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Chapter 100: Hatred (Part Three)
Translated by K of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
The guqin string was extremely thin. It was covered in special paint as well, making it almost unseeable by the eye. Along with how disoriented Wei WuXian was, unable to pay attention to anything else, he didn’t notice it when it wrapped around the vital region.
Wei WuXian, “Lan Zhan, don’t! Don’t back away!”
But Lan WangJi immediately walked five steps back without any hesitation. Jin GuangYao, “Wonderful. Now, please unsheathe Bichen.”
With a clank, Lan WangJi obeyed again. Wei WuXian raged, “Don’t ask for too much!”
Jin GuangYao, “This is already asking for too much? Next, I’m even going to ask HanGuang-Jun to seal away his spiritual powers. What would that be called?”
Wei WuXian seethed, “You…”
Before he could finish, the sharp pain of flesh being lacerated came from his throat. Something dripped down his neck. Lan WangJi’s face was pale. Jin GuangYao, “How could he not listen to me? Just think about it, Young Master Wei, his* life is in my hands.”
*T/n: Not a typo, WWX is LWJ’s life, that’s a fact.
Lan WangJi spoke a word at a time, “Do not touch him.”
Jin GuangYao, “Then you know what to do, HanGuang-Jun.”
A moment later, Lan WangJi responded, “Yes.”
Lan XiChen sighed. Lan WangJi raised his hands. With two strong taps, he locked his own spiritual powers.
Jin GuangYao smiled, his voice soft, “This really is…”
Lan WangJi’s eyes were locked on them, “Let him go.”
Wei WuXian, however, stopped him, “Lan Zhan! I-I have to tell you something.”
Jin GuangYao, “Let’s save it for later.”
Wei WuXian, “No. It’s really urgent.”
Jin GuangYao, “Then you can also say it right now.”
It was only an offhand comment, but Wei WuXian seemed as if he realized something, “You’re right.” Right after, Wei WuXian shouted with all he could, “Lan Zhan! Lan WangJi! HanGuang-Jun! Back then, I-I really wanted to sleep with you!”
Jin GuangYao’s hands loosened, and the string fell. As soon as he felt the stinging at his neck disappear, Wei WuXian threw himself at Lan WangJi, unable to wait a second longer.
The shocking confession just now struck Lan WangJi with such force that he still hadn’t finished processing it. A few rare streaks of loss and confusion appeared on his normally calm face. It wasn’t the first time Wei WuXian hugged him as if he was clinging on for dear life, but this time, it was as though Lan WangJi’s body had turned into a heavy log. He froze so much that he didn’t even know where to put his hands.
Wei WuXian, “Lan Zhan, did you hear what I said?!”
Lan WangJi’s lips moved. A moment later, he spoke, “You…” He’d always been concise and comprehensive with his words, never pausing at all. But right now, he paused with more hesitance than ever. Another moment later, he continued, “You said…”
He seemed as if he wanted to repeat it to make sure he didn’t hear it wrong. But to Lan WangJi, those words were indeed too hard to say. Immediately, Wei WuXian decided to say it again, “I said I really wanted to…”
“Ahem!” Standing on the side, Lan XiChen clenched his right hand into a fist and put it to his lips. After some thought, he sighed, “… Young Master Wei, it certainly isn’t the best time and place to say such words.”
Wei WuXian apologized without any sincerity, “I’m really sorry, Sect Leader Lan, but I really couldn’t wait a second longer.”
Jin GuangYao also seemed like he couldn’t wait a second longer. He turned around, “Have you still not dug it out yet?!”
One of the monks responded, “Sect Leader, you buried it too deep back then…”
Jin GuangYao’s expression twisted, his face pale. Even despite this, he didn’t scold his subordinate, “Hurry up!”
Before he finished, a white streak of lightning climbed across the sky. A moment later, thunder boomed. Jin GuangYao gazed at the sky, his face dark. Soon, thin strands of rain fluttered in the sky. Wei WuXian clung to Lan WangJi. He was still trying to let the endless words burst from his chest when the cold rain blew onto his face, calming him down.
Jin GuangYao turned to Lan XiChen, “ZeWu-Jun, it’s raining. Let’s take shelter in the temple.”
