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~
New Year’s Eve turned into the bustling Chinese New Year Festival. The holiday that prohibited seclusion would last until the fifteenth of the first lunar month before concluding.
Lesser Jade House originally didn’t allow disciples to visit others’ courtyards, but it was naturally an exception during the Chinese New Year.
Fan Xi would therefore head over to Zhichun Garden almost everyday to enjoy the snow or flowers with Su Yang or to pester him to come out and play.
Su Yang regarded this person as the number-one lackey of the Devil Sect’s Young Saint in the script after all, and it wasn’t good to always refuse him. So he followed Fan Xi to the martial arts field a few times, using his Blooming Lotus Sword technique that he’d mastered to torture others until they howled.
Strangely enough, aside from Fan Xi, Xu Yunzhan often came to invite him to have tea and play chess. Su Yang aggressively refused on several occasions, but Xu Yunzhan didn’t seem dissuaded. Later, he even brought his own tea leaves, prepared tea, and discussed martial arts with Su Yang.
When the fifteenth of the first lunar month had passed, Su Yang—who had long been impatient with people randomly dropping by—immediately announced his seclusion and once again ensconced himself in Zhichun Garden.
How time flies, like the sun and the moon shuttling back and forth.
In Zichun Garden, the plum blossoms had bloomed and faded. The peaches and pears withered one after another, and the purple lilacs finally bloomed again.
Summer seemed to have arrived a little early this year, and the lotuses in the small courtyard had already started to bloom slightly at this time. When Su Yang broke through the fifth cold level of Nine Cold Surging Shoots technique, it coincided with the day when he’d entered Lesser Jade House a whole year ago.
It wasn’t until then that he realised he’d missed his birthday this year—when in Rome, do as the Romans do. According to the lunar calendar, his birthday had already passed six days ago.
If he calculated his actual age outside the script, he was already twenty-two years old. However, within the script, he could only bear the shell of an eighteen-year-old boy.
At any rate, age didn’t matter. The important thing was that on the day he achieved a breakthrough of the fifth cold level, he was forced out of seclusion by the little green bird sent by Shizun.
And this time, Shizun—for the sake of sanctioning him—gave him (this ‘seclusion-loving demon’ who didn’t get along with his classmates and lacked fraternal unity) an assignment.
—Starting from the day he exited seclusion, he had to go to the martial arts field to battle against the shixiongs and shijies at least three times a day, every day. Regardless of whether he won or lost, he could only enter his next round of seclusion after earnestly completing a hundred matches.
Su Yang: .…..
Fine. You are Shizun; you call the shots.
As such, Su Yang had to start hanging around the martial arts field all day, challenging everyone and anyone he could get his hands on, trying to complete the assignment of the one hundred matches as soon as possible.
Initially, his opponents were his classmates who’d entered the House at the same time, but with the improvement of his direct combat skills, they gradually became Mo shixiong, Li shijie and Di Ling shijie.
It was a peaceful but hardly boring life of martial arts training, and time gradually moved on.
Summer passed, and autumn ended.
Su Yang broke through the sixth cold level of the Nine Cold Surging Shoots technique and found another ancient swordsmanship book ‘Flying Flower Skill’, in Wanjuan Pavilion. He was progressively able to fight Li shijie to a draw on the martial arts field.
The green bird brought Shizun’s letter, which mentioned that Gu Feidi had realised the true essence of the True Hawk Sword technique and completely mastered it while he was practicing the Red Plume Phoenix Tree technique.
Winter left, and spring arrived.
Su Yang managed to break through the eighth cold level and incorporated his favourite dance, ‘Drunken Whip’, together with the soft sword, therefore creating his own sword technique: ‘Drunk Slashing Red Plums’. He defeated Mo shixiong at the time when the peach blossoms were in their first bloom.
Shizun’s letter once again brought news of Gu Feidi—he’d mastered Red Plume Phoenix Tree and True Hawk Sword techniques and was currently researching a new martial art: ‘Returning Geese Sword Art.’
It wasn’t until the lotuses in the Zhichun Garden pond sprouted pointy buds again that Su Yang realised this in shock. This was already the second year since he’d entered the Lesser Jade House.
