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~
Three days later, Su Yang returned to the Devil Sect’s headquarters in the Wasteland, accompanied by Mei Shisan.
Although Su Yang had found himself in headquarters of the Devil Sect when he’d first transmigrated over, he was discouraged and confused, and didn’t have time to observe and remember what it looked like. Now that he’d returned from Lesser Jade House after completing his discipleship, his temperament had changed, and he possessed a leisurely disposition to go sightseeing in the Devil Sect.
Yes, “sightseeing”—the term wasn’t excessive at all.
The headquarters of the Devil Sect was located in a rift valley Wasteland in the Gobi Desert. The magnificent and beautiful scenery wasn’t inferior when compared to Lesser Jade House. The sinkhole was deep and encircled by large tracts of wind-eroded landforms. The people called it ‘Devil City’. Without knowing the special symbols of the Devil Sect, it was extremely difficult for outsiders to find the specific location of the Devil City sinkhole. They would be find themselves trapped in the desert, dying from hunger and thirst.
At the bottom of the Devil Sect’s sinkhole, there was a deep blue lake. In the lake, there were two extremely high mountain islands protruding upwards. The Devil Sect buildings were mounted on the island cliffs, and the surrounding canyon precipices, connected by a trestle bridge, formed layer upon layer of dazzling building complexes.
Maybe, it was because the previous lords of the Devil Sect loved flowers very much; countless of exotic flowers and plants had been artificially planted in this deep valley. When you were there, you wouldn’t be able to feel the arid and hot Wasteland. It seemed like you had entered into a general area of the flourishing southern border.
One could imagine that if you looked down from the sky, the Devil Sect’s headquarters bore the appearance a beautiful pearl faintly visible in the narrow gap of a sick clam.
Su Yang’s residence was located on the smaller island on the lake and was called Iris Island.
Half of the houses here were excavated from the rock wall, and the other half were suspended in the air. The exteriors were connected by various suspension bridges and iron cables, winding and zigzagging. It was picturesque in a disorderly way. Su Yang marvelled at his surroundings as he ambled around, but he couldn’t show it. His face displayed the “I’ve seen this all before a million times” expression. Without so much as a sideways glance, he returned to his room.
After freshening up and changing clothes again, Mei Shisan came to report that the elders were already waiting in the main hall. Su Yang hurried over to greet them.
The elders who were waiting nervously in the main hall were the four who’d been bedevilled by Su Yang’s suicidal episodes prior. Now seeing that their Young Saint had left Lesser Jade House safe and sound after completing his discipleship, each one of them was relieved, and even the wrinkles on their faces had reduced a lot.
The four elders of the Devil Sect presided over the four main halls of Mei, Lan, Lian, and Ju*.
(*TN: Mei = Plum, Lan = Orchid, Lian = Lotus, Ju = Chrysanthemum)
Mei Hall was mainly responsible for the Devil Sect’s internal and external general affairs relating to the martial arts circles as the headquarters’ security, patrols, and thugs for the properties. A few of the smarter ones would be assigned as bodyguards to the sect leader and Young Saint—such as Mei Shisan.
Lan Hall was responsible for Devil Sect’s estate management. Lan Wu, who’d been sent to run the inn at Meizhu Town, was from Lan Hall. At present, he remains in Meizhu Town and continues to operate the inn. Of course, those from Lan Hall also relied on the convenience of their positions to do intelligence spying.
Those from Lian Hall were relatively mixed and were mainly responsible for the internal logistics and services such as food supplies and provisions, clothing manufacturing, repairs and renovations, purchasing, sanitation, laundry, and other miscellaneous chores.
Ju Hall was mainly responsible for in-house entertainment activities, such as actors and dancers. In addition, it was said that this included the dozens of young, male bedwarmers assigned to the Devil Sect Leader.
Su Yang: …
It was indeed the Devil Sect, as per the rumours, which was filled with sensuality, pleasure, and nightlife that even required the setup of an independent management office.
Su Yang had not yet met the Devil Sect Leader but already somewhat disliked him.
Of course, in addition to Mei, Lan, Lian, and Ju, the Devil Sect also had the ‘Jing Chun Palace’, which was responsible for cultivating newcomers and the ‘Ku Xia Palace’, which was responsible for rules and punishments. These were divided under the jurisdiction of the four elders.
