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~
Gu Feidi didn’t continue to question him on why he didn’t recognise the sand scallions; he just smiled and shook his head slightly with a helpless look.
They cut several clumps of sand scallions together. Gu Feidi recognised another edible plant called ‘sand rice’ at the same time and picked some, washed off the topsoil in the stream, and ate it raw right away.
The taste of the plant wasn’t great; there was no seasoning and it was still cold, but it was enough to fill their bellies.
“There’s plenty of water and weeds in this cave, and there will be insects and rodents residing here. The insects and rodents will attract snakes and the like.” Gu Feidi said, “If we encounter any snakes, we can kill and eat them.”
Su Yang choked for a moment, then asked: “Neither of us have a fire stick; how are we going to eat snakes? Don’t tell me you’re going to drill wood to make a fire?”
Gu Feidi looked at Su Yang and smiled: “The Young Saint is accustomed to being refined, and of course he’s never eaten raw snake meat.”
Su Yang was shocked: “Eat it raw?!”
Gu Feidi was silent for a moment and said, “We’ll talk about it when we see one. Let’s go.”
Once they’d eaten, it was time to continue exploring the interior of the cave. They couldn’t nest in this place and wait to die just because there was water and vegetation there.
After both had walked a few steps, a burst of ‘sss-sss’ sounds came from the clump of sand scallions.
Gu Feidi drew out his long sword and shifted aside a clump of grass. A greyish-white snake that was five or six feet long suddenly retracted its head and was about to flee. Gu Feidi reacted swiftly by moving forward, raising his sword and chopping off the snake’s head.
Su Yang: ……
The protagonist’s mouth halo was really extraordinary. He’d just mentioned that he’d wanted to eat a snake, and a snake was immediately delivered to his doorstep.
It was his first time seeing a snake in the wild, and he curiously leaned forward to examine it.
“Don’t touch it.” Gu Feidi said, quickly digging a small hole in the ground with his sword and burying the snake’s head.
In the end, he said: “This is a viper; it’s poisonous. Even when the head is cut off, it can still bite. We mustn’t be careless.”
Su Yang had zero survival skills and could only nod curtly. He watched as Gu Feidi pulled out his dagger, flayed the skin of the snake, washed it in the stream, and cut the body into sections.
“Try it?” Gu Feidi prepared the snake, handed a section to Su Yang, and smiled, “Snake meat is delicious, and the taste isn’t bad when eaten raw.”
Su Yang didn’t dare and involuntarily took half a step backward.
He eyed the snake meat for a long while as if he was facing an enemy: “This… it’s easy to have parasites in raw meat…”
Gu Feidi was puzzled: “What parasite?”
Su Yang was silent. “……Gu worm. ”
“Gu?” Gu Feidi’s raised an eyebrow and smiled, “Witchcraft is indeed a commonly used method by Eluo Ghost Tent, but they don’t raise Gu in the bodies of snakes, you can rest assured.”
Su Yang: …
Oh, yes, how could he forget that this was a fictional world of martial arts? No author or screenwriter would be so idle when writing the story setting as to include parasites in the snake meat.
After all, if the protagonist encountered difficulties and needed to eat raw meat but ended up dying of a parasite infection, that would be too embarrassing.
Nevertheless, Su Yang still didn’t dare eat the raw snake meat.
He begrudgingly put on the Devil Sect’s Young Saint’s mannerisms and sought an excuse: “I… this Young Saint likes eating tasty sand scallions. It’s too savage to eat raw meat and drink blood. This Young Saint doesn’t want to be like that.”
After speaking, he clasped his hands behind his back, raised his head, and displayed an untainted and haughty appearance.
Gu Feidi raised his eyebrows and observed Su Yang for a long while, but in the end, didn’t force him to eat. He ate two chunks of snake meat, then wrapped the rest in snakeskin and brought it along to eat later at night.
Their main task was to explore this cave, and they shouldn’t delay it by eating.
However, not long after setting off into the depths of the cave, Su Yang regretted not stopping Gu Feidi from killing the snake.
Su Yang noticed the four or five grey-white vipers of various lengths slithering in front of him and felt his scalp getting tingly.
