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~
Su Yang didn’t venture out again after returning to the inn from Tengyun Pavilion.
He sat cross-legged to meditate, practiced the methodologies of his Six Underworlds Inter Flowers and Nine Cold Surging Shoots twice, and also used his two fingers in place of his sword* to practice two rounds of swordsmanship. He idled his time away until lunch and was unable to fall asleep during his afternoon nap. He only felt that he would start malfunctioning pretty soon.
(*TN :similar to a two-fingered salute.)
Evidently, before he entered the entertainment industry, he was a nerdy sort who stayed home and did live broadcasts of his dancing. During that time, he called delivery for his meals and groceries. There were instances when he became lazy and would even ask the takeaway delivery guy to help bring his garbage downstairs on his way out. He’d also endured a week of not leaving his house.
So why was it when he’d arrived here, after only spending half a day in the room, he’d become bored so quickly until it became unbearable?
Su Yang felt that this was definitely due to the lack of mobile phones and the internet.
—Can’t see the person I want to see and can’t even send a message out; of course it’s difficult to bear.
Su Yang found a stack of Xuan paper*, cut it into squares, and began to fold paper cranes to pass the time.
(*TN: Xuan paper is high-quality, handmade paper from Xuancheng, Anhui Province, China. It is used for Chinese paintings and calligraphy.)
While he was paper folding, he thought of how good it would be if this paper crane could really fly; then it could help him pass a message on to Gu Feidi.
What had become of Gu Feidi over there?
If only he could send word. It doesn’t seem that such a lengthy delay was warranted.
Perhaps… he still wants to chit-chat with Leader Gu? After all, father and son hadn’t seen each other for so long, surely they would be nostalgic?
Maybe they needed to deliberate on the Eluo Ghost Tent conspiracy.
Therefore, it was possible for a two- or three-day delay…
Su Yang folded a few paper cranes and ultimately lay down on the couch, bored stiff. He stared at the inn’s exquisitely carved ceiling boards, his thoughts revolving around Gu Feidi.
Outside the door, he suddenly heard two overlapping voices call out, “Pavilion Master!”
Immediately afterwards, the door of the room was slowly pushed open.
Su Yang was startled; he turned over and stood up. He looked in surprise at the middle-aged man who had stepped into the room.
The man didn’t appear to be old. His temperament was still sharp and attractive; there was merely a smattering of white hair on the temples and faint wrinkles at the ends of his eyes.
His facial features and countenance, together with Gu Feidi’s were practically stamped from the same mould. Even without Queshou and Quezhi’s earlier shout outside the door, Su Yang could identify the person before him at a glance.
Mei Shisan had followed Gu Ruohai into the room and was looking at Su Yang with worry. Su Yang threw him a look, and Mei Shisan had no choice but to leave the room and close the door behind him.
Su Yang cupped his fists and saluted Gu Ruohai: “Leader Gu.”
Gu Ruohai’s gaze fell on Su Yang’s face, and he didn’t look away for a long time.
The atmosphere became a bit awkward because of his silence. It wasn’t appropriate for Su Yang to say anything, so he could only go along with Gu Ruohai and not utter a word.
“Your eyebrows are exactly the same as your mother’s.”
This was unexpectedly the first sentence spoken by Gu Ruohai. Su Yang… didn’t know what to do with that.
Fortunately, Leader Gu didn’t wait for him to pick up the topic; he laughed to himself and said, “But your face is like bamboo…… exactly like your father.”
Su Yang was surprised.
Wasn’t there a rumour that the Devil Sect’s Young Saint had been plucked from a village and brought back to be raised by the leader? How could he possibly…… resemble the Devil Sect Leader?
Oh perhaps, Leader Gu knows who the Devil Sect’s Young Saint’s real father is?
“The rumours of the Jianghu are indeed absurd.” Gu Ruohai’s mouth bore a smile, but there was bitterness in his eyes. “If you’re not his son… ho, how can you not be his son?”
The atmosphere was too abnormal. Su Yang resisted the urge to retreat and tried to change the subject: “Did Elder seek me out for a reason?”
Gu Ruohai said, “I‘ve yet to meet you in person. This time, you’ve come to Lanyang City as a guest, so I came to have a look at you.”
Su Yang said “Oh“. When he thought about ancient times, even if the elders wanted to see the younger generation, they shouldn’t have to seek them out in person. He said, “In fact, I should’ve taken the initiative to pay you a formal visit at Tengyun Pavilion.”
