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 sounds of swords clashing invaded Su Yang’s ears and almost woke him up altogether in that instant.
He had no time to ponder where he was just then. Su Yang immediately reached for his thin sword wrapped around his waist, abruptly drew it out, thrust it over Gu Feidi’s shoulder, and pierced it into the man’s body.
With Su Yang joining the fight, the battle situation in the room suddenly became skewed.
It was possible that Su Yang had been affected by the dream’s influence. The panic and fear in his heart caused him not to hold back; his sword strikes were completely devoid of the misgivings he’d previously held and were efficient and deft instead.
Both were strong and joined forces to quell the enemies’ numbers—of which the latter had the advantage—and after a few back-and-forth efforts, the assassins in the room all fell silent.
At that moment, Mei Shisan shoved open the door and leaned on the frame, gasping for breath. “Two escaped…”
“We don’t have the manpower; it’s not prudent to give chase.” Gu Feidi said, “Never mind, move these people into the yard, light a fire, and conduct a body search.”
Mei Shisan took the order and went out to find some kindling. Su Yang and Gu Feidi worked together to drag all the assassins’ bodies from the house out into the yard.
The peasant family’s master room had shut their doors and windows securely. They were hiding in the house without so much as a peep, as they didn’t want to attract any problems.
It wasn’t until a torch had been lit that Su Yang discovered Gu Feidi was injured.
He couldn’t be bothered to investigate the identities of the assassins, rushing forward instead to grab hold of Gu Feidi’s wrist. “Why didn’t you say anything if you’re injured?! Let Shisan deal with the bodies; I’ll help you apply the medicine.”
The also-injured Mei Shisan: ……
“It’s just a surface wound; no big deal.” Gu Feidi brushed Su Yang’s hand away and said in a serious tone, “These people came here to kill you. It’s more pressing to ascertain their identities and information source first.”
Su Yang’s expression was unhappy: “But your—”
Gu Feidi quickly kissed Su Yang’s lips and said, “Be good.”
Su Yang’s moodiness dissipated.
A total of six assassins had been killed there. Including the two who’d fled, a total of eight had come to assassinate Su Yang.
The assassins’ martial arts skills were not lacking, but they were clearly not the most outstanding ones from their sects and were likely men of sacrifice, bodyguards, and the like. Based on Gu Feidi’s recollection, the four opponents he’d exchanged blows with inside the room were obviously well-coordinated, so it was likely that they had regularly been operating in small squads.
Unfortunately, the full-black outfits they wore were simple in style from inside out, sans embroidered patterns or no wooden tokens and the swords they used were brand-new without any discernible hints or clues whatsoever.
Gu Feidi and Mei Shisan practically stripped the bodies down and searched them from top to bottom. Mei Shisan even smelled a few of their scents but didn’t get any useful information.
In the firelight, Su Yang bent down to squat beside a body and retrieved a small feather tucked on the inside of the man’s cuff.
The feathers were jet black and had been hidden against the material of the black cloth without being detected.
“This… is the ghost owl?” Gu Feidi took the feather and examined it carefully. “The totally black, stiff feathers are so small and fine. I can’t think of any others apart from the ghost owl.”
Su Yang asked: “Eluo Ghost Tent’s birds also fly to the Central Plains?”
Gu Feidi gave a snort: “The white ghost owl has never been sighted in the Central Plains. After all, this isn’t a snow field or a desert and white birds are conspicuous. But the black owl… would be hard to be noticed as it’s concealed in the night and isn’t necessarily inexistent. Do you still remember at the edge of the Wasteland cliff and the spies planted by Eluo Ghost Tent in Tongyun Temple, Xuanji Temple, and Wujiangmen? They would surely need channels to transmit information.”
“So these people are definitely involved with Eluo Ghost Tent.” Su Yang said, “I can’t make out anything else. Alright, let’s head back into the room to attend to the wounds.”
Gu Feidi was persistently badgered, so he could only call Mei Shisan and return to the room together to treat their injuries.
Fortunately, neither of them had serious injuries. After cleaning and applying medicine, the injuries would heal fairly quickly after nursing them using inner strength. After wrapping the wounds with clean cotton cloths, they disposed of the assassins’ bodies from the courtyard into a nearby forest.
By the time all matters had been dealt with, the sky had begun to lighten.
Having detected no noise from the courtyard after a long while, the peasant tremblingly opened the door a crack and peeked out. Seeing Gu Feidi turn to glanced his way frightened him again, and he slammed the door shut.
Gu Feidi didn’t respond either and continued to search the ground for something.
