In the night, Mt. Xuan appeared particularly quiet. Glancing across the dense trees in the darkness, a gloominess could be felt. From time to time, several dark shadows could be seen passing through the woods, along with the sharp gleam of their blades and the flickering torches in their hands. There were the occasional murmurs and shouts, as wells as a few suppressed cries.
At the foot of Mt. Xuan, a small tent suddenly appeared. Inside were three people. Among them were the handsome Young Master Hei(Black) Feng Xi sitting in a seat, along with Zhong Li and Zhong Yuan serving at his side.
He suddenly looked up at the night sky outside the tent. In the middle of the vask darkness hung a crescent moon.
“Zhong Li, send the signal,” Feng Xi faintly commanded.
“Yes, Young Master,” Zhong Li answered before he went out of the tent. With a wave of his hand, something flew into the dark skies and instantly there was a burst of brightness but very quickly it had extinguished.
In the next moment, the skies lit with similar bursts of brightness in 4 different directions, all of which were fleeting. Only those attentive could have seen it clearly.
Once the brightness faded and the night skies returned to its prior darkness, Feng Xi picked up the teacup, uncovered the lid and lowered his head to smell the fragrance of the tea. Taking a shallow sip, he nodded and remarked, “The amount of tea leaves is not too little nor too much, the length of time it was brewed is also perfect. The fragrance is light and gentle. At first it’s bitter but has a sweet aftertaste, neither concentrated nor astringent. This is good tea, indeed.”
“Young master, Miss Xi is still in the mountains” Zhong Yuan suddenly said.
“With that woman’s skills, she can descend the mountain safely,” Fengxi said with an attitude of unconcern. He then lifted his hand and Zhong Yuan immediately took the teacup from him. “If she can’t break through it… then she’s not worthy of being called Bai(white) Feng Xi, having the same name as me!” He looked up at the night skies and the sparse stars which would occasionally glow brightly.
At the moment, the northern peaks of the mountains were illuminated with fire.
After scouring through the mountains in the middle of the night, the heroes from all walks of life were overcome with exhaustion and hunger, their clothes drenched with sweat.
“Where the hell is Yan Ying Zhou hiding?” someone asked angrily.
“Indeed! Lao zi(I, your father) has labored all day without eating or drinking. It’s all the darn Yan Ying Zhou’s fault!” someone agreed.
“And that Bai Feng Xi! If it wasn’t for her, we would’ve already gotten our hands on the Xuanzun seal! ” Someone insisted angrily.
“Yes! She’s a meddlesome one! If she falls into Lao zi’s hands one day, Lao zi will slice her into pieces to relieve the hatred in my heart! ” someone proclaimed, gnashing his teeth.
“Hero He, I think we should go down the mountain first. It’s so dark, it’s impossible to find him.
It’s better to return and rest, then come back tomorrow, ” someone suggested.
“That’s true,” some people agreed. “After we descend the mountain, we will send people to guard the mountain pass. As long as Yan Ying Zhou goes down, we will catch him.”
The one known as ‘Hero He’ was He Xun, the head of Heavenly Merit Protection Agency which was found all throughout Eastern Realm. With a huge force and widespread connections, he had naturally become the leader of the group.
He Xun looked at the tired faces of the crowd. He too craved the warmth of a meal and blanket. Immediately, he nodded and said, “Alright, let’s return for now and head back tomorrow. Even if Yan Ying Zhou wants to escape, he won’t be able to.”
Thus, a group of people proceeded to descend the mountain.
It was faster to go down the mountain than to climb up. Moreover, these people were all martial arts practitioners, their movements lively and vigorous. With the temptation of delicious food and savory wine at the foot of the mountain, their steps were swift and agile. The streetlights of the city down below could be seen in front of them, merely a distance away.
But as they walked and walked, they found that no matter how far they went, they were still in the same place as before. The lights in front of them seemed to be within reach yet it was actually so far away.
translations at peachblossomgrove . com
“Strange! Why are we back in the same place?” someone yelled.
“A ghost hasn’t trapped us here, have they?” someone exclaimed in fear.
As soon as these words fell, everyone could feel an increasing gloominess in the surrounding air. With a gust of wind, the torches in their hands blew out and darkness surrounded them.
“Heavens! Ghost ….ghosts!” suddenly someone screamed in horror.
“Heavens! There’s a ghost! Help!”
“Don’t catch me! Get out of here!”
“Help! Help… “
“Get away! You devils! I’ll slice you to death!”
“Ah!…. Ghosts are killing people!”
These people who claimed to be heroes were either running for their lives or slashing at ghosts in horror.
In the dark, only the faint stars and moons hanging in the sky could see them all killing each other, staining the grounds beneath their feet with scarlet-red blood as severed limbs piled over one another.
Finally, after a long while, the cries of despair and the sound of massacre stopped. The foot of Mt. Xuan was surrounded in silence.
A mile away, there were a few flashes of light in the darkness, as if waiting for the return of a traveler.
