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~
Once the snowstorm had died down the next morning, a foot of snow had accumulated on the road. It glittered and scintillated when reflecting the pale sunlight.
The roads weren’t easy to travel on but Su Yang and his party still decided to set off. The horses weren’t able to gallop, so Gu Feidi simply hugged Su Yang in his arms and shared a horse together. It was also convenient for him to warm up Su Yang using his internal strength.
At that time, the temperature in the northern part of the Central Plains was already exceedingly low. The snow melted slightly at noon and would soon solidify into ice at dusk. Fortunately, the winter weather was dry and they didn’t encounter anymore snowstorms on the way. It took the group five days before they finally entered Qingwu County. They could spy the outline of Meizhu Mountain’s exquisitely curved ridges from a distance in the fiery red sunset.
They took the straight path all the way and avoided many villages and towns, but the news that Tengyun Pavilion was rallying the Central Plains martial arts world’s forces in preparation to go to the Wasteland to surround and annihilate the Devil Sect still made its way to Su Yang’s and Gu Feidi’s ears.
Su Yang was already aware of the storyline from early on, so he wasn’t at all amazed but merely felt disappointed that fate was unavoidable. On the contrary, when Gu Feidi first caught wind of this news, he was a little worried. He’d observed Su Yang’s expression for a whole day, fearing that he’d be troubled and angered by that matter.
When he subsequently noticed that Su Yang wasn’t worried about the Devil Sect, Gu Feidi realised that his origins weren’t superficial and was relieved.
——At any rate, the most important thing for both of them at present was to resolve the extremely cold internal force in Su Yang’s body.
Only when they’d settled Su Yang’s issue could they deliberate on the disputes of the Jianghu and the martial arts circles.
Currently, Meizhu Mountain was also covered with a layer of pure white snow. The once lush broad-leaved forest had long since faded, leaving only the dark tree trunks bearing the heavy snow. It appeared as though white pear blossoms had bloomed all over the mountain.
In order to guarantee that Su Yang could successfully ascend Meizhu Mountain and return to Lesser Jade House, Gu Feidi dual cultivated with him once that evening. Early the next morning, the group retained the horses in Meizhu Town, packed their bags and headed up the mountain on foot.
Su Yang held a Heart Warming Pill in his mouth, clasping Gu Feidi’s hand tightly and climbing along the dense forest trail behind him.
When they passed a small open space, Su Yang footsteps abruptly paused. He turned his head to look at Gu Feidi and grinned: “I seem to have some impression of the layout of these trees.”
Gu Feidi squeezed Su Yang’s hand and smiled: “Yes, this is where we met for the first time.”
Su Yang felt a little ridiculous when he thought back to what happened when they’d both first met.
The ‘him’ at that time was dedicated to desperately complying with the storyline, treating everyone he met as characters on paper and reciting lines verbatim from the script…… Now that he recalled it, if he’d swapped places with Gu Feidi, he’d definitely believe that the ‘him’ from back then was malfunctioning.
“So last time……” Gu Feidi said softly, “Why did you feed me the Lianxiang Rejuvenating Pill?”
“Obviously it was to save your life.” Su Yang replied impatiently, “You were so badly injured at the time, it looked like you had one foot in the grave already……”
Gu Feidi’s gaze fell to the side——onto the tree he’d once leaned against. After a moment, he said: “Back then, I wasn’t able to control ‘Nirvana’ by myself. Once I’m heavily injured, the technique would automatically cause me to enter a tortoise-breath state to heal the injuries. Then it would appear as if I’m seriously injured and dying.”
Su Yang couldn’t help glowering at him, “So my medicine was actually squandered on you?”
“It wasn’t actually squandered.” “Gu Feidi said, “Previously in the Wasteland underground, if it wasn’t for the fragrance of Rejuvenating Pills on my body, the Devil Sect troops wouldn’t have located us so quickly.”
When he mentioned the Wasteland underground where they’d met up with the Devil Sect’s flower aides who’d tracked them down, Su Yang grew a little angry: “If they hadn’t showed up, you wouldn’t have been infected with the blood Gu.”
Having heard what he said, Gu Feidi was silent for a moment and soon it seemed as if he was talking to himself softly: “Yes… if I wasn’t infected with the blood Gu, you wouldn’t have practiced Half Withered Red as a result.”
“But…” he pondered for a while and added, “If I was never infected with the Gu, I doubt I would’ve followed you to the Devil Sect and it would’ve been impossible to have persevered until we revealed our feelings and hearts to each other.”
As he spoke, he turned and looked at Su Yang’s eyes with a wan smile that was either bitter or joyful: “The ‘me’ at that time faltered…… because I knew that our identities were different, our factions were different, we each had our own responsibilities and where we belonged. Moreover, both of us were men…… Fortunately, I came across an opportunity that I couldn’t forgo.”