“What did you lose?” Su Yang asked, “I’ll help you find it together aaa.”
“It’s nothing,” Gu Feidi said. “In fact… it’s not very expensive.”
“Then why are you taking it so seriously? If it’s not expensive, then it must be very important?” Su Yang’s gaze fell on Gu Feidi’s wrist guard, which had been cut, and asked, “Is it something from the wrist guard? Something your mother left you?”
Gu Feidi didn’t answer, and he leaned over at the gap on the side of the room’s door hinge. He picked up a scattered piece of paper and held it in his palm like a treasure.
Su Yang approached: “What’s this?”
Gu Feidi said, “…It’s nothing.”
Su Yang: …
As if I’ll believe you!
The two searched the room from inside out. Su Yang’s sharp eyes and deft hands detected a piece of paper at the side of a table that had toppled over and fumbled to pick it up.
He noticed that the paper edges were charred black, and although the writing on the paper had been smudged by water, there were still a few words he could make out—”Flawed Phoenix Craft Fire” could be seen.
Su Yang instantly remembered what this was.
That time at Lesser Jade House, in order to point out the location of the Restoration Scripture: Return to the Nest volume to Gu Feidi, he wasn’t willing to gain the protagonist’s good esteem and had put a lot of thought into it.
…But why had they ultimately been kept by Gu Feidi?
Su Yang was still puzzled after mulling over it for a while.
“You…” He looked at Gu Feidi hesitantly and said, “You saved this?”
Gu Feidi was expressionless as he snatched the piece of paper from Su Yang’s hand and finally heaved a sigh of relief: “It’s all here.”
“No,” Su Yang was confused, “Why do you keep them?”
Seeing Gu Feidi smiling and not responding, he narrowed his eyes and came forward. “I said, Gu—I said, shidi, you wouldn’t have had thoughts about me at that time… right?
“Who’d have known that back then, with your lil’ uptight appearance, you’d have a crush on me?!
“Aai, don’t hide aaa, didn’t you disapprove of me then? How did it develop into love?
“Shidi? Good shidi, come and tell shixiong all about your mental journey…”
Gu Feidi was endlessly pestered by Su Yang that he couldn’t help smiling, “I didn’t love you at that time.”
Su Yang gestured with his chin at the small pieces of paper in Gu Feidi’s hand, asking, “Then why did you keep these?”
Gu Feidi looked down at the papers in his hand, the corners of his mouth curling up, and he said in a low voice: “At that time, I just felt that you were different from what the rumours of the Jianghu said you were, and sometimes there were also… traces of childlike innocence. You avoided us, put on an arrogant manner, and refused to befriend the Central Plains martial world circles. But then you used this method to tell me the location of the Return To The Nest volume. Then I wanted to be friends with you; I wanted to… be closer to you.”
Su Yang raised his eyebrows: “Oh? Just that?”
Gu Feidi smiled and said, “It was just that back then. But now… I want more.”
Su Yang immediately sensed a danger in the air.
Sure enough, Gu Feidi took a step towards him, pressed him to the wall, and leaned forward. His breaths lightly caressed his face.
Su Yang felt that he’d been in a passive situation like this, and he couldn’t continue to be like that.
He made up his mind, gritted his teeth, moved forward and kissed his mouth.
“Alright, it’s time to leave.” After the kiss, Su Yang shoved Gu Feidi away and said righteously, “Two assassins have managed to escape; we must be more careful; it’s better not to delay.”
Gu Feidi stood on the side, crossing his arms and smiling. He didn’t tease him again.
Sure enough, when their group travelled along the river bank and reached the next township, news that the Devil Sect’s Young Saint had arrived in the Central Plains had spread like wildfire.
Fortunately, Gu Feidi’s identity hadn’t yet been exposed. The rumours mentioned that the Devil Sect’s Young Saint was travelling with two flower aides, and based on their route, they seemed to be heading towards Tengyun Pavilion. It wasn’t clear whether it had anything to do with Young Pavilion Master Gu.
Taking note of the current situation, Gu Feidi didn’t dare to bring Su Yang directly to stay at an inn. Instead, they took a short rest in an abandoned house outside the town.
“We won’t use the official road for now. We can pass through the villages and towns.” Gu Feidi said worriedly, “Tengyun Pavilion is in Lanyang City where the villages and towns are densely packed and there are many people coming and going. I’m afraid we won’t be able to hide. According to the current progression of rumours, as long as it’s three men travelling together, we’ll probably be noticed more often.”
This was indeed a problem. The three exchanged glances, looked down, and contemplated.
