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~
After eating breakfast, Su Yang decided to accompany Fan Xi to Tengyun Pavilion to deliver the calling card.
Fan Xi first returned to his inn on Fifth Street to freshen up. After a change of clothes, he brought the calling card to Tengyun Pavilion.
The guard stationed outside Tengyun Pavilion already recognised Fan Xi and received the calling card without saying a word. He turned around and handed it to the old doorman, who was responsible for passing on the message.
The door was ajar, and the doorman glanced out. He suddenly let out a “Yi!” sound as soon as he caught sight of Su Yang and Fan Xi. After staring at them for a while, he turned and silently left.
The guard immediately closed the door and stood by the side to resume his watch without so much as a sideways glance.
At this time, Gu Ruohai had just finished managing Tengyun Pavilion’s affairs. For some unknown reason, he sat uncharacteristically behind his desk and became lost in thought.
Pavilion Master’s personal guard brought over Fan Xi’s calling card and held it out: “Pavilion Master, Young Hero Fan has come again today; are you still not receiving him?”
Gu Ruohai regained his senses: “Not receiving.”
The personal guard paused before continuing: “The doorman reported that a young martial artist accompanied Young Hero Fan to come today, and that person is being escorted by Queshou and Quezhi. The doorman presumes that the person might be Devil Sect’s Su Yang.”
“Why did he come too?” Gu Ruohai asked, but there was no sign of emotion in his countenance. “Did he also hand over a calling card?”
“No,” the personal guard replied. “There was only Young Hero Fan’s calling card.”
“I see.” Gu Ruohai nodded. “You may withdraw.”
After sitting alone for a while, Gu Ruohai stood up and walked towards the Feiniao House.
When he reached the outside of the Feiniao House, he just happened to come across the in-house steward, who was hurrying out of the courtyard gate. As soon as the steward saw Gu Ruohai, he immediately stepped forward to make his greetings: “Pavilion Master!”
He was somewhat anxious when he spoke: “Young Pavilion Master got up before dawn and started practicing with his sword. He’s now been training for over two hours and hasn’t stopped to rest. This subordinate has tried persuading him, but he refuses to listen, so this subordinate was just on my way to look for you…”
Gu Ruohai frowned slightly, stepped over the threshold, and strode into the courtyard.
Gu Feidi was holding his long sword with a chilly look in his eyes and didn’t restrain his internal strength as he brandished the True Hawk Sword’s moves overflowing with murderous aura.
Because of the uninterrupted, laborious exercise and having depleted his internal energy, his face was faintly pale, his clothes were soaked through, the hair on his temples was sticking onto his face, and he was dripping sweat with each move he made.
Seeing that Gu Ruohai was approaching, Gu Feidi didn’t even consider stopping his movements. He flipped his wrist to connect the last move of the True Hawk Sword technique with the Returning Geese Sword Art and continued with his sword training.
Gu Ruohai took a deep breath. He raised his hand, broke off a leafless branch from the tree at the side and leapt into the fray.
After dodging two sword strikes, he activated his internal strength, and the tip of the branch hit heavily onto Gu Feidi’s back. A red mark immediately appeared, and it swelled up in an instant. Another blow came shortly after that, knocking the long sword out of Gu Feidi’s hand and sending it flying.
Gu Feidi finally stopped moving. He gasped for breath as he stood in the courtyard, staring at Gu Ruohai in silence.
“As a general rule, you mustn’t overdo your martial arts training; didn’t I teach you that?” Gu Ruohai said with a heavy voice, “Even if you cannot calm your mind down, you shouldn’t be hurting your body like this.”
Gu Feidi looked down and croaked out, “Yes.”
Seeing that his complexion wasn’t good, Gu Ruohai said, “Queheng said that you didn’t have any of the snacks yesterday and you ate less than half of your dinner; what’s going on?”
Gu Feidi was silent for a while, then replied, “…No appetite.”
Gu Ruohai looked at Gu Feidi without saying anything, but the solid gaze and mountain-like aura weighed heavily on Gu Feidi, making his fingertips shake involuntarily.
Gu Feidi held his fingers within his palm and stood in the same spot, neither avoiding nor retreating.
A long time passed before Gu Ruohai released a sigh.
When he heard this sigh, Gu Feidi swallowed and asked in a low voice, “Father… already knows what’s going on between me and him?”
“I know.” Gu Ruohai said.
Gu Feidi felt the huge load in his heart crash down heavily, and he remained there, unable to say anything.
Gu Ruohai asked, “You bear him affection, and he bears the same affection for you, correct?”
Gu Feidi bit his lower lip and said, “…I wish to be together with him. He’s not like what they say in the rumours of the Jianghu. I’m… as a matter of fact, I’m the one who’s been coercing him.”
“Oh? So you coerced him into detoxifying you?” Gu Ruohai smiled. “You also coerced him into blocking the sword for you in the Wasteland?”