—It was this autumn that the story arc of the Wasteland and the Dubious Tomb of the Sword Sage was to begin. He didn’t have much time to continue delaying within Lesser Jade House. He had to return to the Devil Sect as soon as possible to start preparations.
That afternoon, Su Yang awoke from his meditations and felt that the internal force in his meridians was abundant and not like in the past—he had unknowingly accomplished a breakthrough in the Nine Cold Surging Shoots technique and it had been achieved after only two years.
Su Yang felt the faint chill of the internal force flowing and couldn’t help being a little thrilled: When he was in the Jade Mirror Pond, he’d accidentally hijacked the story arc of the Veiled Pearl Pavilion, but he’d also obtained the assistance if the Cold Pond Ice Spirit which had enabled him to achieve breakthroughs of the techniques in such a short span.
It was time to leave Lesser Jade House.
Su Yang clenched his fists, bolstered himself and got up. He headed to the martial arts field and directly challenged Di Ling shijie!
Di Ling slowly lifted her head from the scroll, eyed Su Yang with a distracted look, nodded, and stepped into the ring.
“Aai—it hurts, hurts, HURTS!”
Su Yang lay on the bed, slapping at Fan Xi’s wrist and struggling: “Easy, not so hard! Are you helping me apply medicine or trying to kill me?!”
Fan Xi gave a sarcastic laugh. “Young Saint, what were you thinking challenging Ling shijie and telling her not to be merciful? You’ve been in Lesser Jade House for two years; don’t you know that even Wang Ke shixiong can’t defeat her?”
Su Yang gritted his teeth and said angrily, “Ling shijie is a BUG!”
“…What nonsense are you babbling about now?” Fan Xi was dumbfounded: “Ling shijie was personally tutored by Shizun. They say that when she entered the Veiled Pearl Pavilion, she was just a blind girl who only knew how to tell her position by listening to her voice. She left the Veiled Pearl Pavilion, returned to Lesser Jade House after a couple of years, and had already become such a marvel. In the past two years, no doubt you’ve heard many rumours about her, but you still dared to charge at her?”
Su Yang groaned for a long time and had no choice but to admit defeat.
What had made him so daring?
Fan Xi continued: “Presently, Gu Feidi has entered the Veiled Pearl Pavilion by chance and is following Shizun’s cultivation. In the future, he’ll inevitably rise up by leaps and bounds. You’ve been hostile with him before; it’ll be prudent for you to be careful.”
Su Yang curled his lips and said, “He and I will inevitably come to blows in the future… but you, chasing after Pu Lingyun every day, aren’t you afraid Tengyun Pavilion will cause trouble with Qinglian Sect?”
Fan Xi smiled: “How can I not know that Tengyun Pavilion looks down on our Qinglian Sect? I can’t help it but I don’t have a way out of it either. The more I tell myself not to think about it, the more… It’s better to cherish this time in Lesser Jade House, where we can be free to accompany each other.”
Su Yang sighed and patted Fan Xi’s shoulder not knowing how to persuade him.
Pu Lingyun was the heroine of ‘Arch-Rivals’, and she would definitely have to marry Gu Feidi in the future. Fan Xi had only a small supporting role and may only be hurt by love in the end. If, by some unfortunate happenstance, that the protagonist, Gu Feidi, got to know his innermost thoughts, Fan Xi might be killed by him.
Thinking of this, Su Yang instantly felt a little frustrated.
Whatever happened to Fan Xi from the script in the end, he didn’t know. He didn’t even know whether Fan Xi had died or not.
Now that he had been getting along with these people for two years, he thought of the number of people in the script that would die in various conflicts—these classmates whom he’d come to know for two years would fall into the centre of the conflict. He… was inexplicably panic-stricken.
As the Devil Sect’s Young Saint, he was bound to die. Therefore, Fan Xi, as his number-one lackey, would probably die too. And in the final battle against the Devil Sect, Xu Yunzhan, who’d sacrificed his life to protect Gu Feidi, would probably not be able to escape his fate in the storyline either…
These characters were originally just cold words on paper for him. It shouldn’t have affected his emotions so much. Two years wasn’t that long, but was enough to make them take root in his heart and become independent people.
Fan Xi waved his hand in front of Su Yang’s eyes.
Seeing Su Yang regain his senses, he smiled and asked, “Are you tired? The medicine has been completely applied; you have a good rest. I’ll leave now.”