Su Yang suddenly recalled his experience during a live broadcast where he’d lost a bet with some fans and was forced to dress as a woman. He also remembered that when Mei Shisan was preparing fake travel documents in the Devil Sect, he’d indeed prepared one for a woman.
His eyes instantly lit up, and he suggested, “How about I disguise as a woman?!”
Gu Feidi: …
Mei Shisan: …
Gu Feidi had a complicated expression and didn’t know what to say.
Mei Shisan frowned and said, “If someone needs to disguise as a woman, how about this subordinate be the one to do it.”
Su Yang glanced at Mei Shisan’s face in disgust and said, “There’s no one here more suitable than me to disguise as a woman.”
His facial features were already delicate; his cheekbones were small; his Adam’s apple wasn’t very obvious; and he was vaguely indistinguishable as either sex without makeup. As long as he applied some cosmetics, trimmed his eyebrows, and changed his clothing, he estimated that in this era, no one would be able to guess that he was a man disguised as a woman.
Gu Feidi also frowned, saying, “Su Yang, as it happens, you don’t have to make such a sacrifice…”
Su Yang: …
How was it considered a sacrifice to dress up as a woman?
“If not, what should we do?” Su Yang crossed his arms, raised his eyebrows, and eyed the two of them. “Shisan, you don’t have to follow us. When the two of us travel together,shouldn’t it be too noticeable?”
“Young Saint.” Mei Shisan said respectfully, “Sect Leader ordered this subordinate to safeguard Young Saint, and this subordinate cannot leave the group.”
Gu Feidi actually agreed: “It’s better for Shisan to follow. Luckily, your cold outbreak doesn’t adhere to any pattern. In case of mishap, there’s an added assurance with Shisan around.”
Su Yang gave a long roll of his eyes.
After a moment of silence, Gu Feidi said, “Mei Shisan, bring two horses into town and swap them for a horse and carriage. In addition, buy some cosmetics and women’s dresses…… the idea of disguising as a woman may be worth trying.”
In the end, Mei Shisan went to the town alone, pretending to be a merchant. He purchased a carriage with a horse, cosmetics, a hand mirror, and a set of women’s clothing. He then obtained a room at an inn and went in alone.
Su Yang and Gu Feidi rode one horse into the town and then sought a different inn to stay in. Early in the morning the following day, they ‘coincidentally met up’ following their previously agreed route, got into the carriage that Mei Shisan had equipped, and prepared to change clothes.
It was now autumn and the temperature was beginning to drop. Even in the slightly-warmer south, travellers had already begun wearing their autumn clothes.
When Mei Shisan bought women’s dresses, he bought a cloak where the collar had been decorated with rabbit fur, which was suitable for covering the figure and neck. In addition, Mei Shisan had also bought a rabbit fur headband of the same colour, which not only concealed the hair bun, but also matched the cloak. Su Yang was extremely satisfied with this.
Gu Feidi braided Su Yang’s shoulder-length hair and fastened some dark ribbons in a bun on the top of his head. With hair accessories to obscure it a little, the actual length of the hair couldn’t be seen.
Su Yang faced the mirror and applied the makeup. He swept the rouge over the corner of his eyes to cover the red mole and trimmed his eyebrows a little thinner. This softened his facial features even more. Lastly, he applied red rouge to his lips and his whole face instantly became much brighter. At first glance, he was really no different than a woman.
Then he reamed a piece of clothing, wrapped it around his chest area, and put on a dress and cloak to cover his figure and hands. He sat quietly on the spot, looking at Gu Feidi.
“How is it?” Su Yang asked.
“Although it’s not sweet and charming, it’s enough to deceive.” Gu Feidi’s gaze travelled all over Su Yang’s face for a moment, and he bore a surprised expression. “You can truly dress up as a woman.”
Su Yang raised his hand and compared his height with Gu Feidi. He was a little depressed: “It’s just a bit on the tall side. It’ll definitely be conspicuous when I stand up.”
Gu Feidi smiled and said, “No matter, it’s not like there aren’t any tall women around.”
As he said, he picked up the rabbit fur headband and fastened it on for Su Yang.
Su Yang’s facial features were exquisite; his face was small, and he had makeup on. After putting on the cloak and headband, his entire face was concealed in the fluffy fur, making it softer and more fragile-looking.
Gu Feidi stared at the Su Yang before him, and he was a little confused for a while.
“How is it? Am I especially beautiful?” Su Yang teased, “You can’t stop looking at me!”
Gu Feidi laughed in spite of himself: “Remember, don’t speak no matter what.”