Title: Did We Agree To Be 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~
As he walked all the way to Luo Yu’s room, Su Yang’s apprehension grew more intense.
His intuition told him that the matter of the Cold Pond Ice Spirit and triple cold techniques in his body would definitely get the most precise verdict from Luo Yu——the ‘possibly-cripple-your-life’ mentioned by Di Ling, did it merely mean that it would damage his health or did it imply that… he would die?
Su Yang’s subconscious still felt that this world was just fictional and deep down, he still didn’t fear death. But when he thought of the possibility of an impending ‘separating in life and death’, he finally experienced panic.
In a split second, even the intention of wanting to flee emerged——perhaps, if he didn’t hear the final verdict, the matter he feared would not come to pass?
But he eventually followed Luo Yu into the room and a disciple assisted him to change his clothes.
Luo Yu didn’t say much and instructed Su Yang to sit down in order for him to check his pulse.
In a moment, Luo Yu frowned and retracted his hand. He asked in a deep voice, “You have an extremely cold air in your body. Have you ever had a tribulation? In a snowy mountain, icefield or cold pools?”
Su Yang didn’t hold back: “In Lesser Jade House’s Jade Mirror Pond. Shijie said it’s the Cold Pond Ice Spirit.”
“Cold Pond Ice Spirit…” Luo Yu muttered to himself for a moment and asked, “Didn’t she tell you that after taming this cold thing into your body, you shouldn’t practice too many Yin and Cold exercises, otherwise it will be harmful to you?”
Su Yang flattened his lips, “…she did.”
Luo Yu laughed despite his anger: “Then you are courting death since you continued to practice the Qinghan School exercises. In the end you even practiced a set of Half Withered Red?”
Su Yang avoided Luo Yu’s gaze, lowered his eyelashes and said, “At that time, I’d already practiced Six Underworlds Inter Flower and Nine Cold Surging Shoots. According to shijie, practicing more cold exercises would only cripple my life. She didn’t say how serious it would be…”
He paused and then continued: “Besides, if I didn’t practice Half Withered Red, Gu Feidi’s blood Gu… wouldn’t have been able to be resolved, I’m afraid.”
Of course, Luo Yu knew the function of Half Withered Red. Hearing this, he also knew that Su Yang really had no other alternative at that time.
But he was still so furious that he ground his teeth: “Did you assume Half Withered Red is some sort of simple technique? It was part of a chapter from another set of mental cultivation methods and was incomplete to begin with. It was initially stolen and revised; used entirely for emergencies, otherwise why would it be sealed? Even without the Cold Pond Ice Spirit in your body, practicing Half Withered Red would also damage your meridians. Moreover, you—”
Su Yang asked: “Will I die?”
Luo Yu said, “In the first place, you’re seeking death. What do you think?”
Su Yang didn’t know what to say, so he could only remain silent.
Finally, Luo Yu broke the silence.
“Only Half Withered Red can draw out Eluo Ghost Tent’s poison Gu.” He released a sigh, “After all, it originated from Eluo Ghost Tent and it was originally an excerpt from the methodology of refining and controlling Gu.”
As he spoke, he eyed Su Yang, “It’s also your luck that your body bears half the blood of Eluo Ghost Tent’s royal family. That’s why you can resist such a cold internal force. If someone else behaved like you, say nothing of climbing up the Snow Mountain; even the late autumn cold wind may have killed them.”
Su Yang didn’t hear the latter part of that sentence.
He was bewildered for a moment and hesitatingly asked: “…Eluo Ghost Tent’s blood?”
Luo Yu looked at Su Yang, his gaze fell on the peak of his elegant eyebrows and slowly followed it to the corner of his eye.
Such charming eyebrows coalesced with the figure that had already begun to blur in the memory. After some time, he said: “Your mother’s name was Eluojin and she was… my younger sister.”
Su Yang was completely dumbstruck.
“Therefore,” Luo Yu said, “I’m actually your jiujiu*.”
(*TN : maternal uncle)
Su Yang’s expression was one of complete confusion.
Since where did the Devil Sect’s Young Saint include a jiujiu?
Luo Yu seemed unaware of Su Yang’s surprise. He stood up and walked to the side of the table, picked up the flower hairpin that had been presented as a token and said, “In my impression of your mother, she’s still the same headstrong, unruly little girl. Back then, she secretly came from the Icefield to find me. I took her to travel the Jianghu with your father and Leader Gu. When we passed through Xunshui City, she pestered and insisted that I help her buy this flower hairpin no matter what.
