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~
The autumn wind whistled through the poplar trees standing on either side of the public road.
Golden leaves fluttered down in dense showers from the branches. Just as they were about to touch the ground, they were stirred up from the gusts of hooves of three horses rushing by, billowing them forward before swirling them around.
The setting sunlight gleamed on the fallen leaves, glistening them with golden light.
The three horses were reined in, slowing them down. They headed down the road and into a little town.
The town was rather small, with just two vertical and horizontal streets. There was a two-storey courtyard on the side of the street, which could be considered as better than its surroundings.
This small courtyard was the only inn in the town. There was a row of shacks outside the door with tables and stools set up beneath them. Many stragglers and martial artists gathered there in twos and threes to chat, brag, and play drinking games.
Suddenly, seeing the three mounts approach, the boorish men unanimously quieted down and turned their heads to observe the riders discreetly.
Su Yang lifted the veil of the hat, flipped over to dismount, and handed the reins to Mei Shisan before walking into the inn beside Gu Feidi.
As usual, he requested an upstairs room and warm water to clean his face. Su Yang took off his hat and collapsed onto the room’s couch. He grumbled, “I’m exhausted! How long before we reach Tengyun Pavilion?”
Gu Feidi couldn’t help laughing: “We’ve only just left the Wasteland. This is the Central Plains border; Tengyun Pavilion is farther in the south.”
This time they had to conceal their identities when they both headed for Tengyun Pavilion from the Wasteland. Not only did they don disguises, but they’d also left Fei Lian back in the Devil Sect and only rode on ordinary horses. When there were others around, Gu Feidi and Su Yang would address each other as shixiong and shidi*, so as not to blow their covers.
(*TN: shixiong = senior martial brother, shidi = junior martial brother)
Su Yang seemed to be very pleased with this, so when they were alone, he would also call Gu Feidi “shidi”.
“Shidi, I’m so weary; I don’t want to go downstairs to eat…” Su Yang said gloomily, “Let Shisan serve us the food upstairs, then we can eat indoors.”
Gu Feidi tugged him up from the couch and said, “Nope, you have to eat downstairs with me. Those stragglers will discuss the recent rumours in the Jianghu. Eavesdropping will also help keep ourselves informed.”
Su Yang scowled at Gu Feidi.
Gu Feidi came over, lightly stroked the blueish patch painted at the corner of Su Yang’s eye, and smiled: “It’s not that you’re unwilling to go downstairs. You’re just shy, right?”
“Oh, even if this Young Saint has a birthmark on his face, I’m still a beauty!” said Su Yang, raising his eyebrows.
There wasn’t any photography technology in this world. The paintings were abstract and expressive. The appearances of many famous people in the Jianghu were actually passed around by word of mouth. The Devil Sect’s Young Saint’s red mole at the corner of his eye was his trademark. Su Yang couldn’t put this little red mole on display in the Central Plains, so he dyed the corner of his eye to the cheekbones blueish black using a pigment to give it the impression of a birthmark.
After that, he trimmed his eyebrows and used brown pollen to cast shadows from the bridge of his nose to his jaw. It made his entire disposition completely different.
He’d developed his makeup skills during the live broadcast that year. When he initially put on makeup, he shocked both Gu Feidi and Mei Shisan into disbelief.
Gu Feidi and Mei Shisan used short beards as their disguises.
Su Yang tugged at Gu Feidi’s beard and smiled: “When we go out like this and say that I’m the shixiong and you’re the shidi, no one would believe it.”
Gu Feidi grabbed Su Yang’s hand and said, “You’re so easily vexed, so you really don’t resemble a shixiong.” After that, he leaned near Su Yang’s ear and said, “Besides, you’re merely half a year older than me, that’s all. I won’t submit.”
Su Yang snorted: “Half a year older is still older!”
He spoke in his heart: If he used his actual age, he was really older by more than half a year. However, most of the ancients were mentally mature at an early age, which he couldn’t refute.
In the end, Su Yang still followed Gu Feidi downstairs to eat.
It was now dinner time, and many people had gathered in the hall of the inn and beneath the shacks outside the door. They boasted and chatted while they ate and drank.
Without warning, a bearded, burly man slapped the table angrily: “Rubbish! Utter rubbish! How can this kind of crappy swordsmanship be the legacy of the Sword Sage Bai Jinghong?”
