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~
Although Su Yang was afraid of corpses, he wasn’t afraid of this kind of skeleton that had already decayed into bones.
When he finally found the opportunity to showcase his character, Su Yang immediately stepped forward and pretended to examine the skeleton carefully. When he’d studied dance, he’d learned some basics about the human structure, skin and hair, so he feigned being knowledgeable: “This person was a man.”
Gu Feidi smiled and said, “Based on the stature, I also know it’s impossible to be a woman.”
Su Yang paused and took a closer look. Okay, it seems like this body is 1.9 metres tall*. Although there may be women with a height of 1.9 metres, they are absolutely rare in the context of this world.
(*TN: 1.9 metres is around 6.2 feet.)
Imitating a pompous prick was doomed to fail; therefore Su Yang decided to remain silent.
Gu Feidi used the torch to inspect the ins and outs of the stone room and incidentally, discovered some clues.
“He used to write a book here, but it’s unknown why it’s all been burned.”
Gu Feidi nudged aside the ashes in the fire pit and retrieved a few pieces of blackened bamboo from within. There were still some visible carved handwriting on them.
“Look at these word remnants… It might actually be some kind of swordsmanship. Unfortunately, just a few words can’t reveal the complete representation of this technique.”
He held a few broken bamboo slips in his hand and glanced up at the stone chamber wall: “There seem to be countless sword marks on the wall in the empty stone room… He was indeed a master of swords, but it’s a mystery why he died here. His sword and engraving knives have also been removed; I’m afraid it will be difficult to ascertain his identity.”
Upon hearing Gu Feidi mention ‘sword marks’, Su Yang recalled a little detail just then.
It had been too long; he couldn’t remember clearly remember the situation at that time, but it seemed that someone in the crew had discussed the plot of the Dubious Tomb of the Sword Sage—in the original work, the Sword Sage legacy didn’t actually appear in the form of a secret book but was carved onto the walls of the Sword Sage Retreat instead.
Su Yang glanced at Gu Feidi. He saw him chuck the bamboo sticks he was holding back into the fire pit and stand up as if he wanted to leave. He hurriedly said, “I think those sword marks strike me as a little strange.”
Gu Feidi turned his head, raised his eyebrows, and asked, “How is it strange?”
“Aai, follow me.” Su Yang grabbed Gu Feidi’s wrist and pulled him back into the inner stone room, saying, “Do you think that there is a… hmm, a peculiar sequence hidden in these sword marks?”
Gu Feidi was speechless for a moment, then he cast a sidelong glance at Su Yang and asked, “What do you see?”
What was Su Yang able to see?
Since this was the plot point, there was no martial arts secret book in the stone room—only this wall full of sword marks. Ergo, there must be something amid these sword marks!
He couldn’t see it, but he knew the storyline in advance, so he could string him along!
Su Yang said: “At the moment, I can’t see anything yet, but I still find it strange… I think we should stay here for one more day to see if we can find something from them.”
As he spoke, he raised his torch-wielding hand and moved along the direction of those sword marks.
Gu Feidi swiftly grasped Su Yang’s arm.
“Wait a moment!” His expression darkened, and he frowned, “Help me illuminate; I’ll examine these markings.”
Su Yang was overjoyed to see Gu Feidi step up.
Gu Feidi neared the wall, reached out his hand to touch the marks, scrutinised for a long time, and instantly smiled: “There are some fairly new marks here. Someone must have deliberately carved them to cover up the original sword marks on the wall. Since they bothered to cover them up, then these sword marks must be unusual!”
Su Yang quickly echoed, “That’s right!”
Gu Feidi stepped back from the wall and said, “Let’s find some firewood and light the fire pit. I want to stay here for a while to see what secrets are concealed in these sword marks.”
Su Yang breathed a sigh of relief since the storyline was back on the right track.
Although Pu Lingyun wasn’t here and couldn’t run along the emotional story arc with the protagonist, it wouldn’t affect the subsequent development of the plot. As long as Gu Feidi obtains the Sword Sage Legacy, everything else will be easier!
So Su Yang happily followed Gu Feidi out of the stone room to start collecting dead grass and wood along the outer cave, and he prepared firewood for them to stay there.
