Translated by Jouissance of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Chu YunShu’s breath stuttered. His gaze was as emotionless as ever, directed towards Chu WuQing, as if he could see through the clouds and view the reality of their heavenly paths. Even trapped in the mortal realm, his Path was pure and clear.
However, Chu YunShu’s slender fingers were trembling.
He had experienced this uncontrollable tremor many times since the start of the trials. However, never before had he felt so intensely mortal and weak, his tremors causing even his heartbeat to stutter, completely out of control.
His trembling fingers touched Chu WuQing’s forehead. His gaze grew colder, but a blush crept up his ears. Taking a deep breath, his fingers began to glide down uncontrollably.
They brushed over the contours of the other’s eyes and nose that he dreamt about so often, stopping at that pair of red lips, shining from the touch of a tongue…
After Chu WuQing returned from Gu Yu’s abode, he began meditating. It was a normal, daily activity, yet for some reason, he fell asleep from it.
Logically speaking, he had established foundations already, and thus fully stepped onto the path of cultivation. He did not need sleep, yet his mind had grown tired and his eyelids had become heavy.
This was such a strange feeling; it had the alarm bells in his head going off. He raised his arm, wanting to summon Chu You, but he had barely lifted his arm before his drowsy mind pulled it down once more and fell into a deep sleep.
Swathes of demonic energy appeared around his white robes, forming a cocoon around him, covering him completely.
Chu WuQing’s mind was still muddled with sleep when he felt two long thin objects press themselves into his mouth and swirl around. He wanted to speak and say, “A’Ci, not now.”
However, he didn’t manage to make a noise. He startled awake in shock and cold sweat.
Chu YunShu sat at his bedside.
He was as cold and uncaring as usual, his gaze lofty and prideful, but his hands were playing around with Chu WuQing’s tongue.
Chu WuQing’s heart froze. Chu YunShu wasn’t planting some sort of curse or spell in his body to turn him into a puppet or transform him into a vessel for the other’s demonic energy, was he?
He struggled, trying to back away. He attempted to push out the fingers in his mount with his tongue, but an arm wrapped itself around him tightly from behind, suppressing all his struggles.
“Awake now?” Chu YunShu asked emotionlessly, taking his fingers out of Chu WuQing’s mouth. Strands of saliva clung to his fingers and he placed his fingers in his own mouth, licking them as if tasting some finely made treats and not another person’s saliva.
“What the hell are you doing, pervert?” Chu WuQing tried to yell angrily. Could this be some kind of special Gu 1 ceremony invented by demons? How come he had never heard of anything like this before?
Yet all that came out of his mouth was a weak and soft, “Sir 2 , I….”
Chu YunShu’s gaze darkened, demanding strictly, “You had alcohol? It’s barely been seven days since I punished you to write lines from the Book of Documents and you’ve already forgotten the rules about alcohol again?”
What the hell was going on? Chu WuQing’s brain was still heavy and muddled. He wanted to move but realised that his body felt soft and heavy as if he had gotten drunk. He wasn’t even given the time to think before his mouth was already speaking of its own volition, “This student shouldn’t have snuck out, but definitely hasn’t had even a drop of wine!”
The ChengEn Earldom’s young lord 3 had a rather interesting constitution. Even if he got blackout drunk, he still wouldn’t emit a foul scent of alcohol, instead exuding a lovely aroma. For example, if he had Osmanthus wine, all you would smell on him would be the wonderful floral aroma of Osmanthus.
So he could easily cover up his deeds by saying it was just the smell of incense or his sachet.
Teacher Chu YunShu swept his gaze over the room.
Chu WuQing began to feel anxious for no reason. Though he didn’t know what was going on here between him and Chu YunShu, a feeling of foreboding manifested.
His heart leapt into his throat when Chu YunShu’s gaze approached the empty wine jug that had fallen onto the ground.
In the end, Chu YunShu retracted his gaze, not noticing the wine jug.
Chu WuQing let out a long sigh of relief.
He hadn’t even managed to finish his sigh when his chin was gripped and tilted upwards.
The corner of Chu YunShu’s lips curled upwards, but his gaze remained deep and unreadable. “You won’t admit it? Then I’ll have to check myself.”