He automatically hid behind Gu Feidi, and asked, “Is it because you killed a snake that they came to you for revenge? I know that snakes can smell, and they must be able to smell the snake meat on you!”
Gu Feidi: ……
Gu Feidi hesitated for a moment, then flung the rest of the snake meat he was carrying far away.
The group of snakes before them did not move at all but still faced the two of them, hissing vigilantly.
Su Yang was nervous: “What—what should we do?”
Gu Feidi looked solemn and pondered: “There’s no way to kill them all.”
Su Yang still trembled: “What happens if you kill them all…… and more come? What should we do?”
Gu Feidi drew out his sword and said, “Don’t worry, the Wasteland is barren and prey is scarce. There won’t be too many snakes.”
After killing the snakes, Gu Feidi neither peeled the skins nor kept the meat. The snake bodies were buried on the spot, and the two of them continued on their journey.
As a result, within a quarter of an hour, Gu Feidi was slapped in the face*.
(*TN: slapped in the face = in conflict with one’s words or actions.)
Su Yang looked at the swarms of snakes in front of him and only felt that he had nothing left to live for.
Gu Feidi narrowed his eyes and said, “Something’s not right.”
Su Yang flipped out: “I know something’s not right too!”
He couldn’t wait to turn and flee, but this didn’t reflect the calm demeanour that the Devil Sect’s Young Saint should possess, so he could only be strong. Feigning calmness, he said tremblingly, “It is said that snakes are related to immortals, and there are snakes in the house. If you kill their kind, they will definitely seek you out for revenge…”
Gu Feidi laughed out loud: “I feel that these aren’t gods or ghosts, but rather someone playing the devil.”
Su Yang: “What do we do now? Are you going to kill them again?”
Gu Feidi was silent for a moment and said, “There are too many snakes. Let’s retreat for now and rest for the night. The nights in the desert are cold, and the snakes will become sluggish. Early tomorrow morning, when the temperature has not risen, we’ll return to eliminate these poisonous snakes. I want to see why those people took the trouble to find so many poisonous snakes and leave them here.”
The two quickly reached a consensus and temporarily retreated to a strategic spot.
Su Yang breathed a sigh of relief before he sat down at the cave wall next to the crevice. From here, he could exit the cave at any time and hide in the cold underground river water.
Gu Feidi asked in amusement, “You’re afraid of snakes?”
Su Yang straightened his neck and refused to admit: “How could this Young Saint be afraid of such little things?! Like… if I hadn’t accidentally lost my sword, I’d kill every snake I come across!”
—He’d let go of his sword after it pierced the heart of the Wujiangmen swordsman. He was injured at the time and couldn’t be bothered with it. Now he didn’t know what had happened to it.
Hearing this, Gu Feidi smiled again. He retrieved a dagger from his waist, weighed it against his long sword for a moment, then handed the sword to Su Yang.
He said, “Take it; you can feel more secure if you have a weapon in hand.”
Su Yang was a little embarrassed. “What about you?”
Gu Feidi said, “A dagger is enough.”
After that, he added: “Your Blooming Lotus Sword technique and Flying Flower Sword Art may not be performed with my long sword, but you can use your Drunk Slashing Red Plums.”
Su Yang held onto Gu Feidi’s sword and nodded.
Gu Feidi leaned on the rock wall and looked up to the sky gap at the roof of the cave.
Su Yang thought carefully about the words that Gu Feidi had just said and had to admit that Gu Feidi’s guess was rather reasonable.
The Wasteland was barren, and if the conditions in this cave were not right, it wouldn’t hasten the growth of so many plants. If plants were scarce and there were few grass-eating animals, then there shouldn’t be any prey. Therefore, there shouldn’t be such a large group of predators. Without food, neither humans nor snakes could survive.
What’s more, there was a huge temperature difference between day and night during autumn in the Gobi Desert. For cold-blooded animals like snakes, the freezing temperatures at night were fatal. They only needed to wait until it was dark; when the temperatures dropped, the movement of the snakes would be restricted, and some may have even frozen to death on the spot.
What were those people thinking, putting snakes here? Did they not consider this aspect?
…No, wait a minute.
Vipers were poisonous.
Suppose if you weren’t paying attention and once you were bitten, you would die in this barren desert cave!
