Title: Did We Agree To Be 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~
Su Yang looked back.
The person approaching was Xu Yunzhan, who was supposed to be in seclusion.
In the dim sky nearing dawn, Xu Yunzhan’s eyes were deep and he looked straight at Su Yang.
Apparently, he’d run all the way, chasing straight over the chain bridge. His breathing was a little unstable.
For some reason, Su Yang felt a little disappointed when he saw that it was Xu Yunzhan who had come.
Out of courtesy, he still smiled and asked: “You’ve left seclusion?”
Xu Yunzhan didn’t answer, instead he asked, “You’re leaving?”
Su Yang shrugged and replied, “Yes, I have achieved a breakthrough for the techniques and I have now completed my discipleship.”
“I……” Xu Yunzhan took a step forward, with a look of unapparent panic,”You…… are going back to the Devil Sect?”
Su Yang nodded: “Naturally, I have to go back.”
Xu Yunzhan was silent for a moment and spoke in a low voice: “So… in the future, if you and I meet in the Jianghu, we might… be enemies.”
Su Yang smiled.
He turned his head to look at the golden glow in the eastern sky and said, “Yes, the next time we meet, we may be enemies and I won’t be merciful.”
Xu Yunzhan took another step forward.
Seeing that he wasn’t speaking, Su Yang smiled, “Alright, this is also a goodbye. I should go.”
He finished talking and turned to leave.
In the next moment, Xu Yunzhan suddenly took him into his arms and hugged him.
Su Yang was immediately stunned.
The hug was over as soon as it happened, Xu Yunzhan murmured as if talking to himself: “So, I’ll see you around… it would be better if we don’t see…”
An indescribable smile tugged at the corners of his mouth: “You saved my life. If you and I meet in a dispute in the future, I will repay you.”
After speaking, he stared at Su Yang for a long time, then turned away and quickly fled as if he was avoiding something terrible.
Su Yang grabbed his hair and said in his heart: This dude was probably forced to say goodbye by Mo shixiong and ran away after saying a few words. It seems that he really hates him…
Su Yang thought about it and he let out a sigh. He turned around and walked into the stone forest formation.
The depressive atmosphere that had always existed in the stone forest formation still lingered, but it could no longer hinder Su Yang’s profound inner strength. He manipulated his light footwork and jumped to the top of the boulder in the forest. The stone forest formation was unobstructed from such a perspective.
Su Yang tapped his toes lightly and flew towards Meizhu Mountain’s cliff.
It was not until he returned to the gate of Lesser Jade House on Meizhu Mountain that he saw the Devil Sect’s flower aide standing quietly outside. Su Yang remembered—he thought he would be eliminated by Lesser Jade House, so he had left the flower aide there and never thought about him again.
Now that he saw him still waiting outside the mountain gate, Su Yang was extremely shocked. He hastened his steps and arrived before the flower aide: “You waited for me here for two years?!”
When the flower aide saw his Young Saint, he seemed terribly gratified and smiled: “It is this subordinate’s duty to wait for you here.”
Su Yang: !!!
Flower aide added: “This subordinate has opened an inn outside Meizhu Mountain. Now Young Saint has returned just in time, we can head over there to freshen up.”
Su Yang was relieved when he heard this. It turns out that this person had not been enduring the hardships of literally waiting here for two years and the Devil Sect had purchased a property nearby.
That’s right, only a fool would wait for you in the mountains. The Devil Sect owning a lot of properties and opening an inn at the foot of the mountain seemed to be in line with the background plot of the script.
The two of them chatted a few random words and walked through the forests of Meizhu Mountain all the way to Meizhu Town at the base of the mountain.
The town was not prosperous; only two intersecting main streets, north-south and east-west, surrounded by small residential alleys. There were many shops along the intersecting streets, but they were generally modest-looking. One could only recognize the business of the shops by the hanging banners and plaques outside the doors.
The flower aide led Su Yang into a small building with a somewhat narrow facade. The shopkeeper looked up at Su Yang and said with a smile: “This distinguished guest, please head upstairs to the first room.”
Hefollowed the wooden steps of the inn up to the second floor and reached the easternmost room. Su Yang had just set foot in the door when the shopkeeper immediately turned and knelt down to salute him: “Subordinate Lan Wu*, greets Young Saint.”