It had been decades since the establishment of the Yin Tan Divine Sect and it could be regarded as a great undertaking. In the end, the matters in the hands of the four elders had to be reported to the leader. If the Sect Leader was in seclusion, many important events would then be handled by the Young Saint.
Su Yang eyed the heap of papers, which had at some point piled up into a little mound before him, and felt that he was in an indescribable hallucination.
His face was deathly pale, and his throat was as dry as parchment. He raised his head and asked the four elders before him: “…All these …are for my review?”
Mei Hall Elder nodded and said, “For the past two years, matters that we were able to handle have already been handled. If my lord wishes to review them, you may. The matters before you are those that require your decision on how we should proceed and to issue orders…”
Su Yang: …
Wasn’t the martial arts world known for using swords, riding horses, upholding morality with some acts of enmity thrown in?
What’s with the pile of official documents on this table?!
“Can I ignore these?” Su Yang asked.
The elders looked at each other helplessly.
At that moment, the most senior Mei Hall Elder stepped forward and persuaded: “My lord, Sect Leader’s date of leaving seclusion has not been decided, and there are many internal affairs in the Sect. If you don’t attend to them, I am afraid that it would hinder the expansion of our sect.”
Su Yang’s eyes glazed over, and he looked depressed: “Then what if I also enter seclusion?”
Mei Hall Elder said: “Logically, you can’t enter seclusion for too long during the Sect Leader’s period of seclusion. Back then, when you spent two years in seclusion and achieved a breakthrough for the Six Underworlds Inter Flower technique, Sect Leader also spent two years managing affairs outside. Unexpectedly, you entered Lesser Jade House after you left seclusion, and this has accumulated the backlog of matters in the sect. Young Saint, these matters are your responsibility; we request that you don’t avoid them…”
After listening to this long narration, Su Yang couldn’t control the corners of his mouth from twitching slightly.
—Wuxia novels have lied to me! Martial artists of blah-blah sects and yada-yada schools in the books did not need to stress over administrative matters! The martial artists only needed to cause trouble, get into fights, and have love affairs. That was all!
But… upon careful deliberation, of course it was fair and reasonable that a high-ranking sect member or even the Sect Leader would be the top decision-maker that needed to deal with the internal affairs of the sects.
Keeping this in mind, Su Yang stiffened his arm and randomly picked up a report, flipping it open.
Fortunately, Jianghu people lacked literary grace. The entire report was in informal language and easy to understand—”Today a suspension bridge ruptured somewhere at Zhu Qiang cliff, two people were killed, three people were injured……, ……the bridge has been reported for repairs, Lin Hall is in charge, the deceased’s wife asks for settlement expenses and proposes to leave the sect. Requesting for instructions.”
After reading one report, Su Yang flipped through two others. They were all trivial but involved emergency movements of sect members or cases that required special handling. The elders didn’t dare decide without authorisation, so they had been all held up until now—pending Su Yang’s return to be presented and awaiting his instructions.
Su Yang had a headache and he pressed the space between his eyebrows.
The elders didn’t dare to decide on those matters, and he didn’t either aaa!
He wasn’t the whatever ‘Demon Sect’s Young Saint’ at all. He was just an actor… No, he was just an internet celebrity! He didn’t have any management experience at all, and now he had to take care of such a large family from the get-go. He… he didn’t even know where to begin!
Fortunately, it wouldn’t be long before the Devil Sect would be wiped out by Gu Feidi, so he could still be a little headstrong. Anyway, it would be a disaster in the future, and it won’t drag on.
As for those who wanted to leave the Devil Sect, it was better to let them go so that they won’t get caught up in the future sect annihilation and have to sacrifice their lives.
To that end, Su Yang said: “For all those who want to leave the Sect, just let them go…”
“We mustn’t, my lord!” Lian Hall Elder said quickly, “Although these family members of the stewards do not have access to sect secrets, there’s no guarantee that they don’t possess anything of concern. If we simply let people leave the Sect, I’m afraid it will cause defectors to follow the crowd, and that would be detrimental!”
This explanation… was also logical.
But Su Yang was already feeling irritated to have been contradicted like this. It made him decide to throw in the towel all the more.