As he spoke, he waved around a book in his hand and addressed everyone in the room: “The Devil Sect are too much, even to the extent of pretending to be generous by using this type of crap to dupe us! They really think that the Central Plain martial arts circles can be so easily fooled?!”
The one next to him immediately chimed in: “Bro, what you say is right! It was rumoured that the Devil Sect demon spawn coincidentally obtained the Sword Sage Legacy after falling off the cliff, but I didn’t believe it. Now he uses this kind of swordsmanship to trick us. It’s evident that he really acquired the Sword Sage’s Legacy!”
Su Yang was about to pick up his chopsticks when he paused, and he didn’t dare knit his eyebrows.
He pondered for a while before recalling the order he’d given to distribute the sword manual. But having listened to Lian Hall Elder’s words and their meaning at the time, it seemed that the Central Plains martial arts circles had already concluded that the Devil Sect had acquired the Sword Sage Legacy. Then how did this absurd line of argument emerge?
Gu Feidi glanced at Su Yang and transmitted his low voice over: “Don’t take notice. These people didn’t necessarily believe that you had an adventure to begin with. Now they’re just using it as an excuse to confirm that Devil Sect has acquired the Sword Sage Legacy, that’s all.”
“But I didn’t expect that distributing that set of swordsmanship would actually have an opposite effect.” Su Yang’s eyebrows were taut. “I shouldn’t have issued that order then… Tsk, what a mess. The more I do, the further aroused people’s suspicions seem to be.”
Gu Feidi smiled and shook his head: “Since Eluo Ghost Tent wants to use this as a pretext to provoke the Central Plains against the Devil Sect, you won’t be able suppress the assumptions so easily. Regardless of what you do or don’t do, they’ll always find a way to incite these martial artists and stragglers. Fortunately, the Central Plains martial arts circles have Tengyun Pavilion to oversee matters. As long as we and Qianfeng Villa don’t take the lead, this battle won’t be able to proceed.”
He silently picked some dishes for Su Yang and continued: “Lingyun has passed a message for me, and presumably, my father would’ve already started investigating Eluo Ghost Tent. All you need to worry about now is the blood Gu issue; don’t take notice of these Jianghu rumours.”
As he spoke, the burly man over there ripped the sword manual in his hand to shreds, then sat on the table in anger: “Speaking of that day, the Young Master of Tengyun Pavilion fell off the cliff together the Devil Sect demon spawn, and there’s not been a trace of him ever since. I don’t know if he’s been harmed by the Devil Sect!”
The person next to him said, “Oh ho! Weren’t the Young Pavilion Master and the Devil Sect guy classmates? Earlier, there were rumours that their relationship wasn’t ordinary; how could he be killed? Wasn’t it rumoured that the Young Pavilion Master had been taken captive by that Devil Sect demon spawn? I think it’s highly possible! I haven’t forgotten the acts that were committed by the Devil Sect demons in the Central Plains a few years ago!”
Another person leaned in: “When you say this, it reminds me of the Zhou family who had lost their little young master a few years ago! I went home unexpectedly once, and when I asked, only did I find out that he’d been abducted by the Devil Sect demon spawn! It’s a pity that a good, decent boy had to squander his years away in the Devil Sect…”
As he said, he lowered his voice, narrowed his eyes, and added mysteriously: “…He’d been tortured until he couldn’t ‘be’ with a woman; instead he pursues and fawns over his house’s guard! The Zhou family has only this one male heir and Old Elder Zhou is enraged. He’s threatened to crush the bones and scatter the ashes of the Devil Sect monster! He’s currently contacting all the sects who’d suffered similarly in the past to consolidate their strengths and pressure Tengyun Pavilion to intervene!”
Su Yang was unable to swallow a mouthful of porridge and almost sprayed it all over Gu Feidi’s face.
Luckily, he was able to suppress it, but he choked on the wine and bent over, coughing violently; his cheeks and ears were flushed.
He said in his heart: What kind of Devil Sectism is this? What sort of tortures did Ju Hall Elder inflict on those children? He actually tortured straight boys until they turned gay? These are indeed acts of evil!
His cough was so earth-shaking that the stragglers immediately cast curious glances over, and Su Yang glanced back at them.