(*TN : Lan = Orchid, Wu = Five)
Upon hearing this, Su Yang was slightly dazed, he said, “You can rise… I didn’t eat breakfast when I left, so help me bring me some dimsum. Oh and prepare a bathtub.”
Lan Wu immediately complied and turned around to leave.
Su Yang frowned for a moment and turned to the flower aide who had been at his side all this while: “Well, what’s your name?”
He had been really confused during the first few days when he had transmigrated over and had forgotten many important things. Thankfully, the flower aide had not been suspicious, otherwise he might have been treated as a Young Saint imposter and sent to be executed.
The flower aide lowered his eyes: “This subordinate is Mei Shisan*.”
(*TN : Mei = Plum, Shisan = Thirteen)
Su Yang raised his eyebrows and asked with a smile: “Plum, orchid, bamboo and chrysanthemum*?”
(*TN : these four plants are known as the Four Gentlemen in Chinese art. They symbolise the virtues of uprightness, purity, humility, perseverance against harsh conditions. They also represent the four seasons: the plum blossom for winter, the orchid for spring, the bamboo for summer, and the chrysanthemum for autumn)
Mei Shisan replied: “Our Sect’s four main clans are plum, orchid, lotus and chrysanthemum. Bamboo does not bloom and Sect Leader does not like it. Therefore, there is no bamboo clan in my sect.”
Su Yang smiled and said: “Bamboo also blooms.”
Mei Shisan was taken aback.
Su Yang said: “However, bamboo only blooms once in a lifetime and it will wither and die after blooming. It is indeed not very auspicious. If there’s no bamboo, then so be it… Tsk, I am really free, why am I talking about this.”
Soon, Lan Wu presented morning tea and refreshments and helped Su Yang prepare a bathtub.
Su Yang finished his breakfast, soaked in the tub and took a good bath.
After coming out from behind the folding screen, Su Yang found that Mei Shisan had brought him new Devil Sect attire— red outer robes layered with various complicated tapes and brightly coloured, intricate hanging adornments with Devil Sect’s traits.
While enjoying the convenience of the flower aide’s assistance in getting dressed, Su Yang didn’t know why but he suddenly thought of the incident where he and Gu Feidi had a headache with the Devil Sect’s attire in the room of the Meizhu Mountain’s farmhouse on the morning when they first entered Lesser Jade House.
Both were a little awkward at the time. Now looking back, he found it rather amusing.
Once he thought of Gu Feidi, Su Yang’s thoughts successfully got side-tracked.
——It was summer now. If Gu Feidi was to catch up with this autumn’s Dubious Tomb of the Sword Sage story arc, it was estimated that he would soon complete his discipleship.
As Xu Yunzhan had said, when they meet again, he and Gu Feidi should be in the capacity as each other’s foes. Who knows what Gu Feidi’s internal thoughts would be at that time?
“The chances of clashing swords in the future are unavoidable since we’re from different standpoints.”
Gu Feidi took a sip from his teacup and sighed, “It’s really unfortunate. I was only delayed for half a day but he had already left Lesser Jade House. I was planning to exchange pointers with him and witness his self-created set of ‘Drunk Slashing Red Plums’…”
Xu Yunzhan held the cup and stared at the tea inside for a long time before downing it in one gulp.
Gu Feidi laughed: “Seeing you like this, it doesn’t seem suitable for you to be drinking tea, perhaps you should be drinking wine instead.”
Xu Yunzhan played with an empty teacup and chuckled when he heard the words, “We should be having wine. Will you drink with me?”
Gu Feidi raised his teacup and lightly clinked the edge against the cup in Xu Yunzhan’s hand: “Still better not to. You’re not in a good emotional state today, drinking alcohol will hurt your health.”
Xu Yunzhan just smiled again and said nothing.
Gu Feidi asked: “You’ve not seen me in a year. I’ve left the seclusion of Veiled Pearl Pavilion yet you’re unhappy?”
Xu Yunzhan was silent, he turned his head to look at the orange sunset outside the pavilion. There was some unspeakable melancholy in his eyes.
Gu Feidi didn’t urge him either, he picked up the teapot and poured a cup for each of them and quietly held up his own teacup.
“What would you say if…” Xu Yunzhan asked suddenly, “If you’ve just separated from him and already started to miss him, does that mean… you care about him?”
Gu Feidi’s fingers shook and hot tea splashed out onto his fingertips. He quickly withdrew his hands, knocking the teacup in the process. It fell off the edge of the table and smashed onto the floor.
