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~
Xu Yunzhan followed the address given by Gu Feidi and arrived outside the inn on Seventh Street in Lanyang City. He just happened to see Gu Ruohai’s retreating figure from a distance, and he couldn’t help frowning.
He immediately hastened his steps and rushed to the room where Su Yang was staying, only to discover a disorderly group there.
Queshou was familiar with Xu Yunzhan and immediately greeted him: “Young Hero Xu!”
Xu Yunzhan brows knitted as he looked at the unconscious Su Yang and asked, “What’s going on?”
Queshou was also muddled: “We’re not sure. After Pavilion Master talked with Young Hero Su, he passed out…”
Mei Shisan was standing by the bed with his arms folded, looking at Xu Yunzhan indifferently without saying a word.
At this time, Quezhi entered the room bearing three small copper heating stoves that were used for warming hands and said, “Shisan Ge, do you think this will do?”
Mei Shisan took the heater, opened the lid, and saw that it was filled to the brim with incense ash and warm coals. He nodded and wrapped them up in cloth towels. He then crammed one in Su Yang’s arms, one behind his back, and the last one beneath his feet before wrapping him up tightly with the quilt.
Su Yang was still shivering in his unconscious state. There were tiny bits of icy frost on his eyebrows and on the hair at his temples.
“Why is he like this?” Xu Yunzhan stepped forward and probed Su Yang’s forehead. He felt his entire hand suffused with cold air and couldn’t help but feel a little anxious. “Mei Shisan!”
Mei Shisan said: “In order to help Young Hero Gu, Young Saint practiced a more domineering technique. Occasionally, there are instances that he is unable to suppress the Cold Pond Ice Spirit within his body. Usually, when he loses consciousness, he will awaken after sometime. Young Hero Xu need not worry.”
Xu Yunzhan breathed a sigh of relief and then asked, “It can only be alleviated by keeping him warm?”
Mei Shisan: “If there’s anyone here who has practiced Zhengyang* or Chiyang* school techniques, they can help warm him up with their internal strength.”
(*TN: Zhengyang = upright and masculine; Chiyang = blazing, fiery and masculine.)
However, Mei Shisan’s techniques were inclined to cold, and those used by Queshou and Quezhi were pure and upright mental cultivation methods, which were unsuitable.
Xu Yunzhan followed the Lidao* school’s approach, where the inner strength and methodology were more compatible with upright school methods. Therefore, he was also unable to assist at the moment. He could only stand by in silence and watch Su Yang, who was still curled up and trembling inside the quilt.
(*TN: Lidao = power & strength.)
Oddly enough, this time Su Yang’s stupor only lasted a short while, and the chilly air was not as piercingly cold as before.
He had a lot of fragmented dreams, but when he woke up in a trance, he couldn’t recall any part of them.
The first thing he saw when he opened his eyes was Xu Yunzhan sitting at the side of the bed. Su Yang immediately sat up in fright.
The heater in his arms slammed to the ground. Mei Shisan picked it up, took the other two heaters, and retreated out the door with both Queshou and Quezhi.
“How did you find this place?” Su Yang asked.
Xu Yunzhan smiled, “Feidi asked me to come and see you.”
Upon hearing this, Su Yang’s expression immediately changed: “Why couldn’t he come in person? Did Leader Gu reprimand him?”
“He didn’t go so far as to reprimand him, merely punishing him to ponder his errors in seclusion.” Xu Yunzhan said, “Earlier, when I arrived at the inn, I caught sight of Leader Gu leaving. Did he trouble you?”
Su Yang was about to answer when he abruptly realised that something wasn’t right.
He was on the verge of saying it, but instead he took a turn and asked, “Why would you assume that Leader Gu would trouble me? What do you know?”
Seeing Su Yang’s whole face on alert, Xu Yunzhan sighed: “Feidi has already told me the matter between the two of you.”
Su Yang: ……
He was dumbfounded and supported his forehead on his hand. He said internally: Did you really need to spread the news to everyone so quickly?
“Leader Gu truly didn’t make things difficult for you?” Xu Yunzhan asked.
“No.” Su Yang replied glumly, “He just didn’t agree that Gu Feidi and I should be together, he didn’t say any harsh words and he didn’t drive me away… Maybe, he initially did want to drive me away, but I passed out. I don’t know how he’s going to deal with this.”
After speaking, he was still a little worried and asked, “Where is Gu Feidi? He was only punished to ponder his errors in seclusion. He wasn’t admonished?”
Xu Yunzhan regarded his anxious expression and laughed in spite of himself: “Both of you are really… worried about each other.”
Su Yang said, “From Leader Gu’s perspective, it is indeed not so easy for him to consider accepting this matter.”
Xu Yunzhan consoled him: “Relax, he’s fine. Evidently, for the sake of helping him, you still practiced a cold technique even with the Cold Pond Ice Spirit in your body. I heard that you often get cold symptoms?”
Su Yang didn’t want to say much about the Cold Pond Ice Spirit and the three layers of cold techniques.