Even if Lan XiChen was already under his control, he still faced Jin GuanYao with complete courtesy, not treating him with the slightest bit of harshness. He didn’t seem any different from before except for being especially polite. It was hard to vent off to him even if one was angry. After all, one couldn’t slap a smiling face, much less someone like Lan XiChen who didn’t get angry much to begin with. Jin GuangYao stepped over the threshold first and entered the main palace. The rest of the group followed.
Wei WuXian and Lan WangJi had already come inside once during the day. The inside of the building was quite wide and grand. The red walls and the golden lacquer were all good as new. It was clear that people often cleaned the place. The monks and cultivators were digging at the back of the palace. However deep they’d dug already, they still hadn’t dug up what Jin GuangYao buried. Wei WuXian looked up unintentionally, and was immediately surprised.
The Guanyin statue atop the altar had beautiful features. Compared to the usual Guanyin statues, this one had less kindness and more grace. What made him somewhat surprised was that the Guanyin Temple seemed a bit familiar, like someone he knew. Wasn’t it Jin GuangYao, who was standing right there?
It wasn’t so stark at first glance, but when compared to Jin GuangYao, the two seemed more and more alike. Wei WuXian thought, Is Jin GuangYao really such a self-obsessed person? It wasn’t enough to be the Chief Cultivator of the entire world—he even had to carve a heavenly statue in his appearance to receive the worship of tens of thousands of people? Or is this some sort of dark cultivation technique that I don’t know about?
Lan WangJi’s voice suddenly rang beside his ears, “Sit.”
Wei WuXian’s thoughts immediately returned. Lan WangJi gathered four cushions from the temple, giving two to Lan XiChen and Jin Ling and two to Wei WuXian and him. But for some reason, both Lan XiChen and Jin Ling moved their cushions quite far away from them. And coincidentally, they gazed into the distance in unison.
Jin GuangYao and the rest had already gone behind the palace to inspect how the digging was going. Tugging Lan WangJi, Wei WuXian sat down on the cushion. Perhaps because his mind was far off, Lan WangJi’s figure wobbled from the tug before sitting down properly. Wei WuXian calmed himself a bit before gazing at Lan WangJi’s face.
His eyes looked down. Not many emotions could be seen. Wei WuXian knew that with just those words, Lan WangJi probably couldn’t believe him yet. He was tortured by a smiling, oblivious person who knew nothing of his crimes. It was only natural that he didn’t believe it. After he thought so, Wei WuXian felt his chest go heavy. His heart hurt so much it shivered. He didn’t dare think of it any longer, but he knew that he should increase the dose.
He spoke, “Lan Zhan, l-look at me.”
His voice was still a bit tight. Lan WangJi, “Mn.”
After a deep breath, Wei WuXian whispered, “… I really do have a bad memory. I can’t remember a lot of the things that happened in the past, including the time at the Nightless City. I don’t remember a single bit of what happened during those days.”
Hearing this, Lan WangJi’s eyes widened slightly.
Wei WuXian suddenly reached out and grabbed his shoulders, continuing, “But! But, from now on, what you say to me, what you do for me, I’ll remember all of them—I won’t forget a single thing!”
Wei WuXian, “You’re really great. I like you.”
“Or in other words, I fancy you, I love you, I want you, I can’t leave you, I whatever you.”
“I want to night-hunt with you for the rest of my life.”
Wei WuXian put three fingers together, pointing at the sky, the earth, and finally his heart, “And I want to sleep with you every day. I swear it’s not the heat of the moment or joking around like I’ve done in the past. I’m not doing it out of gratitude either. Anyways, it’s not because of anything else. I really just like you so much I want to sleep with you. I don’t want anyone but you—it can’t be anyone but you. You can do anything you want to me, however you like it. I’ll accept everything, as long as you’re willing to…”
Before he even finished, a gust of wind suddenly surged inside, putting out the rows of candles within the Guanyin Temple.
Without anyone noticing, the sprinkle had become a storm. The colliding lanterns outside the temple had already been dampened by the rainwater as well. Their surroundings suddenly sunk into darkness.
Wei WuXian couldn’t let out another sound. Amidst the darkness, Lan WangJi had already embraced him tightly, stopping him with his lips.
Lan WangJi’s breaths were short and disordered. His hoarse voice whispered beside Wei WuXian’s ear, “… fancy you…”
Wei WuXian hugged him tight, “Yes!”
Lan WangJi, “… love you, want you…”
Wei WuXian raised his voice, “Yes!”
Lan WangJi, “Cannot leave you… do not want anyone but you… it cannot be anyone but you!”