Su Yang and Fan Xi bid their goodbyes. He watched him leave and irritably buried his face in the pillow.
Sure enough, he still had to complete his discipleship and return to the Devil Sect as soon as possible. Su Yang thought to himself: The only way was to stay away from this group of people, lest they disturb and make him feel uneasy.
Just then, there was a gentle knock on the bedroom door.
Su Yang put on his clothes, sat up and invited the person in.
Di Ling walked into the room and said: “You’ve made a lot of progress in today’s battle. Now that you’ve achieved the breakthrough for Nine Cold Surging Shoots technique, you can leave Lesser Jade House.”
Su Yang didn’t expect Di Ling to be so blunt.
Although he originally planned to complete his discipleship as soon as possible, now that this opportunity was really before him and within reach, he felt a little confused and anxious.
There was even a moment when Su Yang had an idea that he’d never considered before—if he could stay in Lesser Jade House forever and live a lifetime in such a pure and safe environment, not caring about those Jianghu disputes—how wonderful would that be?
While he’d only been in this world for two years, the life in Lesser Jade House had become a comfort zone for him. Deciding to leave, in fact, also required great courage.
Su Yang was silent for a long time. He finally gritted his teeth and asked, “When can I leave?”
“At any time.” Di Ling said, “If you want to nurse your injuries, you can wait a little longer. But I see that you seem somewhat anxious. Presumably there’s some matters at the Yin Tan Divine Sect. If you want to, you can leave tomorrow.”
Su Yang was afraid that he might regret, so he immediately replied, “I shall leave tomorrow!”
Di Ling nodded, “Okay.”
Before dawn the next morning, Su Yang packed up his clothes and placed a book of ‘Drunk Slashing Red Plums’ which he’d written himself, on the desk as a thank-you gift to Lesser Jade House.
After greeting Di Ling, Su Yang left Zhichun Garden directly and descended Lesser Jade House mountain.
He didn’t intend to say goodbye to anyone because he’d planned to return to his own storyline right from the moment he’d left and cut off all contact with the people in Lesser Jade House—including Fan Xi.
Fan Er was just an expendable lackey; even if his role was changed to a flower aide, it shouldn’t affect the flow of the main storyline. Instead of dragging him down in the future conflict of the Devil Sect’s annihilation, it would be better to bring an end to his relationship with him earlier.
Su Yang came all the way to the cliff opposite the stump platform, thinking: I am an emotionless actor; I am the Devil Sect’s Young Saint; I don’t need to have anything to do with these people.
With this in mind, he stepped onto the chain bridge leading to the stump platform.
Someone suddenly called out to him from behind.
Su Yang’s footsteps paused, and he sighed, turning his head slowly.
Fan Xi and Pu Lingyun approached, walking side by side.
Fan Xi smiled and said, “Young Saint, why did you leave without saying a word? Fortunately, Li shijie reminded us yesterday; otherwise, we wouldn’t have made it to see you off.”
Pu Lingyun had become more dignified and calm after the Jade Mirror Pond incident. Standing upright beside Fan Xi, she said, “Although you and I are of different backgrounds, for better or for worse, we’re still classmates together. Now that you are graduating, we should also come to bid you farewell and wish you all the best no matter what.”
Su Yang looked at the two of them and didn’t know what to say for a while.
He paused and noticed several figures approaching quickly from a distance.
Chi Tong stepped forward and patted Su Yang on the shoulder smiling: “Little Beauty Su wants to quietly sneak away? Not even a ‘hello’ to us; that’s not very appropriate, isn’t it?”
Luo Yin followed silently; although he didn’t speak, he looked at Su Yang seriously and slightly nodded his regards.
Mo shixiong and Li shijie also approached slowly, looking at them from a distance with faint smiles on their faces.
Su Yang was a little bit stunned and said goodbye to a few people, not knowing what incoherent things he’d uttered.
When he was finally able to set foot on the cable bridge and leave the foothills where Lesser Jade House’s solitary peak was located, only then did he feel that the world seemed surreal.
Finally, he looked back at the mountain peak and into the sky in the distance, then made up his mind and turned around to leave.
Just as Su Yang was about to step into the stone forest formation, a voice rang out behind him, a mix of near, far, and anxious gasping of breath.
The person called out: “—Su Yang!”