Gu Feidi didn’t completely exterminate the snakes in the cave. Both of them only eliminated the vipers in their path. They didn’t explore further after encountering a stone door, but there were a lot of vipers that wanted to flee at the front of the cave.
At that point, they decided to stay in the stone room to study the sword marks. They did not move ahead to exterminate those snakes, but instead decided to keep some of them to be used as future food reserves. After all, under the current conditions, meat wasn’t easy to store, so it would be better to let them live a little longer.
At noon that day, Gu Feidi used the stone room fire pit to smoke the snake segments of those that they’d killed earlier and Su Yang finally ate some cooked meat. However, neither of them had brought salt and the meat wasn’t very tasty at all. Fortunately, after mixing it with sand scallions and sand rice, they were at least able to stave off hunger.
Once they’d both eaten, Gu Feidi took some soil and began to repair the traces on the cave wall that had evidently been carved later. Su Yang couldn’t discern the old marks from the new ones, so he blindly followed suit and filled in the soil as instructed by Gu Feidi.
When night fell, they’d filled some small sections of the sword marks on the wall of the entire stone room. Looking at the portion of the remaining area, Su Yang felt that they might really need to stay there for at least ten-days-to-half-a-month; which was about the length of time in the script that the protagonist and heroine had spent there to fall in love.
Neither of them wanted to disturb the elder, who was ‘sleeping’ in the bedroom, so they exited of the stone room and cleared a place to rest by the fire pit.
In order to prevent Eluo Ghost Tent from finding them there, they reached an agreement to maintain a one-person-meditate, one-person-sentry every night.
However that night, Su Yang had a nightmare again.
He awoke from the nightmare, wiped the cold sweat from his head, and said to Gu Feidi, “Forget it; I can’t sleep anyway. I’ll guard; you rest.”
The indoor fire pit had been lit. Gu Feidi turned his head to gaze into the flickering flames, and Su Yang’s face was noticeably somewhat downcast.
After a while, he said, “All this time, you’ve been used to practising martial arts late at night and falling asleep early in the morning… Is it because of this nightmare?”
Su Yang was taken aback for a moment and realised after he’d reacted that Gu Feidi had been referring to his sleepless nights in Lesser Jade House.
It’s just that during that time, he wasn’t used to the work and rest times of the ancients and was anxious to complete his discipleship, so he would work hard at night. After that, when Gu Feidi went to Veiled Pearl Pavilion, he’d gradually assimilated into this world, and his schedule never turned upside again.
He smiled and said, “That’s not true. The nightmare… only started two days ago.”
Gu Feidi asked, “Is it because of your first kill?”
Su Yang’s lips flattened; he was not eager to discuss this topic.
The Devil Sect’s Young Saint’s identity was at stake. If he admitted that it was his first time killing someone, who knows what kind of trouble it might cause in the future.
Gu Feidi presumed Su Yang had acquiesced.
He hesitated for a moment: “Back when I was twelve years old, my father brought me to southern Xinjiang to eliminate evil sects… At that period, I also had nightmares for a long time. But later… I pursued many of these kinds of evil sects; I’ve witnessed how cruelly they treat others, and I know that their deaths were deserved.”
He turned to look at Su Yang with a serious expression in his eyes and said softly: “Father told me that we kill these people to save more people. The person who protects is an important person. That person wanted to kill me at the time, and you killed him to save me—you did nothing wrong.”
Su Yang was in a daze after hearing Gu Feidi’s words, and he was uncertain, “Are you comforting me?”
Without waiting for Gu Feidi to respond, he smiled and said, “I’m the Devil Sect’s Young Saint. Those evil sects that you’d killed before…… I’m probably not that different from them.”
“Not at all.” Gu Feidi said, “You’re not the same.”
Su Yang was puzzled: “How am I ‘not the same’?”
Gu Feidi looked down at his hands and said after some time, “You’re not evil by nature; I can feel it. Either you’re being trapped by the Devil Sect… or… maybe it’s not of your own free will?”
Su Yang smiled and didn’t answer.
Of course it wasn’t of his own free will to come here, and it was naturally beyond his control to transmigrate into the Devil Sect’s Young Saint.