He repeated over and over again the words Wei WuXian said to him, his voice and his body trembling at the same time. Wei WuXian was almost under the illusion that he was about to cry.
After every sentence, the arm he wrapped around Wei WuXian’s waist tightened. Wei WuXian hurt from the embrace, but the arms he wrapped around Lan WangJi’s back tightened as well, almost making him unable to breathe. But still, he savored every moment as he wished to hug him even tighter.
He couldn’t see anything.
But their chests were right against each other’s. The two hearts couldn’t hide at all. Wei WuXian felt it with clarity—Lan WangJi’s throbbing heart, the heat that was about to break out of that chest, and something that landed at his neck before disappearing soundlessly, something that might have resembled a tear.
At this point, a series of quickened footsteps entered the main palace. Jin GuangYao, who had gone behind the palace to check on the situation with a few cultivators, returned again. Facing the strong wind, two monks stood each on one side, finally managing to shut and bolt the temple’s doors after exerting all their strength. Jin GuangYao fished out a fire talisman. After a light blow, the talisman ignited, and he used it to light up the red candles again. The dim, yellow flames were the only source of light in this lone temple amidst the night rain. Suddenly, two crisp knocks came from outside the door.
Hearing that someone was knocking, all of the people within the temple perked up their ears, looking at the entrance. The two monks who closed the doors seemed as though they faced a great threat. Soundlessly, they pointed their swords towards the doors.
Jin GuangYao’s expression didn’t change at all, “Who is it?”
The person outside, “Sect Leader, it’s me!”
It was Su She’s voice. Jin GuangYao gestured, and the two monks took off the bolt. Su She entered along with the roaring storm.
Affected by the wind and rain, the row of candles fluttered and flickered. The two monks immediately shut the doors again. Su She was drenched by the storm. His face was cold, and his lips were frozen to become a shade of purple. In his right hand he held his sword, and in his left a person. After he entered, he was just about to throw the person down when he saw Wei WuXian and Lan WangJi on two cushions by the side, still stuck together and refusing to part.
Su She had just suffered quite some losses from these two. His expression changed, and he immediately unsheathed his sword, glancing at Jin GuangYao. Seeing how he looked like nothing was wrong, Su She knew that these two were definitely under control already. He finally calmed down.
Jin GuangYao, “What’s wrong?”
Su She, “I met him on my way here. I thought he might be useful, so I caught him.”
Jin GuangYao approached and looked down, “Did you hurt him?”
Su She, “No. He was scared and passed out.” As he spoke, he tossed the person onto the ground. Jin GuangYao, “MinShan, don’t be so rough with him. He can’t take scares and falling down.”
Su She hurried, “Yes.” He then picked up the person whom he threw around and carefully placed them beside Lan XiChen. Lan XiChen had been staring at the person. He pushed aside their wet, messy hair and looked. The person who had been scared unconscious was indeed Nie HuaiSang. He’d probably been caught by Su She after he finished resting at Lotus Pier, on his way back to Qinghe.
He looked up, “Why did you seize HuaiSang?”
Jin GuangYao, “With another sect leader here, the others would be to some extent more careful anyways. But Brother, please don’t worry. You know how I’ve always been towards HuaiSang. When the time comes, I’ll definitely let you two leave without harm.”
Lan XiChen’s voice sounded indifferent, “Should I believe you?”
Jin GuangYao, “It’s your choice. Whether you believe me or not, Brother, you can’t do anything about it, can you?”
At this point, Su She threw his cool gaze towards Wei WuXian and Lan WangJi. He snickered, “HanGuang-Jun, Patriarch YiLing, who would’ve thought we’d meet so soon? And the tables have completely been turned. So how does it feel?”
Lan WangJi didn’t say anything. He never paid attention to such meaningless provocations. Wei WuXian thought to himself, How have the tables been turned? You were running away defeated back on Burial Mound, but aren’t you also running away defeated right now?
Perhaps Su She had been holding it back for too many years. He’d keep on rambling all on his own even without anyone provoking him. He examined Lan WangJi from top to bottom and mocked, “Things are already like this, and you’re still holding up the front you think looks so calm and collected. How long do you want to keep it up for?”
Lan WangJi was still silent. Lan XiChen, however, spoke up, “Sect Leader Su, when you were studying in the GusuLan Sect, I believe we never treated you badly. Why do you attack WangJi like this?”