Gu Feidi abruptly looked at Gu Ruohai and attempted to explain: “He merely treated me as a classmate, a friend, a brother, I… I couldn’t help but confess my heart to him when I was in the Devil Sect…”
Gu Ruohai asked, “You’re so anxious to explain; are you afraid that I’ll make things difficult for him?”
Gu Feidi clenched his teeth, “In any case, he saved my life… three times.”
“Naturally, I understand this logic.” Gu Ruohai said, “But do you truly understand your own feelings? What you feel for him, is it love and adoration or gratitude and a sense of obligation?”
“I like him, Father.” Gu Feidi’s eyes were red, and his voice trembled. “I’ve always understood my feelings.”
As he spoke, he took a half step back, slowly knelt down, and kowtowed: “This Child is unfilial and is unwilling to marry any woman; he just wants to grow old with him.”
Gu Ruohai didn’t let Gu Feidi get up immediately.
He stared at the figure of his son stubbornly kneeling on the ground, but his eyes seemed to pass through him to regard something else which was far more distant.
It was a lengthy and stifling silence. After a long, long while, Gu Ruohai asked, “Are you sure he has the same understanding as you?”
Gu Feidi raised his head and looked at Gu Ruohai without backing down: “I trust him!”
Gu Ruohai was silent for a moment. “As such, you shall remain in Feiniao House to reflect up.on your errors…”
Gu Ruohai turned and left without giving a deadline or the requirement for ending the punishment.
Gu Feidi continued to kneel motionless on the spot as he watched his father’s retreating figure.
After a long while, he bowed his head and wiped his face before calling over the Feiniao steward, Queheng.
“Although my father has ordered me to reflect on my errors, he hasn’t put any restrictions on the gate access?” Gu Feidi asked.
“Yes.” Queheng said, “Does Young Pavilion Master want to invite some friends over?”
Gu Feidi nodded, “Assist me to send me an invitation card to Qianfeng Villa for Xu Yunzhan to come.”
Queheng nodded in response.
Qianfeng Villa was located outside Lanyang City. It had been built using Lan Mountain as a support and wasn’t very far from Tengyun Pavilion. For that reason, Xu Yunzhan arrived at Tengyun Pavilion that afternoon.
“We last parted in the Wasteland, and I haven’t heard from you in ages. I was still worried that you were being bullied in the Devil Sect. I didn’t expect that you’d already returned and even sent me an invitation.”
Xu Yunzhan sat down, facing Gu Feidi. He casually picked up the teapot to pour some tea and asked with a smile, “Did something happen that has made you so solemn? Could the Jianghu rumours that Su Yang has come to Central Plains be true?”
Gu Feidi rubbed the edge of the teacup with his fingers and nodded. “It’s true. I travelled together with him all the way from the Devil Sect to Lanyang City.”
Xu Yunzhan: …
Xu Yunzhan had just raised the teacup to his lips when he put it down and said in surprise, “What did you bring him to Central Plains for?”
Gu Feidi was silent for a moment. He didn’t answer and changed the subject instead.
“Previously in the Wasteland, there were many people around, so it was inconvenient for me to say too much.” He said, “Fortunately, you believed me and didn’t force me to break away from the Devil Sect troop. Wei Qi xiong*, I want to… thank you.”
(*TN: xiong = elder brother, can also be used to address male relatives of the same generation or male friends.)
Xu Yunzhan became a little embarrassed by the sudden thanks.
He smiled indifferently: “During the melee outside the Devil City, I surmised that you’d already thought of a strategy—some plan that required you to delve deep into the Devil Sect. Later, Fan Xi also revealed some details, saying that you might’ve suffered some hidden injuries… Are you able to tell me now?”
Gu Feidi nodded, lowered his voice, and briefly explained the whole sequence of events of his Gu poisoning and detoxification. He also mentioned that the Devil Sect Leader had given them a token to find Yuqiong’s Divine Doctor.
In the end, he said, “Therefore, I’ve to take him to the southwest Snow Mountain to completely eliminate the Gu poison in order to purge any hidden dangers.”
“So it’s like this…” Xu Yunzhan frowned slightly and muttered to himself, “He risked his life to save you, and you’re indebted to him. You should accompany him to the Snow Mountain.”
Upon hearing this, Gu Feidi gave a wry smile: “However, my father doesn’t want me accompanying Su Yang to the Snow Mountain.”
Xu Yunzhan was surprised: “Why? Based on Leader Gu’s character, as long as you tell him the truth, he shouldn’t deter you from this matter.”
Gu Feidi held the teacup in his hand without saying a word, as if he was deep in thought.
All of a sudden, there was a faint sound of porcelain cracking, causing him to wake up from his musings and hastily put the cracked teacup he was holding down onto the tea tray.
Xu Yunzhan frowned. “What’s the matter?”
Gu Feidi looked warily at Xu Yunzhan and hesitated for a while before speaking, “Wei Qi xiong, I… have something that I need to tell you.”