However, if he compared being transmigrated into someone else who didn’t comprehend the storyline, being transmigrated into the Devil Sect’s Young Saint whom he had acted as before, was the best outcome.
Gu Feidi became restless at the lack of response, and his tone was a little anxious: “You wish to leave the Devil Sect, don’t you?”
Su Yang shook his head and replied calmly, “No, I don’t wish to leave.”
His storyline was closely bound to the Devil Sect; how could he leave?
Gu Feidi continued to probe, “Don’t wish to or can’t?”
Su Yang pondered for a moment and replied, “Can’t and don’t want to.”
When he heard this type of answer, the light in Gu Feidi’s eyes seemed to dim in an instant.
He retracted his gaze and stared at the fire pit in silence for a long time before asking, “…Was it your choice?”
Choice? What choice?
This question was a little vague and open-ended. Su Yang didn’t understand what Gu Feidi was alluding to.
Gu Feidi released a chaotic breath and clenched his fists tightly.
In the end, he couldn’t stand the bewildering anger in his heart, gritted his teeth, and said: “The Devil Sect Leader, is he good to you? You’re perfectly willing to… assist his martial arts practices?”
Su Yang blinked briefly, feeling stumped.
What are you trying to say? The Devil Sect Leader has always been in seclusion; since when has he required my assistance?
He opened his mouth, but he couldn’t mention that he’d never met the Devil Sect Leader before, and was thus left without an argument for a while.
Seeing his lack of response was almost tantamount to tacitly agreeing, and Gu Feidi let out an exasperated breath: “Forget it.”
“After we get out of here, you and I… We shall submit our fates to the will of Heaven.” He whispered, “Next time we meet, I won’t be soft-hearted.”
Logically, Su Yang should have felt that it was quite normal hearing Gu Feidi say this.
After all, both of them had always had a life-and-death rivalry in the script, and Gu Feidi’s desire to destroy the Devil Sect had been predetermined by his identity.
But for some reason, as he stared at Gu Feidi, who was looking coldly into the flames, Su Yang only felt tremors in his heart. When he heard Gu Feidi say “Submit our fates to the will of Heaven”, he couldn’t wait to jump up and order him to take those words back.
Xu Yunzhan had also said similar things when Su Yang initially completed his Lesser Jade House discipleship, but he didn’t feel so agitated at that time.
It seemed as if when the person who said this was replaced by Gu Feidi, something would happen that was no longer within his control.
Su Yang suddenly felt a little flustered.
Gu Feidi was silent for a long while. The coldness of his whole body slowly subsided, and his expression became calm again.
He lowered his eyes and said in a low voice, “You were awakened by the nightmare. You haven’t rested yet, so sleep for a while longer. I’ll do the night watch, and we’ll switch places later.”
Su Yang was indeed somewhat tired and wasn’t very keen to face such an odd Gu Feidi, so he nodded and immediately agreed when he heard these words.
But his feelings were chaotic and confused. He couldn’t practise or go into meditation, so he lay down fully clothed, turned his back to Gu Feidi, closed his eyes, and forced himself to fall asleep.
There was a gap on the back of Su Yang’s shirt, causing one side to flop open from his right shoulder to the left side of his waist. Although it had been washed, mottled blood stains were still visible on the edges, which clearly showed how badly he’d been injured.
The gap in the two layers of clothing was crumpled and overlapping. It was impossible to see the wound on Su Yang’s back as well as the bright red flower tattoo.
But Gu Feidi knew that there was a bright red flower there.
He stared for a while, then retracted his gaze and looked at the open space in front of him, his heart beating rapidly.
Gu Feidi’s expression was indifferent and tranquil, but there seemed to be some unspeakable emotion brewing in his eyes.
Holding the sword in his hand, he appeared to absentmindedly tap the two adjacent points on the ground, then drew a vertical line passing through the centre of the two points. Afterwards, the tip of the sword fell on the empty upper right side, but for a long while, he was unable to bring himself to draw a horizontal line.
After a long time, Gu Feidi put up his sword and erased the half-written word.
He sighed lightly, then wrote a few words with the sword: “Responsibility must remain; don’t be egoistic.”