Once he finished speaking, Chu YunShu used his left hand to grab the back of Chu WuQing and kissed him roughly, pushing his tongue between the other’s teeth forcibly.
Chu WuQing wanted to resist. He tried to use his own tongue to expel the soft object invading his mouth, but only gave the other a chance to entangle their tongues together.
A hint of warmth finally appeared in Chu YunShu’s eyes, making him seem more alive than ever. His right hand held Chu WuQing’s waist to support it. Rather than support, it was more accurate to say trap, making sure that his student was unable to run and could only take his teacher’s punishment.
“Since when was WuQing so well-behaved, hm? Submitting your tongue for inspection to me so eagerly,” Chu YunShu spoke to him telepathically as he mercilessly tasted every inch of Chu WuQing’s tongue from base to tip.
“I can taste the scent of wine, and you say you didn’t have any?”
“Ermf… leg’go of me,” Chu WuQing demanded, voice thick and muffled. His nose was a little red. The kiss was simply too overwhelming, stealing all the air from his lungs. His current mortal body couldn’t even breathe.
“This is a punishment for my misbehaving disciple.” Chu YunShu deepened the kiss, his tongue sweeping over every corner of Chu WuQing’s mouth, meticulously checking how much wine Chu WuQing had. “You’ve already been learning under me for half a year and you don’t even know how to breathe actively?”
“Sh-shameless!” This time, Chu WuQing finally managed to get the words he wanted to say out, his eyes teary as he glared at Chu YunShu in rage. Unfortunately for him, his reddened eyes, short gasps of breath and that look of being close to tears… it just made people want to bully him more.
That glare of his had him…
“You’ve forgotten the basic human instinct of how to breathe?” Chu YunShu’s gaze darkened further, his fingers pressing firmly against Chu WuQing’s slender and soft waist. “Then let your teacher teach you how.”
Chu WuQing’s tongue was forcibly guided into Chu YunShu’s mouth, tainting their breaths with sensuality. This sensual air seeped into Chu WuQing’s mouth as his tongue was played with, then travelled into his lungs, his head, making him dizzy and weak in the knees.
By the time they parted, this fragile young master’s body had practically melted into a puddle of water. He could only hang onto Chu YunShu, relying on the other’s embrace to support himself. Embarrassment soaked him to the bone yet strands of unbroken saliva still clung to his lips.
When he thought that it was over, Chu YunShu suddenly flipped him over. He was placed like a child across Chu YunShu’s legs, his head down and his ass raised high.
Chu WuQing had never experienced anything like this. He had always been aloof and prideful and used to being above all others. His rage and embarrassment could barely be contained. His eyes were red and filled with tears from how he had been bullied by the kiss just now.
It was so humiliating.
“Chu YunShu, have you gone crazy!? Did you get trapped in some hypnosis array?” He angrily attempted to wake the other up from whatever had gotten into him, trying to flip over and strike the other with his hands.
However, his waist was held tight by Chu YunShu, and the other even bound his hands together with a sash.
The Lianchou silk sash, carefully scented with expensive incense by a well-known courtesan, was a sensual red, contrasting against Chu WuQing’s pale skin. Delicate wrists tried to struggle free but were unable to move and escape.
“How come this sash is in your room? WuQing, you disappoint me. The entire earldom is working hard to maintain their good name, and your grandparents died on the battlefield to bring your family the glory you enjoy today… Yet, what are you doing? Not only do you drown yourself in alcohol, but you also even seek out lowly prostitutes for pleasure?”
“Let this hair ribbon left by that prostitute bind your wrists and be a lesson to you.”
Chu WuQing was enraged and embarrassed, a thin layer of sweat surfaced on his beautiful pale face along with a sickly sheen of red. Then he was yanked up by his bound wrists, his hands pulled above his head, forcing his body to open up from the front.
It was only thanks to his flexibility that he felt no pain from being manhandled like so.
Yet, that was when Chu YunShu’s voice rang out, imposing and commanding. “As your teacher, I must take responsibility for you. I have no choice but to punish you for your willing descent into depravity. Tell me, how many strikes to the buttocks will it take for you to learn your lesson?”
Chu HuanZhi’s voice rang in Chu WuQing’s ears. That voice was distant and ethereal, as if coming from beyond the clouds above, yet it pulled Chu WuQing back to reality.