He maintained a straight face and said, “If you have already decided, why didn’t you deal with it and need me to make decisions? I decided, and yet you do not want to execute it. Then, isn’t it better for these matters to be handed over to you all to be managed instead?”
Lian Hall Elder was shocked and immediately dropped to his knees, bowing his head and saying, “This subordinate doesn’t dare overstep. This subordinate shall immediately handle it—”
“Wait a moment.” Su Yang quietly held his forehead and said, “I didn’t mean that; what I wanted to say was… how about this? In the future, the four of you will discuss these things and note down the best solutions in your report before giving them to me. If I think it is feasible, then I’ll approve it. If it’s not feasible, I’ll revert the matter for you all to come up with another solution. What do you think?”
——It’ll be much simpler to manage as long as you turn yourself into a stamping machine.
Su Yang felt so quick-witted!
Mei Hall Elder said, “This… is not in compliance with the rules.”
Su Yang eyeballed him and said, “Rules? Who made them?”
Mei Hall Elder: “Naturally, it was ratified by the first leader in the early days of our sect’s establishment.”
Su Yang: “…Rules are determined by people. Our Sect has been established for so many years. We have to look at things with an advancement perspective, keep pace with the times, and be pioneering and innovative. In the past, how many members and how many matters were there? At present, unity and coordination have changed a lot. We should analyse the specific issues in detail. If we continue to deal with matters using previous ways, we’ll die from overwork.”
Having said that, he waved his hand and gave a final word: “Now that I’m in charge, matters shall be handled according to my rules. Take these and provide the solutions as I said.”
When he finished speaking, he stood up straightaway and left the hall without looking back.
He’d fled in defeat.
On the first day of returning to Devil Sect, Su Yang first berated the four elders in the hall, then went back to his room to practice exercises and meditate for the whole morning. At midmorning, he criticised the sect chef’s skills and provided four new recipes, then practiced swords for the whole afternoon. In the evening, he discussed and approved several emergency incidents submitted by the elders and then was finally able to rest.
Although the Wasteland was dry and hot during the day, the temperature difference after sunset was significant, and the cold gradually rose in the middle of the night. It was nothing like summer.
Su Yang summoned for the aide from Lian Hall to prepare him some hot water. He then took a comfortable bath before returning to the bedroom; his whole body all warmed up.
Someone had already laid out the bedding in his room. As soon as he walked over, a young boy with downcast eyes approached to help him undress. Su Yang didn’t wear an outer garment after taking a bath. He took off his night clothes and stuffed them into the hands of the person next to the bed, telling him to hang them up properly. He got into the bed only wearing a pair of trousers.
——It’s better to be home aaa!
Su Yang was so comfortable that he couldn’t help but let out a sigh.
He was accustomed to sleeping naked. But for two years in Lesser Jade House, he and Di Ling shijie lived in the same courtyard. Even if he knew that the other party couldn’t see, he didn’t dare to sleep naked. Such an inconvenience!
Now that he’d returned to the Devil Sect, the aides around his residence were all men, so there was no need to shy away. Furthermore, the bedding was all made from silk, that was extremely soft and smooth to the touch. He decided to let himself go and proceeded to sleep naked!
Su Yang shrank into the warm quilt and took a deep breath. Somehow, he still detected a faint aroma of incense.
……hang on a minute?
A warm quilt?
The nights in the Wasteland were so cold; how could there be a quilt with such a perfect temperature?
Su Yang hadn’t figured it out yet. The boy who’d just been ordered to hang up his clothes came back softly and turned to blow out the two lights at the bedside, leaving only a dim candle in the outer room.
The young boy’s face had not yet matured, and he was at an age that he couldn’t be distinguished between a male or female. He sat down at the edge of the bed, lowered his eyebrows, undressed and then… crawled into Su Yang’s quilt.
Su Yang: !!!
Su Yang was startled out of bed, wrapping himself in the silk quilt, and scurried to the bedroom wall as if he was fleeing. He almost shrank into a ball in fright.
Where’d this kid come from?
Wasn’t he an attendant from Lian Hall?!
The boy on the bed was caught off guard by having the quilt lifted off him. He was stunned, but he immediately got out of bed and knelt on the ground, trembling, and said, “This slave is Ju Nian*, requesting Young Saint to punish me.”
(*TN: Ju = Chrysanthemum, Nian = Twenty)