Gu Ruohai didn’t say anything and only shook his head.
In that instant, he asked, “This time, you’re going to the southwest Snow Mountain for the sake of completely eliminating the Gu poison in your body?”
Su Yang said, “Yes.”
Gu Ruohai said, “This person, Luo Yu—because of some matters in his early years—had… many grudges against your dad. If you go looking for him now, I’m afraid you’ll be subjected to some difficulties.”
Having said that, he took out a jade pendant from his sleeve and handed it to Su Yang: “This was the birthday gift that Luo Yu gave me back then. Bring it with you; you might be able to use it as a token.”
Su Yang couldn’t help being stunned: “Ak, you…”
He didn’t dare to reach out to receive the token: “I already have a token. Leader said that the Divine Doctor was friendly with my… my mother and had given me something that used to belong to her.”
Gu Ruohai was stunned for a moment, but he quickly smiled: “No matter. Bring this along, so you can send Luo Yu my regards.”
With that said, he placed the jade pendant in his hand directly onto the table.
“It’s already late autumn now. Once winter comes, the way to the Snow Mountain will be difficult to travel.” He said again, “Tomorrow morning, I’ll let my personal guard come and escort you to the southwest.”
“Aai?” Su Yang said in surprise, “Then, what about Gu Feidi?”
Gu Ruohai said, “He needs to remain in Tengyun Pavilion and prepare for marriage matters, so it’s inconvenient for him to travel far.”
Upon hearing this, Su Yang was taken aback.
Yet, it was very strange that he didn’t feel any heart-piercing sensation. He was just at a loss and even had the absurd urge to laugh out loud.
So he actually did: “Elder is lying to me?”
Gu Ruohai raised his eyebrows slightly in surprise.
“He wouldn’t.” Su Yang’s tone was confident: “Unless Leader Gu is forcing him to.”
After speaking, he didn’t wait for Gu Ruohai to reply and immediately continued: “And even if you forced him, he won’t just give in like this.”
—It didn’t matter in which way the storyline would collapse; Gu Feidi was still the protagonist. He would never so easily give up on what he desired, nor would he pretend to agree with his elders to get married for the sake of the so-called ‘big picture’. Maybe at that very moment, he was secretly planning to escape from Tengyun Pavilion and then elope with him to the Snow Mountain and be together forever ne!
Gu Ruohai’s expression suddenly became extremely serious.
“You trust him like that?” he asked.
Su Yang said, “Yes, I trust him.”
Gu Ruohai asked again: “Why are you so sure that he won’t get married? Since you two are classmates and brothers, if he wants to get married, shouldn’t you give him your blessings?”
Su Yang was stunned.
If he and Gu Feidi were merely classmates and close friends, why would Leader Gu want to deceive him about Gu Feidi’s upcoming marriage?
Hang on… deceive him?
Then, based on his earlier reaction and reply, wouldn’t it already have……
Su Yang only felt that his brain might have died.
He stood rigidly on the spot, not knowing what to say and what expression to exhibit.
Fortunately, Gu Ruohai didn’t rush to speak either.
After a long time, he smiled slightly and changed the subject: “Back then, I also trusted someone just as unreservedly.”
Su Yang: “…Oh.”
Gu Ruohai didn’t go on.
Su Yang instantly became anxious. He resisted the urge to chew on his nails. His unrestrained fingers began to pinch the hem of his clothes, making a couple of folds in the layers fabric before releasing it and repeating again.
His mind was in complete disorder, and he couldn’t make out any of his thoughts.
After a while, he floundered and said, “Ak—Elder… knows that I and he are…”
“I know.” Gu Ruohai said, “But I don’t believe you should maintain such a relationship.”
It was as if a taut silk thread had suddenly snapped, causing a high-hanging steelyard weight to drop and crush down onto Su Yang’s chest.
The dust finally settled, but it was unbearable.
He stammered: “Elder…”
“Although there have been tales handed down of men falling in love in the world, once those seemingly joyful narratives concluded, the many bitter truths that followed wouldn’t have been made known.” Gu Ruohai said, “This is a difficult and rugged path. The both of you are still young. You can only see what’s in front of you, but you’re unable to imagine what you’ll possibly be faced with in the future.”
He paused for a moment and continued: “So I won’t allow him to go to the Snow Mountain with you. Both of you need to be separate for a while and calm your thoughts.”