Su Yang tickled the center of Gu Feidi’s palm with his fingertip and smiled: “The reason why things happened was because they were all meticulously prearranged.”
Gu Feidi looked at him, released a sigh and said: “Therefore, I don’t know if I should thank the person who infected me with the Gu or hate him for causing you and me to suffer so much.”
Su Yang made a ‘tsk’ sound, he leaned forward and rubbed Gu Feidi’s arm with his shoulder, smiling: “The road to happiness is strewn with setbacks!”
Su Yang didn’t speak again until tidy, carved flagstones began to appear beneath their feet and the road leading to Lesser Jade House’s mountain gate could be perceived through the gradually thinning forests.
“Previously when we met up for the second time before the mountain gate, you looked furious.” Su Yang raised the corner of his eyebrow at Gu Feidi and asked, “At that time, did you think that you’d lost a lot of face having been saved by such an evil person from the Devil Sect like me?”
Gu Feidi smiled and shook his head.
“Then what were you upset at?” Su Yang asked.
Gu Feidi regarded the distant stone steps and gave a light laugh: “It was rumoured in the Jianghu that the Devil Sect’s Young Saint was fond of men and loved handsome youths the most. As such, the Lianxiang Rejuvenating Pill would turn me into a target that would never be able to evade the Devil Sect’s pursuit.”
Having conversed until this juncture, Su Yang could already visualise that his actions at that time would’ve prompted Gu Feidi to arrive at that conclusion. It was utterly laughable and embarrassing.
Gu Feidi was also slightly abashed and continued with a smile: “So back then, Wei Qi xiong, Lingyun and I all speculated that you—in fact……”
“Speculated that I—in fact—had that kind of thought towards you?” Su Yang asked, raising his eyebrows.
“Shhh—” Gu Feidi quickly raised his hand to cover Su Yang’s mouth and threw a glance at Luo Yu and Qin Jianyue who were walking ahead of them.
Qin Jianyue didn’t seem to have the slightest reaction. Luo Yu cast the two of them a look and turned back around with a blank expression. His shoulders shook a little and he was clearly laughing.
Su Yang’s grip on Gu Feidi’s hand tightened, he gave him a wicked smile, bit his lip and pulled him closer, nearer to his cheek.
“This Young Saint is indeed fond of charming, good-looking youths.” Su Yang smiled, extremely pleased with himself. He adopted the initial demeanour of the Devil Sect’s Young Saint and said, “You can’t escape from the palm of my hand.”
Gu Feidi gazed into Su Yang’s eyes, couldn’t help exerting a little strength and tugging him to face him, whispering: “I’ve already been your prisoner since long ago or don’t you remember?”
After speaking, he lowered his eyelashes and kissed Su Yang’s rosy lips once.
Su Yang refused to concede defeat and lifted his hand to curl around Gu Feidi’s neck to deepen the shallow kiss.
“Mmm, it’s a little hot.”
Their lips parted and Gu Feidi smiled, “The Heart Warming Pill hasn’t finished dissolving yet; don’t be naughty.”
The two intertwined their ten fingers all the way, having boisterous fun. The distance between Luo Yu, Qin Jianyue and them were growing farther and farther apart. In the end, Gu Feidi had to carry Su Yang on his back and used his light footwork to catch up with the two elders. Only then did they arrive at Lesser Jade House’s mountain gate together.
Right at that moment, two figures slowly walked down the stone steps from within the mountain gate.
Luo Yin was still fully garbed in ‘no-sense-of-existence’ grey clothes. His face was serene and expressionless, looking just like he did two years ago; without the slightest change. A smiling Chi Tong followed in his wake. He was dressed in his usual red and still indistinguishable from man or woman.
Chi Tong looked up to see Su Yang and Gu Feidi holding hands. He astonishingly raised his eyebrows, sprang down from the flight of mountain steps without greeting the elders and headed straight to the two of them, smiling: “It’s been over half a year that we haven’t seen each other. Who’d have thought that both of you…… are actually in this kind of relationship? When Shizun mentioned it, I still thought she was jesting…… hurry up and tell me, how did this happen?
Those words immediately recalled Su Yang’s longing for Lesser Jade House.
The ‘him’ back then was still muddled with this world and his daily worries were simply martial arts training and comparing techniques. He never expected that after completing his discipleship, the recent handful of months felt even more exhausting and lengthier than his two years spent in Lesser Jade House.
Who knew that before Su Yang could reply, Qin Jianyue, who was standing nearby, abruptly frowned and called out: “Danyang?”
Chi Tong instantly turned and carefully studied the person for some time before calling out in astonishment: “…Sixth shu*?!”