“…Just separated?” Gu Feidi frowned and looked at Xu Yunzhan solemnly, “Don’t say that you treat Su Yang as… What happened between the two of you this year?”
After a long silence, Xu Yunzhan smiled bitterly: “I… I’m not sure either.”
Gu Feidi also became silent.
“… It shouldn’t have been.”
Xu Yunzhan looked at the flaming sunset in the west and spoke in a calm tone.
“He spent most of his time in seclusion. Even when he was ordered by Shizun to leave seclusion and practice martial arts in the martial arts field, with his initial skill level, neither Lingyun nor Fan Xi were able to match him. Only he and I could oppose each other in terms of strength. Although… I have never beaten him, but I have to admit that the battle against him was really thrilling.”
“In the beginning, his sword control was still shaky and he accidentally stabbed me once. I didn’t give it much thought, but he was filled with fear. I still remember the look in his eyes at that moment… panic, helplessness, guilt… but he still insisted on putting on a scornful, taunting expression.”
Xu Yunzhan finished speaking and let out a light laugh: “You’ve also seen him looking all tough and haughty, you can imagine it. But, he himself doesn’t realise that no matter how tough he pretends to be, he can’t conceal the emotion in his eyes… At that time, I just wanted to hold him in my arms.”
Gu Feidi said suddenly: “You’re both men.”
For a long time, Xu Yunzhan just sighed: “As the stories go, I understand that in this world there may even be male-male relationships. But I’m from Qianfeng Villa, he is the Devil Sect’s Young Saint… At any rate, to desire this relationship and to be happily in love is impossible.”
He paused, then gave a self-deprecating laugh: “But, now I truly understand the meaning of ‘unable to restrain emotions’……”
Gu Feidi did not answer.
He leaned down, slowly and gently picked up the teacup fragments under the table. He carefully swept them up into the largest broken piece of porcelain and placed them back onto the table.
He calmly said: “I have seen a tattoo on Su Yang’s back by chance.”
Xu Yunzhan wasn’t aware of the matter and was surprised: “Tattoo?”
Gu Feidi nodded, “He has a flower tattoo on his back. Although, I saw it through his inner shirt and it wasn’t very clear, but the red colour was so vivid that even the layer of white gauze couldn’t obstruct it.”
Hearing this, Xu Yunzhan seemed to have been petrified and frozen on the spot.
After a while, he spoke in a hoarse voice: “…He said that he wants to go back to the Devil Sect.”
Gu Feidi said: “Naturally, he wants to go back. Although some things are just rumours, no one really understands the Devil Sect Leader’s methods, do they?”
He lowered his head slightly, glanced down, rubbed the leather wristband of his forearm and said calmly: “Forget him. Even if there was a chance for us to meet again in the future, it would be in a ‘you-die-I-live’ situation for either.”
Xu Yunzhan exhaled heavily and after a long time, he smiled reluctantly: “When I complete my discipleship, I will go back to Qianfeng Villa for the crown ceremony*. My father must have arranged the marriage for me. If I don’t forget him, what can be done? After all… I can’t make my future wife sad.”
(*TN : when a young man reaches twenty, that’s when they start wearing hats/ crowns. This symbolises that the person has reached adulthood)
After speaking, he sighed: “It’s really good to be able to tell you now… It has been difficult to deal with this matter in my heart.”
Gu Feidi took a new porcelain cup from the tea tray. He poured himself a cup of tea and took a slow sip.
He looked down at the remaining tea in the cup and said: “…we should have been drinking wine today.”
At this point, the two tacitly agreed to change the subject, then talked about the inner strength techniques and martial arts. It was not until the afterglow of the setting sun had gradually disappeared from the sky and the surroundings dimmed that they went back to their respective residences.
Gu Feidi returned to the bedroom, lit the lamp and removed his sword, dagger and wristband.
He toyed with his wristband for a while and carefully took out a few pieces of paper from it. The handwriting on the papers had traces of watermarks and a lot of the blackened edges were also peeling off, but it was still possible to see what was written on it.
Gu Feidi’s fingertips lightly stroked the words ‘Wanjuan Pavilion’ and ‘Flawed Phoenix Craft Fire’. His eyes were reflected by the flickering candlelight and there seemed to be some slight emotions flashing within.
Sometimes, time and distance won’t make all things fade away. On the contrary, some emotions and thoughts that were not originally distinct may gradually become more intense like dewdrops and wine.