Su She, “How dare I attack Second Young Master Lan, who’s been so talented ever since he was young? I just can’t bear looking at how he always thinks he’s such a big deal.”
Although it wasn’t the only time Wei WuXian knew that hatred could come without a reason, he still couldn’t help but be baffled, “Has HanGuang-Jun ever said he thinks he’s a big deal? If I remember correctly, isn’t ‘arrogance is forbidden’ part of the GusuLan Sect’s rules?”
Jin Ling, “Why do you know what’s part of the GusuLan Sect’s rules?”
Wei WuXian touched his chin, “I’ve copied them too many times, you know?”
Jin Ling blurted, “Why would you copy the GusuLan Sect’s rules? It’s not like you’re…” He wanted to say ‘it’s not like you’re from his sect’, but before he could finish, he felt where the oddness was. He stopped talking, his face darkening.
Wei WuXian grinned, “Is it because HanGuang-Jun’s had such an icy face ever since he was young, Sect Leader Su, that you think about him this way? If so, then HanGuang-Jun is so unfortunately misunderstood. He’s obviously like this towards everyone. You should be glad you didn’t study at the YunmengJiang Sect, Sect Leader Su.”
Su She’s voice was cold, “Why?”
Wei WuXian, “Or else you would’ve long since been angered to death by me. When I was young, every day I wholehearted believed that I was a prodigy, that I was such a fucking big deal. And not only did I believe it in my heart, I even flaunted it everywhere.”
Veins lined Su She’s forehead, “Shut up!” He seemed as if was about to strike when Lan WangJi pulled Wei WuXian towards his chest, firmly protecting him with his arms. Su She’s movements paused, debating whether or not he should attack.
Wei WuXian immediately peeked from behind Lan WangJi’s back, “It’s best if you don’t do anything, Sect Leader Su. LianFang-Zun is still fairly respectful towards ZeWu-Jun. If you hurt HanGuang-Jun, do you think LianFang-Zun would be happy?”
This was also the reason why Su She stopped. But now that Wei WuXian said it, he felt abnormally annoyed. He mocked again out of defiance, “I never imagined that the YiLing Patriarch, who legendarily strikes fear in both the living and the dead, would be scared of death himself!”
Wei WuXian responded shamelessly, “You really flatter me. But, it’s not that I’m scared of death. I just don’t want to die yet.”
Su She sneered, “Mincing words. Hilarious. Is there any difference between being scared of death and not wanting to die?”
Wei WuXian snuggled against Lan WangJi’s chest, “Of course there is. For example, right now, I don’t want to get up from Lan Zhan versus I’m scared of getting up from Lan Zhan—could they possibly be the same?” After some thought, he continued, “I’m sorry. I retract my words. I feel like they’re pretty much exactly the same thing.”
Su She’s face was almost green. To anger him was Wei WuXian’s original intention, anyways. But suddenly, from above him came a light laugh.
It was so extremely light that one would doubt they heard wrong.
But Wei WuXian immediately looked up. He very clearly saw beside Lan WangJi’s lips the transient glimpse of a soft smile that resembled sunlight reflected over snow. This time, not only Su She, even Lan XiChen and Jin Ling paused in astonishment.
Everyone knew that HanGuang-Jun was always cold and never smiled, almost unlively. Only few had seen what he looked like when he smiled, even if it was just a slight curl of his lips. Nobody expected to see his smile under such circumstances.
Wei WuXian’s eyes were immediately opened wide and round.
A moment later, he gulped. His Adam’s apple bobbed up and down, “Lan Zhan, you…”
Right then, knocking sounds again came from outside the Guanyin Temple.
Su She unsheathed his sword, holding it in his hands as he asked in alarm, “Who is it?!”
Nobody answered. The doors shot open!
From amidst the storm that had just broken inside, a crackling streak of purple lighting struck right against Su She’s chest, sending him flying backwards. Su She slammed into one of the mahogany pillars, and immediately heaved a mouthful of blood. The two monks guarding the temple door were also affected by the echoes of the attack, thrown onto the ground and unable to get up. A purple figure stepped steadily over the threshold and into the main palace.
The rain blew hard outside the temple, but the figure wasn’t too wet. Only the violet at the hems of his clothes darkened slightly. He held a paper umbrella in his left hand. Rain drops crashed onto the umbrella, water splashing everywhere. The cold light of Zidian continued to sizzle in his right hand. His face was darker than the stormy night.