He woke abruptly in his abode.
Looking around his familiar cultivation abode, his gaze was filled with confusion and disbelief. He couldn’t believe this, it felt like his entire world had been turned upside down.
What on earth had he just dreamt? Why would he ever dream of being with a man… and with Chu YunShu of all people…
Was this Chu YunShu’s doing? Chu WuQing’s brows furrowed. Impossible. Chu YunShu’s cultivation level wasn’t high enough to achieve this, and he loathed the Chu Clan. He wouldn’t do something like this.
Even if it were just to humiliate a member of the Chu Clan.
Chu YunShu thought of him as no more than an ant. How could he possibly do something so perverted to him, and why in his dreams?
Could it be… that someone set up an illusion array in his abode?
Using an array to force him into slumber and dream of such a weird situation, so that his spiritual resolve would be broken?
Did they think he was so weak that he’d panic at something so minor as a dream and destabilise his cultivation? Whoever it was, they had grossly underestimated him.
Though that was what he thought, Chu WuQing still felt a little uneasy. He felt off; his lips hurt like someone had kissed them roughly, and the weakness from the dream seemed to settle itself in his body. Chu WuQing quickly sent a message for Gu Yu to come and dismantle the array. While Gu Yu was carefully scouring each inch of his abode, Su BeiCi also arrived.
This was the first time Chu WuQing didn’t object to having more intimate contact with Su BeiCi, instead putting his arms around Su BeiCi’s waist, standing on his tiptoes to kiss the other. He wanted to wash that dream away from his mind.
Chu WuQing felt like his body regained its strength from pressing his lips clumsily against a girl’s.
Gu Yu paused in his search, darkness flashing through his eyes. However, he soon continued what he was doing, his pause too quick to be perceived.
Su BeiCi was completely stunned at the voluntary kiss he was given by QingQing. The young man in his arms kissed with such clumsy inexperience. Rather than a kiss, it was more of a peck of the lips.
Yet this clumsy, inexperienced kiss was like a treasure to Su BeiCi. His eyes filled with joy and excitement, as if he had tasted the sweetest fruit in the world.
No… A’Qing’s lips were sweeter than any fruit.
With his strength back, Chu WuQing immediately wanted to retreat. His emotions had completely calmed by now. However, he had only just pulled away when Su BeiCi pressed a hand against the back of his head and pulled him back in, deepening the kiss.
“Master,” Gu Yu raised his head, his voice sounding urgent. It seemed he had found something.
Chu WuQing hurriedly pushed Su BeiCi away, asking, “How is it?”
Gu Yu lowered his head and patted the putuan Chu WuQing used to meditate. Out of sight and in the shadow cast by his own body, his lips curled into a smile, yet the words he spoke were solemn, “There’s something wrong here.”
This was the first time he had ever lied about something Chu WuQing had ordered. He had thought he would never speak a lie to Chu WuQing, yet it came out so smoothly.
He surprised even himself.
He had betrayed his own heart and promises… but, it felt… good.
“No, I’m not betraying Master, only protecting him from being tainted by this lowly woman.” He mumbled to himself internally. “I wouldn’t go against anything Master ordered, because that’s the only way Master will notice me, but… as Master’s most loyal servant, I can’t be so passive and brainless in my loyalty, not protecting Master when someone is after him like so.”
“Only this is the exception.”
With his mind cleared and heart set, Gu Yu’s smile widened, but when he turned his head to face Chu WuQing, his expression was one of flawless worry, as if he had just been contemplating a very difficult problem. “If I’m correct, a powerful, talented expert has tampered with this putuan. In fact, they’ve turned this putuan into the eye of the array.”
As expected, it was just as he had thought. Chu WuQing asked, “Then can we dismantle the array by destroying the putuan?”
“No,” Gu Yu shook his head. “The reason why they must be an expert in Runesmanship is because though the putuan is the keystone of the array, after removing it, it will only trigger the next layer of the array. This illusion array is flawlessly set up. There’s no weak point we can exploit.”
Chu WuQing was shocked. Such a talented and powerful Runesmaster existed in this lower realm? Well, this realm had Xuan Shan and the Chu Clan battleships, so it wasn’t impossible that there were more hidden powerhouses here.
