Chapter 114: Extra—Banquet (Part One)
Translated by K of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Lan WangJi turned to Wei WuXian, “Wait for me.”
Wei WuXian, “How about I go in along with you?”
Lan WangJi shook his head, “He will be angrier if you go in as well.”
Wei WuXian thought about it and agreed. Whenever Lan QiRen saw him, it was as if he was a flickering candle about to have a heart attack. Even his breaths became heavier than usual. Wei WuXian felt he should do him a favor and save him the exasperation by getting out of his sight.
Lan WangJi looked at him, as though he wanted to say something. Wei WuXian immediately added, “Fine, I know. No walking too fast, no speaking too loud, no this, no that, am I right? Don’t worry. Now that I’m back with you, I’ll definitely be as careful as possible to not violate any of the sect rules on your Wall. As careful as possible.”
Lan WangJi didn’t even think about it, “It is fine. Even if you violate them…”
Wei WuXian keenly picked up, “Hm?”
Lan WangJi seemed as if he finally realized that what he said wasn’t too appropriate. He turned his head to the side for a moment before turning back, his face serious, “… Nothing.”
Wei WuXian looked confused, “What did you say would happen even if I violate them?”
Lan WangJi knew he was asking even though he knew the answer. He maintained the strict face, “Wait for me outside.”
Wei WuXian waved his hand, “Waiting it is, then. Don’t be so aggressive. I’ll go play with your rabbits.”
And so, Lan WangJi went to face Lan QiRen’s lecture alone, while Wei WuXian was dragged behind Lil’ Apple, sprinting. Ever since Lil’ Apple entered the Cloud Recesses, it seemed especially excited and full of strength. Wei WuXian couldn’t even slow it down as it hauled him onto the verdant patch of grass.
Quietly curled-up within the grass were more a hundred plump little snowballs. Their pink, three-petaled mouths twitched now and then, at times shaking their long, rosy ears. Head held high, Lil’ Apple squeezed amongst them and found an area for itself, while Wei WuXian squatted on the ground and randomly grabbed a rabbit, scratching its stomach as he thought, Were there so many the last time I came? Is this one male or female? Oh… Male.
When he thought so, Wei WuXian finally realized that he’d never cared to notice whether Lil’ Apple was male or female. He couldn’t help but glance at it. But before he could get a nice view, he suddenly heard something and turned around to look.
Holding a little basket, a young, petite girl was hesitating on coming over. Seeing that Wei WuXian turned to face her so suddenly, she momentarily didn’t know what to do, her entire face glowing red shyly.
The girl was clothed in the GusuLan Sect’s uniform and also wore with formality a white forehead ribbon without the pattern of flowing clouds. Wei WuXian, This is extraordinary! Can’t believe I ran into a real one!
This was a female cultivator. A female cultivator of the GusuLan Sect.
Known for its stringentness, the GusuLan Sect had recited things like men and women were different and thus should not be over-intimate with each other for tens of thousands of times by the ears of its disciples. The studying and resting quarters for male and female cultivators were strictly separated so that nobody could walk a step over the line. They rarely wandered out of their own areas, and even night-hunts were mostly separated by gender, either all men or all women, almost never both. The inflexibility was almost horrifying. Back when Wei WuXian was studying at the Cloud Recesses, he’d almost never seen any maidens here, holding quite heavy doubts about whether or not female cultivators really existed in the Cloud Recesses. A couple of times, he thought he heard the sound of girls reciting from the scrolls and curiously wanted to see. Immediately, a few acute disciples who were patrolling the grounds discovered him and called Lan WangJi over. After a few times, Wei WuXian had lost all enthusiasm and never went out exploring again.
But right now, he actually ran into a real female cultivator in the Cloud Recesses. A real! Female cultivator!
Wei WuXian straightened up at once, his eyes glowing. Just as he was about to gravitate over, Lil’ Apple had already shot up and rushed over to the girl, almost having ran over him.
Wei WuXian, “?”
After it approached the girl, it meekly lowered its head and moved its forehead and ears towards her hand out of its own will.
Wei WuXian, “???”
Blushing, the girl looked at Wei WuXian and paused in surprise, not knowing what to say. Wei WuXian squinted, feeling that she looked somewhat familiar. A moment later, he remembered—wasn’t this the round-faced girl whom he met on his departure from Mo Village and ran into quite a couple of times at Dafan Mountain?