Feng Xi woke up with a burst of pain. Opening her eyes, she found herself in a cave with a small campfire, faintly illuminating the surroundings.
She bent her head to look down and discovered a cut on her left hand along with Yan Ying Zhou. His head was bent down towards her hand, using internal force to suck the poison out of the wound as blood, dyed purple, dripped to the ground.
“Don’t…” Feng Xi tried to say but her voice sounded so faint, even fainter than the purr of a kitten. She then tried to stop him but found she couldn’t move her body at all. What kind of poison was this? It’s so powerful!
After a while, Yan Ying Zhou stopped sucking the poison and took out the Heart of Buddha pill from within her sleeve. He crushed it and sprinkled it over her cut wound before tearing off a piece of his clothes to bandage it.
While he did all this, she was gazing down at her hand and his beneath the faint light. Her hand was no longer discolored as before, it had greatly lightened. However, his hand was a different story, a poisonous purple had materialized and completely engulfed his left hand.
In an instant, panic gripped her.
She remembered that she had swallowed 2 Heart of Buddha pills which could detoxify all kinds of poisons. So why did she still have poison in her body? A terrible thought flashed through her mind, making her shudder.
“What poison is this?” she asked in a hoarse voice
“Withering Vine Grass,” Yan Ying Zhou answered calmly.
Withering Vine Grass – the most poisonous toxin in the world! It could be said to be a poison without an antidote.
“You …you…..” Feng Xi looked at his calm face and really wanted to give him a beating to wake him up. But her heart couldn’t bear it. After a long while, she said in a hoarse voice, “Are the four generals Wind, Frost, Snow, and Rain of Huang Kingdom as foolish as you? If that’s the case, I’d doubt whether Zheng Tian Qi(Fight for Heaven Ride??) of Huang Kingdom is actually just a false reputation. How can people like you compete for the world?”
“I, Yan Ying Zhou, never owes anyone favors. You sucked out poison for me before. Now I suck out the poison for you. In the future, you and I won’t owe each other anymore. Besides, you’re poisoned because of me,” Yan Ying Zhou calmly stated.
He glanced down at her hand which was slender and smooth as jade. It was still slightly purple but beautiful nevertheless. Such a pair of hands wielded white silk, taking people’s lives as well as saving them. Such a pair of hands, in fact, such a person should be resting next to the screen window, picking orchids, lowering her head to smell the flowery fragrance with a gentle smile.
“How can there be such a person as you? Knowing that it’s a poison that can’t be resolved, why would you suck it out? Do you really want to die?” Feng Xi said weakly with a sigh. But in the next moment, something suddenly occurred to her, making her whole body freeze!
There was no more Heart of Buddha pills!
There were only six pills in the bottle but the last one has been applied to her wound just now. There was no way to even preserve his life!
“Although the poison can’t be resolved, you must hold on for as long as you can.” Yan Ying Zhou let go of her hand and looked at her quietly. “Bai Feng Xi isn’t the type of person who would die so easily.”
“And you? Don’t take your life seriously? ” Feng Xi glared at him. Beneath the flickering flames of the fire, his handsome face was expressionless but his pair of eyes rippled with a subtle undercurrent.
All of a sudden, Yan Ying Zhou got up and put out the fire. Then, leaning against the wall, he treaded towards the mouth of the cave and looked outside. Then he went back and moved her deeper into the cave and hid her.
“The men in black are coming? You… ” Feng Xi’s voice abruptly halted as he sealed her mute accupoint.
His hand was big and his skin was rough as his fingers hovered across her cheeks not daring to touch her, like a dragonfly lingering across the lake surface. He then quickly withdrew his hand and grabbed the sword resting at his waist. He turned around and walked out of the cave.
Don’t go! Don’t go!
Feng Xi silently cried out, anxiously staring at his departing figure.
Don’t go! If you leave, there’s only death awaiting you!
As if hearing her cry, Yan Ying Zhou suddenly stopped and looked back at her. He stood still for a moment as if gripped in an internal struggle before finally he went back to her side.
In the dark cave, she could feel his eyes, deep and scorching, looking down at her. He then lowered her head and whispered in her ear, “I will come back! I’ll come back and find you in the next life! My next life will not be short-lived! Feng Xi, remember me!”
His lips then gently brushed against hers, light as a feather but in the next moment, his lips pressed against her roughly, biting her. She could feel a tingling pain on her lips then the taste of a faint fishy sweetness(taste of blood??) on the corner of her mouth. The last thing she saw was his pair of eyes that shone like stars in the night, the reluctance to part evident in the depth of his gaze.
A drop of tear fell.
Was it her’s? Or was his? She only knew that the black figure had already walked out of the cave. What ensued was the sounds of clashing swords resonating from outside. She knew that she may never see him again……
Just to clarify, the previous translator said that Yan Ying Zhou was from Hua Kingdom, but that is actually a mistake, he is from Huang Kingdom.