(*TN : father’s younger brother; uncle)
Qin Jianyue fixed a serious gaze at Chi Tong for a long while and asked: “How did you come to be in Lesser Jade House, and…… dressed as a man?”
His question filled both Su Yang and Gu Feidi with amazement.
This Chi Tong—who’d been reluctant to reveal the slightest hint of gender for two years—was actually a lady?
When he heard this question, Chi Tong smiled: “During that year, Sixth shu left the palace early, so of course you weren’t aware of my situation. I’m actually…… a man.”
“But……” Qin Jianyue’s frown deepened. “Why would your Imperial Concubine mother raise you as a daughter?”
The corners of Chi Tong’s mouth remained upturned, but what he said next made everyone inevitably speechless: “That’s because I can also be a daughter.”
Su Yang was thoroughly puzzled.
It wasn’t just about Chi Tong’s gender issues, but the conversation between the two had also mentioned the words ‘left the palace’ and ‘Imperial Concubine mother’.
He turned to Gu Feidi for help, only to see that Gu Feidi was likewise dumbfounded.
While everyone was aware that the current emperor’s surname was ‘Qin’, no one would’ve suspected that the one who’d accompanied Eluo Ghost Tent’s prince to flee and live in seclusion on the Snow Mountain would actually be related to the emperor.
And Chi Tong called this person ‘Sixth shu’.
Chi Tong also said that he was a man, but he could also be a daughter.
The volume of information in this exchange was somewhat immense, Su Yang said to himself…… His brain was prone to freezing.
Chi Tong’s gaze darted from the shocked Su Yang and Gu Feidi before finally settling on Qin Jianyue. He smiled and said: “It was naturally more suitable to be treated as a princess than a prince with a figure like mine. Except that…… Imperial Concubine mother later gave birth to my didis and meimeis*. I was getting older and knew that it wasn’t easy to establish myself, so I invited myself out of the palace.”
(*TN : didi = younger brother, meimei = younger sister)
Qin Jianyue’s expression was slightly woeful.
Chi Tong laughed: “Sixth shu doesn’t have to feel sorry for me. When I invited myself out of the palace, Imperial Father felt guilty and granted me a pledge. At this moment, my purpose for leaving Lesser Jade House was to find him to fulfil this pledge. Sixth shu is accompanying……” He said as he cast a glance at Luo Yu and continued, “……accompanying this elder here presumably for the same matter.”
After speaking, Chi Tong turned to place his hand on Luo Yin’s shoulder, pulled him close and asked with a smile: “This elder is also your shushu?”
Luo Yin was still expressionless. He turned slightly to face Luo Yu, raised his hands and issued a salute that none there had ever witnessed before: “Shu fu*.”
(*TN : a more formal address for one’s father’s younger brother; uncle)
Luo Yu returned the salute and heaved a sigh: “Back then—when that incident occurred, I never assisted you. I’m really ashamed to hear you call me ‘shu fu’.”
Luo Yin lowered his eyelashes and didn’t speak any more. His temperament appeared even more fleeting and inconsequential than it was over half a year ago.
It was then that a queer and uncomfortable silence emerged among the four of them.
Chi Tong gave a light laugh and changed the subject.
“That’s right, Su Yang.” He fished out a long, narrow square box from within his lapels and handed it over to Su Yang, “Shizun had me deliver this for you to put on.”
Su Yang was still recovering from the shock of hearing Luo Yin say ‘shu fu’. His brain hadn’t yet figured out his and Luo Yin’s relationship, so he gave up thinking. He reached out to take the square box and opened it.
Inside the box was a flaming red jade pendant that had been carved into the shape of a phoenix. It radiated a gurgling warmth and surged with heat when he held it in his palm.
“This is……?” Su Yang looked at Chi Tong in awe.
Chi Tong smiled: “Shizun didn’t tell me what it was, only that you must wear it next to your skin. You mustn’t remove it when you return to the Devil Sect or when you travel to the Icefield.”
Su Yang was stunned again: “Return to the Devil Sect? What am I returning there for? I came here to return to Lesser Jade House……”
Chi Tong shook his head, drew out a letter and handed it to Gu Feidi, saying: “Shizun likely meant that both of you should first go and handle the matters that you ought to do.”
Gu Feidi frowned, opened the letter and read it silently along with Su Yang:
“Feifei and Susu will first go to Devil City in the Wasteland and Icefield Ghost Tent As long as the phoenix agate doesn’t break Susus body will be fine even if he uses his internal strength Eluo Ghost Tent Great Witchs White Firework Gu Mother Gu is Feifeis lucky chance You won’t come across it again once its missed it Remember at all costs after entering the Wasteland both of you must travel together and there mustnt be a moments separation”