Even if she were a complete stranger, he’d be able to make a few jokes and immediately warm up, let alone she was a maiden with a nice personality he’d met a few times. He immediately waved at her, “It’s you!”
The girl clearly had a solid impression of him, whether with a clean face or not. After some embarrassment, fingers twisting around the basket, she replied quietly, “It is me…”
Wei WuXian tossed to the side the rabbit he pet and determined the gender of. Hands behind his back, he walked a few steps closer. As he saw the carrots and cabbage in her basket, he smiled, “Here to feed the rabbits?”
The girl nodded. With Lan WangJi gone, Wei WuXian was just in the middle of having nothing to do, his interest growing, “Do you want me to help?”
The girl didn’t know what to do. In the end, she nodded, and Wei WuXian took out a carrot. The two squatted down together on the grass. Lil’ Apple poked its head into the basket and searched around. Having failed to find any apples, he made do and caught a carrot with his teeth, nibbling on it.
The carrots in the basket were extremely fresh. Wei WuXian first bit a chunk off himself before putting it near the rabbits’ mouths, “Have you been feeding these rabbits?”
The girl, “No… I only began recently… When HanGuang-Jun is here, HanGuang-Jun is the one who cares for them. When he is not, it is Young Master Lan SiZhui and the rest. When even they are gone, then we come and help…”
Wei WuXian, How did Lan Zhan feed the rabbits? Since when did he start taking care of them? Did he also come over here, holding a little basket?
Shaking a few scenes overloaded with cuteness out of his head, Wei WuXian asked again, “You’re a disciple of the GusuLan Sect now?”
The girl replied meekly, “Yes.”
Wei WuXian, “The GusuLan Sect’s pretty nice. When did you come?”
The girl stroked a fluffy rabbit as she spoke, “Soon after that time at Dafan Mountain…”
At this point, both of the two heard the soft noise of boots stepping over grass. Wei WuXian turned around to look. As expected, Lan WangJi was walking towards them.
Hurrying, the girl stood up at once, saluting with respect, “HanGuang-Jun.”
Lan WangJi nodded, while Wei WuXian was still sitting on the grass, grinning at him. The girl seemed to be quite scared of Lan WangJi—this was only normal, as not a single one of the juniors her age weren’t afraid of Lan WangJi. Flustered, she held up her dress hems and ran. Wei WuXian called from behind, “Maiden, Meimei*! Your basket! Hey, Lil’ Apple! Come back, Lil’ Apple! What are you running for?! Lil’ Apple!”
*TN: Female counterpart of Gege.
No person or donkey was stopped by him. Wei WuXian could only poke the remaining few carrots in the basket, turning to Lan WangJi, “Lan Zhan, you scared her away.”
If Lan WangJi didn’t want his footsteps to be heard, how could he have let both of the two hear them?
Wei WuXian grinned as he held a carrot towards him, “You want some? You’ll feed the rabbits, and I’ll feed you.”
“…” Lan WangJi looked down at him, “Get up.”
Wei WuXian tossed the carrot backwards, lazily extending a hand, “Pull me up.”
With a pause, Lan WangJi reached out to pull him, yet Wei WuXian suddenly exerted strength and pulled him down instead.
Their territory having been seized by strange humans, the rabbits seemed as though they faced a great enemy, aimlessly running around the two piled on the ground. The few that were especially familiar with Lan WangJi even stood up and clung to his side, as if worried why their master would collapse so suddenly. Lan WangJi gently shooed them away, his voice calm, “The seventh sect rule on the Wall of Rules of the Cloud Recesses—disturbing female cultivators is prohibited.”
Wei WuXian, “You said it’s fine even if I violate them.”
Lan WangJi, “I did not.”
Wei WuXian, “Why are you like this? Just because you didn’t finish your sentence means you never said it? What happened to the HanGuang-Jun who always did what he promised?”
Lan WangJi, “‘Everyday’.”
Wei WuXian caressed his face, his tone tender, “Did your uncle scold you? Tell me. Let your
Gege spoil you dearly.”
Even with such an abrupt change of topic, Lan WangJi didn’t expose him, “No.”
Wei WuXian, “Really? Then what did he say to you?”
Lan WangJi hugged him soundlessly, “Nothing. It is rare that we are all together and a banquet will be held tomorrow.”
Wei WuXian grinned, “A banquet? Alright, alright, I’ll definitely be on good behavior and not lose face for you.” Suddenly, he thought of Lan XiChen and asked, “What about your brother?”
After a moment of silence, Lan WangJi replied, “I will see him afterwards.”