Upon seeing this, the burly man jeered a couple of words to those around him: “Ugly people will do weird things to get attention.” He then turned back, ceased paying attention to Su Yang, and continued with the earlier topic.
“Hey, not just those gathered by the Zhou Family. Many sect heads have called on Leader Gu, requesting Tengyun Pavillon to take action on the Sword Sage Legacy matter.” The burly man said, “But using the excuse of being worried about the Young Pavilion Master, Leader Gu turned them away and didn’t meet any of them. I don’t know how long this matter will be delayed before it can be cleared up.”
“Then look, is Tengyun Pavilion likely to deal with the Devil Sect in the end?”
“I feel that Tengyun Pavilion will make their move sooner or later. Don’t mention the children who have been defiled by the Devil Sect; just focus on the Sword Sage Legacy. I don’t believe that Tengyun Pavilion doesn’t want it! They’re now probably worried about their Young Pavilion Master. Who knows, once they have ascertained the Young Pavilion Master’s situation, that’s the time Tengyun Pavilion will take action!”
“Hey, the two of you’ve also just returned from the Wasteland?” A straggler next to him suddenly approached and asked Gu Feidi, “Seeing you’re both covered in dust, you must’ve hurried a long way.”
Su Yang didn’t dare to answer and threw a glance at Gu Feidi.
Gu Feidi easily smacked his lips and said, “Is that right? We heard that the Dubious Tomb of the Sword Sage appeared in the Wasteland and thought we could find an opportunity, so we had our hopes up! Unexpectedly, we reached the Wasteland and went round in circles. In the end, we couldn’t find anything.”
The straggler said: “It would be something if you could find it! It was also your luck that you couldn’t truly identify the direction. I heard that Tengyun Pavilion led Wujiangmen, Tongyun Temple, and Xuanji Temple and found the right direction, but fell into the trap collectively set up by the Devil Sect and Eluo Ghost Tent. There were countless deaths and injuries… In the end, the Devil Sect’s little demon obtained the legacy. The heavens are indeed blind!”
Gu Feidi asked: “Just now I heard those people say that Tengyun Pavilion doesn’t intend to attack the Devil Sect for the time being, would you know if Wujiangmen, Tongyun Temple, and Xuanji Temple have any plans?”
The straggler cleared his throat. “I also arrived here at noon and just heard that Tongyun Temple and Xuanji Temple had already withdrawn to the Central Plains over ten days ago, but Wujiangmen still have some people remaining in the Wasteland. Apparently they want to unearth evidence that the Devil Sect has obtained the Sword Sage Legacy.”
Just then, a man with ape-like features next to him interjected: “Hey, what kind of evidence do you still need? Since when has the Devil Sect been so kind as to publicise the things they’ve acquired? If you ask me, them distributing this crappy sword manual is evidence enough!”
Su Yang curled his lips discreetly.
But he was carelessly seen by the ape guy who said angrily, “What? Is there anything this little bro isn’t happy with?”
Su Yang faked a smile and said, “No, there’s nothing.”
“Let me say that since Wujiangmen is engaged in the business of information, they should remain in the Wasteland.” Gu Feidi changed the subject: “I’m afraid that these rumours in the martial arts circles would‘be also originate from Wujiangmen? For example… the matter of Tengyun Pavilion’s Young Master being captured by the Devil Sect. Were they the ones who spread it?”
The ape-faced man frowned and said, “More or less. If it weren’t for Master Xu, I’m afraid no one in the martial arts circles would get the news so quickly.”
After chatting a few more words, Su Yang and Gu Feidi finished their dinner, got up to leave the hall, and returned to their room.
“What? Do you think there is a problem with Wujiangmen?” Su Yang asked in a low voice.
Gu Feidi nodded: “Previously, when the news that you and I met at Willow Leaf Lake came out, I began to feel something was fishy. At that time, when there was interference by Eluo Ghost Tent, I wasn’t willing to suspect Wujiangmen. But now, I can’t help suspecting them based on the direction of the Jianghu’s rumours.”
After a pause, he continued: “Originally, I’d planned to head to Qianzhou and straight on to the southeast. Now it seems that we should be a little more cautious and reroute to Liaozhou, so as to avoid Wujiangmen’s territory.”