Xu Yunzhan said, “Since when do you speak with such wariness? We‘ve been friends since we were kids and there shouldn’t be anything we can’t say to each other.”
“I’ve kept this matter from you all this while.” Gu Feidi said under his breath, “I was selfish and am ashamed because of it…”
Hearing him speak so seriously, Xu Yunzhan’s expression also turned grave. But he didn’t say anything and waited quietly for Gu Feidi to continue.
Gu Feidi said: “Su Yang and I… shared a life-and-death experience when we were in the Wasteland. During our time in the Devil Sect, we both confessed our feelings for each other…”
Xu Yunzhan put down the teacup, and it made a slight clattering sound as it hit the table.
He stared at Gu Feidi in disbelief: “You.….. you and Su Yang……”
“Yes.” Gu Feidi looked down and said, “I like him.”
Xu Yunzhan asked, “Does he feel the same about you?”
Gu Feidi nodded: “He…… promised to stay by my side and be together with me.”
Xu Yunzhan suddenly fell quiet.
Gu Feidi paused for a moment and said, “I apologise; I know you treat him—”
“Feidi,” Xu Yunzhan said solemnly, “Do you still remember what you said to me after you exited seclusion from the Veiled Pearl Pavilion?”
A long while passed before Gu Feidi replied, “……I remember.”
After a moment’s silence, he spoke slowly, “To tell you the truth, what I said back then wasn’t just meant for you alone to hear, but… it was also for myself.”
Xu Yunzhan was amazed when he heard this: “Back then you already had…?”
Gu Feidi gave a bitter smile and nodded.
“I’d been thinking of him ever since I began seclusion in the Veiled Pearl Pavilion. But…… I knew that I shouldn’t be and persuaded myself countless times to let it go. That day, when you spoke to me, I couldn’t bring myself to tell you. I could only coax you and myself… not to have unwarranted thoughts. However, when we met each other again… I knew that it was impossible for me to… let him go.”
Once he finished speaking, Gu Feidi looked at Xu Yunzhan and said in all seriousness once more: “I’m sorry, Wei Qi xiong.”
Xu Yunzhan abruptly smiled and said, “You don’t need to apologise to me for anything.”
He whispered, “It was I, myself, that didn’t cherish it. I don’t have your courage, nor your perseverance when it comes to feelings. Besides, after I… have been with Yingniang for a long time, I discovered that my initial feelings for Su Yang… it’s hard to say whether it was admiration or yearning.”
“Wei Qi xiong…” Gu Feidi called out.
“In truth, I’m relieved knowing that the both of you feel the same way about each other.” Xu Yunzhan smiled and said, “After marrying Yingniang, I would occasionally think of Su Yang and blame myself because I felt that there was someone else in my heart and that I wasn’t wholeheartedly focused on my wife. Now that I know that Su Yang is with you, I can finally let go. I merely see him as my former classmate and the person my brother loves.”
“Wei Qi xiong, thank you.” Gu Feidi said sincerely.
Xu Yunzhan smiled and shook his head. “You—have you ever thought that you’ll face many difficulties in the future? If Leader Gu knew about this…”
Gu Feidi looked down: “Father already knows about this, so… he made me ponder my errors in seclusion.”
Xu Yunzhan was startled by this: “You’ve already told Leader Gu?”
Without waiting for Gu Feidi to answer, he asked in astonishment: “He actually only punished you to ponder your errors in seclusion?!”
Gu Feidi smiled bitterly: “I don’t know how he managed to discern it. I’ve thought about it… I didn’t slip up, and his mild approach towards this matter was beyond what I’d anticipated… I thought, even if he doesn’t fly off into a rage and beat me with the cane, he’d still make me kneel before my mother’s spirit tablet.”
Xu Yunzhan heard this and sighed: “If he didn’t punish you, he might go and trouble Su Yang.”
Gu Feidi nodded, “This is exactly why I invited you.”
With that, Gu Feidi stood up, tidied his clothes, and cupped his fists at Xu Yunzhan.
“Wei Qi xiong, please look after Su Yang in my stead.” He stared at Xu Yunzhan in earnest.
Xu Yunzhan also quickly stood up and said helplessly, “Why are you like this? You and I have been friends since childhood. Su Yang and I were classmates and are good friends. If you’d mentioned it in your letter, I’d also take care of him for you.”
“I never thought that my father would come to know of this matter so soon. From here on out, I’m going to do my utmost to implore my father. I want him to let me out and permit me to accompany Su Yang to Snow Mountain.” Gu Feidi said, “At the moment, my father hasn’t scolded me. If I trouble him in the future, he might drive Su Yang away. I don’t want him to suffer any wrongs, so I’ve to trouble Wei Qi xiong… to bring him to reside temporarily at Qianfeng Villa.”
Xu Yunzhan asked, “You trust me, just like that?”
Gu Feidi said, “I know your character; I trust you.”
The two looked at each other for a moment, and Xu Yunzhan gave a light laugh, saying, “Don’t worry, I’ll protect him properly for you.”