As a matter of fact, he himself hadn’t yet figured out the repercussions of this double-edged sword. Currently, it appears that apart from the occasional chilly spells and unconscious episodes, it didn’t seem to have much effect on his body, and there had been no impediments on his internal strength. Although Di Ling had once mentioned that it would hinder his lifespan, Su Yang didn’t know the specifics of that aspect.
So he gave a vague reply: “Ng… it’s actually not that often.”
Xu Yunzhan nodded: “Feidi requested me to find you, so that I could bring you out of Lanyang City and go to Qianfeng Villa for a temporary stay.”
Su Yang couldn’t help frowning: “What happened? Isn’t he alright? Why does he want me to leave Lanyang City?”
Xu Yunzhan said: “He… intends to do his best to persuade Leader Gu, so he is worried that Leader Gu will take his anger out on you.”
Su Yang was worried: “Did he face it alone? I… I have to help him…”
“You have to trust that he will solve the problem. You are already helping him if you remain in a safe place, so that he would have no worries at the back of his mind.” Xu Yunzhan reached out and patted Su Yang on the shoulder, “Let’s go.”
Su Yang was silent for a moment, nodded, got up, and packed his belongings.
At the Hai period, the night was already dark.
Gu Feidi had been kneeling before his mother’s portrait for several hours.
The door was gently pushed open by Feng Lin, who strode in and called out, “Young Pavilion Master.”
Gu Feidi turned his head, and seeing that it was his father’s personal guard, he immediately greeted him, “Uncle Lin.”
“Pavilion Master asked me to inform Young Pavilion Master that you ought to return to your room and rest.” Feng Lin said, “Pavilion Master will wait for you in the martial arts field at the beginning of the Mao period tomorrow.”
Gu Feidi’s eyes lit up, then he forced his mind to calm down and said, “Alright.”
Gu Feidi’s mind was filled with anxious thoughts. It caused him to toss and turn for half a night, making him unable to sleep well. After counting the sounds of the water clock, he rose before dawn, took the long sword, and headed out to the martial arts field.
At the beginning of the Mao period, Gu Ruohai also arrived at the field with his sword.
Immediately, an attendant ignited the torch columns around, illuminating the entire martial arts field.
“We—father and son—have not sparred with each other for a long time.” Gu Ruohai said, “Practice a round with me and I will let you leave Tengyun Pavilion.”
Gu Feidi instantly raised his head to look at his father and asked in surprise, “Really?!”
Gu Ruohai said, “Of course.”
As he spoke, he slowly unsheathed the long sword in his hand. It reflected the orange-red fire around him, but it revealed a hint of chilliness.
Gu Feidi stared at the blade for a while, swallowed, and drew out the long sword in his hand, bowing to Gu Ruohai as per the pre-sparring custom.
Gu Ruohai didn’t return the courtesy. Instead, the instant Gu Feidi’s head was lowered, he violently grabbed him in a chokehold and continued attacking him.
His long sword pierced the late autumn chill like a rainbow and thrust straight at Gu Feidi.
Gu Feidi was shocked and immediately activated his internal strength. He raised his sword to block Gu Ruohai’s sword strike, but was forced to retreat several steps by the formidable force.
“The Jianghu is brutal and isn’t what you think it is.” Gu Ruohai said, “Your enemies may choose to attack you at all times when you’re not paying attention. So… there’s no need for you to act righteous and ethical then, and don’t cling to etiquette.”
He spoke but he didn’t stop. A succession of sword strikes rushed out towards Gu Feidi.
Gu Ruohai had been immersed in martial arts for over thirty years, and naturally, Gu Feidi wasn’t able to casually ward them off. Gu Feidi was forced to hold his own and had no opportunity to strike back.
Seeing that the True Hawk Sword technique couldn’t gain an advantage, he changed to the Returning Goose Sword Art that he’d learned from Lesser Jade House in an attempt to find a chance to counterattack.
Unexpectedly, Gu Ruohai flipped his wrist and also changed his sword technique, directly countering the Returning Goose Sword Art at every turn. They’d only clashed swords and collided forces a couple of times, but Gu Feidi was on the verge of losing his grip on his sword.
“Don’t be complacent.” Gu Ruohai said, “The person before you also came from Lesser Jade House, or don’t you remember?”
Gu Feidi reluctantly repelled Gu Ruohai’s ‘Startled Swan’ strike, but couldn’t withstand the ‘Cyclone’ that immediately followed. He could only do his best to dodge, but the blade still made a shallow cut at his side.
“I created the True Hawk Sword technique back then in order to defeat a senior at Lesser Jade House.” Gu Ruohai said, “It’s also time for you to consider how you should use your sword to best suit you.”
Gu Feidi took two steps back, panting heavily.
Gu Ruohai said, “If you retreat again, I’ll go and kill Su Yang today.”
Gu Feidi’s bloodshot eyes cast a piercing look at Gu Ruohai.
Gu Ruohai’s sword was already there.
If he couldn’t retreat, he had to block or suffer serious injuries.
