the killing aura, it will emerge naturally when the need arises in life-or-death situations.”
Di Ling shook her head: “If you don’t practice during normal times, when it comes to a life-or-death situation, your whole person will be filled with flaws. If you don’t believe me, you can try and practice on me.”
When Gu Feidi returned to Zhichun Garden, he saw two figures in the courtyard, one red and one white, both striking at each other and converging with their moves.
No, to describe it as ‘striking at each other’ was a bit unfair.
In the midst of the yard, the long sword in the hands of the red-robed swordsman could hardly even touch the edges of the lady in white’s clothing. The lady in white clearly only had a scrolled-up book in her hand which was less than a foot long, but it was always able to hit Su Yang’s vital points. Forehead, side of the neck, chest… If Di Ling was holding a sword in her hand or if she just released her majestic inner strength from the scroll, Su Yang would already have been killed countless of times.
Di Ling turned her hand and tapped Su Yang’s wrist with the scroll. Su Yang could no longer hold onto the sword.
The thin sword fell to the ground with a reluctant ‘weng’ resonance.
Su Yang straightened; his breathing was messy, and he was dripping sweat.
“You’ve trained in sword skills before, but you’ve never battled anyone?” Di Ling asked doubtfully, “How did you manage with such an absence of regulations?”
Su Yang said in his heart: Within Lesser Jade House, the Devil Sect’s Young Saint’s character has been completely obliterated. Doesn’t matter if I concede on this point.
So he nodded: “Indeed… I’ve never fought against anyone before.” As soon as these words came out, both Gu Feidi, who had been watching the fight, and Di Ling had shocked expressions on their faces.
After a long silence, Di Ling spoke: “From now on, we’ll do training at Mao period* every morning, and I’ll personally feed you moves. Lesser Jade House will not let those who have the inner strength but are unable to fight to complete their discipleship.”
(*TN: Mao’s period = 5 a.m.—7 a.m. in the system of two-hour subdivision used in ancient times.)
Su Yang was secretly calculating the time for Mao’s period in the morning when he heard Di Ling speak again: “Great, Feidi is also back; both of you can go practice Nine Cold Surging Shoots technique. As for the tough clothing with narrow sleeves you were asking for earlier, I’ll notify the in-building manager to prepare it and provide it to you as soon as possible.”
Su Yang returned to the room and wiped down his body briefly before changing clothes. He then retrieved the first volume of Nine Cold Surging Shoots, went to the main hall, sat side by side with Gu Feidi at the Eight Immortals table and began listening to him read aloud and explain.
Once they began, it continued straight on until the sky turned dark.
Gu Feidi had a regular daily schedule for work and rest times, and he went to bed at Hai period*. When he had returned to his room, Su Yang took the book and notes back to his own desk and continued to burn the midnight oil.
(*TN : Hai period = 9 p.m.—11 p.m.)
—He must understand the sentence breaks and vocabulary that frequently appear in the mental cultivation method and also to figure out where the meridian and acupuncture points involved are specifically located, so as to ensure that he will not get into trouble while practicing this method.
When the candle in the lamp burned out and the whole room instantly plunged into darkness, only did Su Yang wake up with a start. He probably stayed up until midnight again. Recalling that he had to practice swords before dawn the next day, he hurriedly washed his face and went to bed.
Just as he was closing his eyes, Gu Feidi’s voice rang out.
“Su Yang, Ling shijie asked me to wake you and prepare for morning training.” The voice wasn’t loud, but it was like a sharp arrow piercing into Su Yang’s ears.
Su Yang reluctantly pushed himself off the bed to wash up and nearly fell asleep again.
Gu Feidi stretched out his hand and patted him on the shoulder, frowning, “What? Did you stay up late again last night? I called you this morning, but you didn’t move for a long time, so I used inner strength to wake you up.”
Only then did Su Yang realise where the sound that had almost burst his eardrums had come from.
He couldn’t help sighing as he looked up at the grey blue sky and at the few stars that had not yet disappeared.
If this intensity continued everyday while he was in seclusion, he feared that in the long run, there would be a day he would die in Lesser Jade House.
However, if he wanted to graduate within two years and catch up with the Wasteland storyline of the Dubious Tomb of the Sword Sage, he must not have any instances of laziness.
So from that day on, Su Yang began seclusion for the first time in Lesser Jade House.
Every day during the Mao period, before dawn, he would practice swords with Di Ling in the courtyard. After breakfast, he would meditate using the Six Underworlds Inter Flower technique. When he awoke, he would start reviewing the Nine Cold Surging Shoots he had read the night before. After lunch, it was back to meditation again. In the afternoon, he practiced swordsmanship and internal force manipulation by himself. Then in the evenings, he would study the next page of Nine Cold Surging Shoots with Gu Feidi. In the middle of the night, he studied ancient sentence reading and meridian acupuncture points by lamplight.
No matter rain or shine.
The concept of weekends did not exist here. Lesser Jade House originally had a rest a day every ten days, but Su Yang was in seclusion, and his rest was cancelled.
And so, summer became autumn. The courtyard was filled with osmanthus flowers that replaced the lilacs, and chrysanthemum thickets had eliminated the roses.
During the Mid-Autumn and the Double Ninth festivals, Su Yang refused Gu Feidi’s invitation to gather with other classmates and hike up the mountain. Instead, he hid in the courtyard and continued to grapple with the Nine Cold Surging Shoots technique.
Autumn turned to winter, and the weather gradually became colder.
Finally, on a clear day after the snow had passed, Su Yang’s practise was interrupted by a little, green bird bearing a letter, and he was forced to leave seclusion.
—The New Year was already fast approaching.
Author has to something to say:
Su Yang: It’s better to transmigrate into the book, I won’t go bald.
The current Young Saint from the ’script’ has not strayed to far off and won’t jump too much ahead when he’s in seclusion, it’ll just lead on over.
The focus of the story is further in the back. QwQ