Gu Ruohai’s tone was very peaceful, without blame or coercion, and utterly without disdain or hate. On the contrary, he seemed like a kind elder who was earnestly giving guidance.
He never said a cross word and didn’t have the intention of forcibly separating the two of them.
But Su Yang still felt bursts of chills surging in his heart.
“Elder.” he said softly, “I’m not afraid of hardships or being judged by the world.”
The chill began to converge in the meridians of his limbs. He couldn’t help shuddering and his breathing gradually became more urgent.
“As for the future… we never know if the future or a mishap will occur first, so… all the more I want to seize hold of today and cherish the present. The Jianghu are so perilous. If by any chance one day, I… have to leave, at least I won’t have any regrets caused by my negligence in the past.”
Dark splotches began to appear before him, but he forced himself to stand up straight.
“…I believe Gu Feidi must think so too.”
Gu Ruohai looked at Su Yang, and finally, his brow creased, “You…”
Su Yang suddenly shuddered and subconsciously reached out to bolster himself on the table corner, but because his vision was blurred, at once he was supported by nothing.
He staggered towards the ground, but collapsed into a pair of strong arms.
“Elder,” Su Yang struggled to ask, his lips trembling, “If you’ve ever been in love, you’d definitely understand, right?”
Gu Ruohai did not answer.
He grabbed Su Yang’s wrist and plunged in his internal strength, attempting to determine the situation.
Su Yang trembled all of a sudden.
“Your body…” Gu Ruohai said in a heavy voice, “You’ve something extremely cold in your body, so why did you still dare to practice an extreme Yin and cold technique? Are you seeking death?”
Su Yang’s thoughts were already becoming somewhat stagnant, but as luck would have it, the corners of his mouth curled into a smile, and he said weakly, “If I didn’t practice Half Withered Red, how could I have saved his life?”
A string of indescribable emotions suddenly erupted from Gu Ruohai’s eyes.
Su Yang closed his eyes slightly and exhausted his last bit of strength to say, “Begging Elder… to acquiesce.”
As soon as his voice fell, he couldn’t bear it anymore and straightaway became unconscious.
Gu Ruohai immediately probed Su Yang’s pulse and internal strength. When he ascertained that his life was not in danger at the moment, he couldn’t help but breathe a sigh of relief.
He carried Su Yang onto the bed, held his wrists to transfer in a little hot internal force, and forcibly suppressed the chill in Su Yang’s body. He performed a cycle of Qi movement before calling for Queshou and Quezhi, and instructing them to tend to Su Yang properly.
After leaving the inn and returning to Tengyun Pavilion, Gu Ruohai sat quietly at his table for a while before summoning his personal guard, Feng Lin, and enquiring about the situation at Feiniao House.
Feng Lin said: “This afternoon, the Young Pavilion Master invited Young Hero Xu from Qianfeng Villa to come and chat over tea. Not long after Young Hero Xu left, the Young Pavilion Master… the Young Pavilion Master went to the Feiniao House’s East Wing Lodge and knelt in front of Madam’s portrait…”
Hearing this statement, Gu Ruohai frowned slightly. After a long while, he sighed, “…At least he’s mindful.”
Following a long silence, he said again: “Fine, let him go. If he is still kneeling there after Hai period*, pass my order and have him return to his room to rest. At the start of Mao period* tomorrow, I shall meet him in the martial arts field.”
(*TN: Hai period = 9 p.m.–11 p.m., Mao period = 5 a.m.–7 a.m.)
Feng Lin cupped his fists in acknowledgement.
Gu Ruohai released a sigh and added, “When Fan Xi comes to deliver the calling card tomorrow, you can let him in.”
Feng Lin was taken aback for a moment, and then he immediately received his order: “Yes.”
He was about to withdraw when he was stopped again.
Gu Ruohai’s expression showed disappointment and also a little helplessness.
“Ready my things. On Chongyang Festival*…I’m going to Qingwu County.”
(*TN: Chongyang Festival = AKA Senior Citizen’s Festival, Chrysanthemum Festival, and most commonly, Double Ninth Festival, as it is celebrated on the ninth day of the ninth lunar month. The number 9 is deemed a Yang character; hence the double nine. Double nines are synonymous with “forever” in Chinese and this is considered an auspicious day, a day of ancestral worship, a day to climb mountains, to enjoy chrysanthemum flowers, eat chrysanthemum cakes, and drink chrysanthemum wine, among others.)