“Master does not need to worry. The ancestral peak’s secluded cultivation room is the place with the densest spiritual energy in the entire sect. It would be a shame to give it up for something so minor.” Gu Yu’s heart ached to see the worry on Chu WuQing’s face. He knelt down onto one knee and said, “Though this array is difficult, I have faith that I will be able to dismantle it in half a month. No need to worry, master, I will not disturb you in the slightest when you’re meditating.”
Gu Yu very smartly took a step back, leaving the other space to breathe after pushing so much. “In addition, this array will be quite a challenge for me. I won’t be in Master’s abode all the time. I will require much time to plan my approach and experiment. I will only be actively working on it for around two hours each day.”
“Very well,” Chu WuQing decided. There was no other choice. He was just confused about why he had heard his father’s voice in that dream before being awoken.
Chu HuanZhi meditated on his spiritual platform, layers of clouds flowing past beneath his feet.
His eyes were closed, no joy nor sorrow, no past nor future.
If there were any elite sword cultivators around, they would notice the deep, mysterious spiritual essence radiating from his body. Just observing it would bring them infinite enlightenment.
Chu HuanZhi suddenly opened his eyes; they were red and bloodshot.
The divine clouds that flowed in the great hall suddenly froze to ice. Ten li of red mist around the center of the Chu estate turned to bloody rivers. It was like the apocalypse had descended, like a god’s rage.
“QingQing,” the words came heavy from Chu HuanZhi’s lips, teeth almost tearing into his own flesh. The runes he had implanted inside Chu WuQing’s body had been triggered.
He knew how alluring his treasure was, but he never used this as a reason to imprison and chain the other in the name of protection.
Instead, he gave Chu WuQing everything, allowed him to do whatever he wanted, giving him immeasurable support and power.
The situation in the lower realm happened so suddenly. The unknown implied possible opportunities. If that was what WuQing chose, he wouldn’t prevent the other from going just because it would mean the other leaving his sphere of control. He wouldn’t turn the other into a caged bird, its wings clipped and living forever sheltered.
Chu WuQing was his son, the son of Chu HuanZhi. He inherited this proud bloodline.
In respect of the other’s choices, he had made sure to plan everything and prepare everything needed for this excursion of Chu WuQing’s, but he… had miscalculated.
“QingQing.” Chu HuanZhi gritted his teeth hard. His usually cold and distant expression was twisted into something terrifying. Darkness rumbled in his eyes. He didn’t look one bit like the well-respected Xianjun of the Murderous Sword anymore. “Was I wrong?”
Chu HuanZhi’s fingers brushed against the tiny sword that hung at his waist. This sword was crudely made, not even strong enough to be graded. Even the poorest of Qi Condensation cultivators wouldn’t even consider it.
However, he had kept it on him like a precious treasure. This was the only artifact produced by Chu WuQing when he was twelve and had a sudden bout of interest in artificing.
Whenever Chu WuQing was away and Chu HuanZhi missed him, he would stroke the body of the sword, recalling Chu WuQing’s voice and face, suppressing the urge to bring him back.
Love was restraint.
Chu HuanZhi’s fingers danced across the sword, but his expression only grew darker and darker. His fingers pressed together just slightly, gently, and the sword cracked.
Picking up the two halves of the sword, Chu HuanZhi held it in his palms, sighing, “If so, then I shall change.”
- Gu is a bug-like or plant-like parasitic creature used in ancient Chinese witchcraft. Implanting a Gu in someone else’s body can do a wide variety of things, including causing pain, sucking out lifeforce, mind-control, etc. They usually come in pairs of male and female or mother and child, and one side will keep one of the Gu in the pair to control the other Gu that’s in their victim’s body.
- The term here used is the older term for “teacher”, and later on will be translated as “teacher” where appropriate. Nowadays, this term is used to mean “Mister” as a title of address.
- Using Earl here for 侯爷 and Earldom for 侯府. 侯 (hou) is the fourth ranked in Chinese aristocracy, with the Emperor and his children (princes and princesses), 王wang, and 公 gong above it. In terms of English aristocracy, Earl is also fourth ranked (discounting princes/princesses), with the king/queen, duke and marques above it.