“Why do I feel…” Su Yang frowned, “Like this is a trap?”
Gu Feidi laughed lightly and said, “You finally figured it out?”
Su Yang leaned over, “I’m not a fool!”
Gu Feidi bore a serious expression: “I’m sceptical that the whole news of the Dubious Tomb of the Sword Sage was fabricated by Eluo Ghost Tent and deliberately disclosed to the Central Plains martial world circles. However, I still can’t figure out the purpose of them deliberately leading you and me to this cave.”
Su Yang did not understand: “They deliberately led us here?”
Gu Feidi nodded: “The giant net in the river was actually an obvious trap. If we were caught, we wouldn’t be able to escape Eluo Ghost Tent. If we didn’t want to get caught in the net, we would definitely choose to enter here with the current. Initially, I thought they didn’t know that there was something within this cave, but now that I’ve seen that bunch of snakes, I suspect that they deliberately let us discover this place.”
Su Yang said, “Perhaps they also realised that there is a way out at the back of this cave; that’s why they released the snakes so that we would most likely not make it out alive?”
Gu Feidi didn’t think so.
“Snakes are afraid of the cold. Anyone who knows a little about them will not just sit around waiting to die. They would eventually be able to find a way to solve the snake threat.” He said, “The purpose of the snakes is only to consume our energy, medication and stall for time—that’s all.”
Su Yang also had to admit that in a world with a martial arts background, Gu Feidi’s inference made sense.
“What should we do then?” He asked, “Shall we beat them at their own game?”
Gu Feidi smiled and said, “What can we do? We’ve already fallen into the trap now. We can only try outmanoeuvring them and adjust according to the situation. When we get out of here, I must immediately notify my father and investigate Eluo Ghost Tent.”
This story arc wasn’t in the Devil Sect’s Young Saint’s script, and Su Yang didn’t know what to say about it.
He was silent for a moment and didn’t want to say anything more. He crossed his legs and continued to meditate to heal his injuries.
—It would be a long while before nightfall. Although it wasn’t awkward to be alone with Gu Feidi, when it came down to it, the both of them didn’t actually have much in common. It would be better for them to practice martial arts.
Gu Feidi eyed Su Yang’s profile while he closed his eyes to meditate and continued to stare at him for a long while. He then retracted his gaze and unconsciously stroked his left wrist brace, not knowing what was going on in his mind.
The sun moved gradually westward, and dusk fell.
When Su Yang opened his eyes from his meditation, he found that the cave was already dark.
The gap at the top of the cave could not provide sufficient light to illuminate the entire cavern. One could imagine that even if the moon was full and stars were scarce that night, the cave would only be pitch-black.
“Awake?” Gu Feidi’s voice rang out from the side: “How’s your injury?”
Su Yang said, “Much better. I’ll go to rinse it and be back in a moment to stand guard, then you can take a rest.”
After speaking, he stood up and walked to the creek. He felt around in the dark and took off his clothes. Borrowing the last glimmers of light that were fast disappearing, he washed away the dust and sweat that had contaminated the wound.
The wound on his ‘body’ healed very quickly. After just one day, it had closed up, scabbed over, and wasn’t that painful anymore. He’d suffered injuries when duelling with others in Lesser Jade House last time, but now there weren’t even any scars left. Su Yang couldn’t help sighing. Sure enough, this was the body of a fictional world; it was just different from a normal person’s.
After casually scrubbing his body, Su Yang washed his clothes clean again and dried them using his internal strength. His internal strength now wasn’t as icy-cold as when he first obtained the Cold Pond Ice Spirit. Drying clothes and hair was extremely convenient.
The sky had darkened further after he returned to the stone wall.
Su Yang sat down beside Gu Feidi; only then was he able to distinguish his faint outline.
He smiled and said, “I’m here to watch the night; you relax and meditate.”
After a long while, Gu Feidi said: “…I can’t meditate; I’ll sleep for a while.”
Su Yang was surprised and couldn’t help feeling happy: “Even the hardworking and diligent Young Hero Gu would have instances when he wants to be lazy?”
Gu Feidi also didn’t speak for sometime.
After a long pause, he muttered to himself in a low voice, “Can’t calm down.”