He sighed once he’d finished speaking: “In a flash, it’s been twenty years… Since she was abducted by your father to Devil City in the Wasteland and I’ve had to live in seclusion in the Snow Mountain to evade people from the Ghost Tent royal court, we never met up again.”
Su Yang had nothing to say about this.
He was still absorbing the fact that he suddenly had a jiujiu. Moreover, this jiujiu seemed to have some ties with Eluo Ghost Tent’s royal family.
In that case, wouldn’t the Devil Sect’s Young Saint also be related to Eluo Ghost Tent’s royal family?
…What kind of bizarre and complicated relationship was this?
Luo Yu lightly twirled the flower hairpin in his hand and chuckled: “I never expected that when I saw this flower hairpin again, Jin’er and I are already separated by Yin and Yang* and her son is already this old.”
(*TN : in this context, the Yin and Yang mentioned by the author are to note opposing elements of death and life. Yin and Yang philosophy is the concept of dualism and the correlation between contrary forces)
With that said, he looked at Su Yang. There was no gentle disposition and it didn’t seem like it was a meeting between relatives.
“To tell you the truth, I didn’t want to save you at first.” He said indifferently, “Su Huaizhu’s behaviour in the past made me mad. Based on Jin’er’s temperament, she would certainly not want to give birth to you.”
As he spoke, he displayed a mirthless smile, “But since you sought me out because of the Ghost Tent blood Gu, I also have the responsibility to help you… that’s all. In any case, you are my junior. There’s no harm in meeting like this.”
Su Yang was even more perplexed by Luo Yu’s ever-changing mood.
“Blood Gu is actually not dangerous within your body.” Luo Yu placed the flower hairpin back down and returned the subject to Su Yang. “It won’t be able to cause much bother within the next few decades with the Half Withered Red suppressing it in your body. On the contrary, the Cold Pond Ice Spirit may consume your life force within a year or two.”
Su Yang was horrified: “One or two years?”
Luo Yu snorted: “If you continue to manoeuvre your internal strength like you used to, a couple of months… no, it’s possible for you to meet your Maker within a couple of days.”
Su Yang finally couldn’t control the nervousness inside him and asked impatiently, “Isn’t there a way to drag it out? If I don’t practice anymore, don’t manoeuvre my internal strength… No, if I can terminate my internal strength, will it be alright?”
“Terminate the internal strength? You can thoroughly obliterate your meridians if you want to terminate your internal strength. Then the Cold Pond Ice Spirit will immediately freeze you to death.”
Luo Yu solemnly said: “Opportunities, natural treasures. Although these things are rare, they are also extremely dangerous. When you tamed the Cold Pond Ice Spirit, you must’ve undergone a life and death ordeal. Perhaps, you were unconscious and weren’t aware. I’m convinced… at that time, there must’ve been someone who helped you through the extremities over and over again. Only then were you able to survive and ultimately tame it.”
This was the first time Su Yang had heard of this.
He thought back to what had happened in the cave beneath the cold lake. It was as plain as day who had kept watch over him and repeatedly dragged him back from the clutches of death.
Gu Feidi always mentioned that Su Yang had saved him three times…… But hadn’t Gu Feidi saved Su Yang’s life too?
If there was really such a thing as the string of fate in this world, both their fates may have been intertwined with each other’s a long time ago, so much so that their respective lines could no longer be identified.
Except that… it was too brief.
He recalled the ‘one-or-two-years’ that Luo Yu had said and Su Yang finally felt himself filled with fear.
“Then… what do I do?” He panicked. “Truly just one or two years?”
“You and Gu Feidi have affection for each other?” Luo Yu asked.
Su Yang nodded.
“Have you ever had sexual intercourse?” Luo Yu asked again.
Having been hit directly without warning, Su Yang was struck dumb for a moment and felt a little discomfited.
He prevaricated, then replied, “…not yet.”
Luo Yu released a sigh of relief: “Thankfully.”
Su Yang puzzled: “Why ‘thankfully’?”
Luo Yu said, “Even if you can suppress the blood Gu, it’s still surviving within your body. Ordinarily it wouldn’t matter, but… if you have sexual intercourse with others, it will also be invigorated and transmit the Gu poison into the other person’s body. There’s no harm to do it once or twice. If the frequency increases, the body will not be able to endure it. In the end, the outcome will only be an untimely death.”
Su Yang was speechless.
Instantly, he said: “Such being the case, I still want to… request that you help eliminate the blood Gu.”
Luo Yu raised his eyebrows: “Oh?”