And once he was seriously injured, it would be even more pointless for him to accompany Su Yang to the southwest Snow Mountain.
In this split second, Gu Feidi only felt that everything seemed to slow down before his eyes. Even the endlessly magnified pressure and fear seemed to disappear all of a sudden.
His heart quieted, his mind calmed down, and his entire person seemed to have withdrawn into a bizarre state.
He couldn’t retreat.
So he advanced.
A proud red and white figure appeared in Gu Feidi’s mind: his sleeves and clothing fluttered about, and his thin sword was fierce. He only attacked; he didn’t defend, but he courageously advanced.
He didn’t know how Drunk Slashing Red Plums’s internal force worked, but he knew that the Drunk Slashing Red Plums sword technique brought him the most intuitive feeling.
Gu Feidi risked being stabbed by Gu Ruohai’s sword, yet he took a step forward. His sword became like a dragon, and he had to attack the enemy in order to save himself.
Gu Ruohai had to retract his sword in order to defend.
Gu Feidi took advantage of the victory and pressed on. He abandoned all sword moves and routines, and only used the most ruthless, desperate, and direct method for each move to seize the opponent’s life.
Gu Ruohai blocked Gu Feidi’s series of sword strikes, and a smile finally curled up from the corners of his lips.
“Do you know what you need?” he asked.
“I’ll protect him.” Gu Feidi said, “Even with my life.”
Gu Ruohai sheathed his sword and smiled: “This sword technique wasn’t discovered at the spur of the moment by you, right?”
Gu Feidi didn’t hold back: “At the beginning, Su Yang created his own sword technique, ‘Drunken Slashing Red Plums’, while he was in Lesser Jade House. I merely adopted his sword intent.”
There was a flash of surprise in Gu Ruohai’s eyes as if he’d thought of something, and he said plainly: “It turns out that he has such a suicidal temper, no wonder…”
Gu Feidi was puzzled: “Father?”
“You can carefully study this set of swordsmanship, and it may be compatible with his Drunken Slashing Red Plums.” Gu Ruohai said, “When the time comes and the two of you have joined forces, no one will be able to stop you. They can only retreat.”
When he heard this, Gu Feidi’s eyes instantly lit up: “Father is allowing me to meet him?”
Gu Ruohai stared at his son and said solemnly: “Once you leave Tengyun Pavilion, this Father will announce to the martial arts circles that our Young Pavilion Master has rebelled out of the Tengyun Pavilion and has been manipulated by the Devil Sect.”
Gu Feidi’s smile immediately froze.
After a long while, he asked with a trembling voice “…What does Father mean?”
Seeing his expression, Gu Ruohai smiled, “What? Do you think I’m forcing you to choose between Tengyun Pavilion and Su Yang?”
Gu Feidi flattened his lips and didn’t reply.
Gu Ruohai sighed softly. “You’re still too young.”
He continued: “Since Eluo Ghost Tent infected you with the blood Gu and you didn’t go to the Icefield to serve them, they obviously wouldn’t relent so easily.”
“You previously told Fan Qi to hand over two Wujiangmen warriors. I’ve investigated this matter. If Wujiangmen truly colluded with Eluo Ghost Tent, based on their abilities, it would be easy to obtain the news that you’re still alive. They haven’t yet made this matter public, which means that they’re waiting for an opportunity. Instead of letting them choose a time beneficial to them to announce your relationship with the Devil Sect’s Young Saint, why don’t we make the first move to disrupt their pace.”
As he spoke, he looked at Gu Feidi and said, “It’s alright if you stay in the Pavilion, but since you want to accompany Su Yang… Tengyun Pavilion cannot have any more involvement with the Devil Sect. If you associate with him, you can only represent yourself.”
“But Father,” Gu Feidi frowned. “This way, there’ll only be more factions that will request for you to initiate a war with the Devil Sect…”
“That’s true. But I can probably guess… what he has in mind.”
Gu Ruohai clasped his hands behind him, stared at the greyish-white eastern sky and slowly said, “He wishes for me to keep our appointment. I’m afraid that it’s also related to the recent waves of the Jianghu. You don’t need to be concerned with this. Just take Su Yang to Snow Mountain.”
Once he’d speaking, he paused and said, “I shall dispatch Fengwei to pretend to arrest and to bring you back to the Pavilion. But in fact, he will secretly protect you to reach Yuqiong Peak.”
Gu Feidi gazed at his father’s imposing, broad-shouldered figure in the light of the flames and the rays of dawn. He was speechless.
After a moment’s silence, Gu Ruohai turned and handed his long sword over to Gu Feidi.
He said, “From now on, you can carry this Long-Cherished Heart with you.”
Gu Feidi subconsciously received the long sword.
As he listened, Gu Ruohai spoke again: “If there is anything you want to do, follow your heart and do it. Just ensure that you have no regrets. Go.”
In the light of the morning sun, Gu Feidi solemnly clasped his fists and performed a deep salute to Gu Ruohai.
Then he turned and left with steadfast steps.