ZeWu-Jun had been in secluded mediation for days on an end. Lan WangJi was definitely going to have a long, heartfelt talk with him. Wei WuXian hugged Lan WangJi back and patted his back softly. Soon, he began again, “Speaking of it, why didn’t I see SiZhui and the squad this time back?”
In the past, these juniors would’ve crowded around them and begun chirping all the way from the entrance of the mountain. Hearing him mention SiZhui and the juniors, Lan WangJi’s brows relaxed somewhat, “I can take you to see them.”
After he led Wei WuXian to find Lan SiZhui, Lan JingYi, and the others, the juniors didn’t do anything apart from calling out in delight. It wasn’t that they didn’t want to do anything, but rather they really couldn’t.
The dozen-or-so all stood on their hands in the veranda hallway. All of them had taken off their outer robes, dressed in light, snowy strip. Head at the bottom and feet on top, they faced a few blank pieces of paper and a cake of ink. They supported themselves with their left hands and held a brush with their right, writing tight-knit characters on the paper with much difficulty.
Since they couldn’t let their forehead ribbons touch the ground, they clenched the ribbon tails in their mouths, dripping with sweat. Thus, they couldn’t say anything either. The so-called ‘calling out’ was only some muffled noise accompanied by bright eyes. Watching the teetering, trembling bodies, Wei WuXian asked, “Why do they have to do handstands?”
Lan WangJi, “As punishment.”
Wei WuXian, “I know it’s punishment. I can see that they’re copying the Lan Sect’s rules—I’ve memorized Righteousness already. What did they do to be punished?”
Lan WangJi’s voice was cool, “They returned to the Cloud Recesses after the prescribed time limit.”
Wei WuXian, “Oh.”
Lan WangJi, “They accompanied General Ghost on a night-hunt.”
Wei WuXian, “Hah! You’ve really got guts.”
Lan WangJi, “For the third time.”
Wei WuXian touched his chin, thinking it was only natural that Lan QiRen who hated all evil would punish him like this. Merely copying the sect rules while doing a handstand was already quite easy.
He squatted before Lan SiZhui, “Oh SiZhui, why is the pile in front of you especially thick? Am I imagining things?”
Lan SiZhui, “No…”
Lan WangJi, “He led the rest.”
Wei WuXian wanted to give Lan SiZhui’s shoulder a few pats, but there was no place for him to put his hand. After a pause, he put his hand underneath and patted from bottom to top, confident, “I knew it.”
Lan WangJi walked before the boys, glancing at their papers to examine them somewhat. He spoke to Lan JingYi, “The script is improper.”
Biting his forehead ribbon, Lan JingYi replied through tears, “Yes. HanGuang-Jun. I’ll recopy this one.”
The rest who hadn’t been picked on had passed the examination. All of them let out sighs of relief. As the two left the hallway, Wei WuXian recalled the suffering he went through when he himself received punishment back then, feeling quite sorry, “Just maintaining the position is hard enough. I might not be able to write when I’m upside-down. And I might not be able to write properly even when I’m sitting.”
Lan WangJi glanced at him, “Indeed.”
Wei WuXian knew he also remembered the days when he supervised him when they copied sect rules, “Was it the same when you were young?”
Lan WangJi, “Never.”
Of course. Lan WangJi had been the leading example of the disciples ever since he was young. Every word and every act of his seemed like they’d been measured by a ruler. How could he make a mistake? And if he never made any mistakes, how could he receive punishment?
Wei WuXian grinned, “I thought your shocking arm strength was trained by this.”
Lan WangJi, “There was no punishment. But it was still trained by this.”
Wei WuXian wondered, “Why would you do handstands if you’re not punished?”
Lan WangJi stared straight forward, “It calms the mind.”
Wei WuXian was right beside Lan WangJi’s ear, his voice almost like a hook, “Then what exactly was it that made the icy HanGuang-Jun feel less than calm?”
Lan WangJi looked at him without saying anything. Wei WuXian gloated, “With what you said, if you began to practice your arm strength ever since so young, you can do absolutely anything upside-down, can’t you?”
Lan WangJi, “Mn.”
Seeing his eyelids droop, almost as if he was a bit embarrassed, Wei WuXian grew even bolder in his words, “You can even do me upside-down?”
Lan WangJi, “I can try.”
Wei WuXian, “Hahahahahaha… What did you say?”
Lan WangJi, “I can try tonight.”
Wei WuXian, “…”
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