Su Yang’s ears were burning hot beneath Luo Yu’s knowing gaze, yet he still clenched his teeth and said, “I… as I don’t have much time left, all the more… I don’t want to leave behind any regrets.”
Luo Yu was unenthusiastic: “You need to use the Half Withered Red technique to assist if you want to eliminate the Gu. You are aware what the repercussions are to you if you manoeuvre Half Withered Red once more.”
At once, Su Yang didn’t know what he should do.
Luo Yu asked: “Do you want to accompany him for one or two years or do want one or two months together?”
This was a difficult question and Su Yang couldn’t make up his mind at the moment.
He knew that he and Gu Feidi were in fact anticipating the moment when they were able to fully possess one another, but… he also desired a longer time together.
At that moment, he couldn’t have both. Regardless, he had to make a choice.
Seeing Su Yang downcast and lost in thought, Luo Yu said: “This matter is between the two of you. You ought to talk it over with him.”
“No,” Su Yang’s reply was extremely steadfast, “I… I don’t want him to know that Half Withered Red and the Cold Pond Ice Spirit would harm my lifespan.”
Regardless if it was the Cold Pond Ice Spirit or the Half Withered Red, both were pertinent to him saving Gu Feidi’s life. If Gu Feidi were to know that these two things were to blame for putting him at death’s door, he didn’t know how huge the psychological shock to Gu Feidi would be——while he hadn’t intentionally used his lifespan to exchange for Gu Feidi’s, this outcome was too distressing. He didn’t want Gu Feidi to know.
Su Yang thought he could leave matters to luck and asked: “If there was a way that he wouldn’t know I would die…”
Luo Yu let out a sharp breath, “You will unavoidably weaken gradually. As the one who’s most intimate with you, how would he not be aware of it? Besides, if there was a way to withhold it from him, wouldn’t he suffer more when you eventually go?”
Su Yang bit his lip for a while and mumbled, “That’s better than cutting meat with a blunt knife*…”
(*TN : it’s better that he knows later than sooner)
“This matter isn’t urgent, you still have time to consider it carefully.” Luo Yu said, “There’s a hot spring here, so it won’t be too cold during winter. You can stay for some time.”
Su Yang could only nod.
Suddenly, he remembered something and looked at Luo Yu, “Um, Divine Doctor…”
Luo Yu: “What is it?”
Su Yang said: “Earlier in the hot spring, Gu Feidi found out that there are some words concealed by a tattoo on my back. I asked him what was written, but he refused to say and his expression wasn’t good. Could you… could I trouble you to help me see what the words are?”
Luo Yu narrowed his eyes slightly and said in a low voice, “…words?”
He muttered to himself for a moment then nodded: “Come over, I’ll have a look.”
Su Yang turned so that his back was facing Luo Yu. He undid the cotton robe down to his waist and revealed his back tattoo before Luo Yu’s eyes.
Luo Yu stared at the bunch of Queen of the Night flowers for a while, then gently touched the skin on Su Yang’s back.
He slowly felt along the long- healed scars. After a long time he withdrew his hand, but his expression was already complicated—perplexed, absurd, distressed, indignant, grief and mixed with some disbelief.
Su Yang was certain that the words on his back weren’t anything good. His mind was restless and he asked hesitantly: “… What words are those? Can you tell me?”
Luo Yu instantly closed his eyes for a moment. When he opened them again, Su Yang saw that the look in them was completely different. His initial indifference had become a very baffling… very baffling anxiousness and remorse.
He said: “Among Eluo Ghost Tent’s dark magic, there is a type of… curse that even the Great Witch hardly uses, known as the ‘Ghost Blood Life Curse’.”
After speaking, he slowly got up. He walked behind the desk and supported himself on its corner to sit down.
He took a piece of paper and smoothed it out. Then, he began grinding the ink stick on the stone and picked up a brush. The tip of the brush hung over the paper, but he couldn’t control the slight trembling.
“In order for the Ghost Blood Life Curse to be fulfilled, it requires the fresh blood of the cursed person’s closest kin to be included into the curse. When the curse is ready…” Luo Yu’s voice was muted, “…the life of the closest kin is needed as sacrifice.”
He lowered his gaze and moved his brush onto the paper as he spoke, “Even in Eluo Ghost Tent, only… those witches who have been trained by the Great Witch can cast this curse.”
When he’d finished speaking, he’d also finished writing sixteen words on the paper.
This was the Ghost Blood Life Curse on Su Yang’s back—
“Sin lineage begets disaster, Heaven will serve justice. Su Yang’s short-lived, life is never crowned.”