Chapter 70: Departure—Part Two
Translated by K of Exiled Rebels Scans
Madam Jin’s brows stiffened, scolding, “ZiXun!”
Hearing this, Wei WuXian’s smile disappeared at once. He asked, “Discipline?”
He turned his head slowly, “A crooked path?”
Lan WangJi’s voice was low, “Wei Ying.”
Jin ZiXun and the others noticed the unusual atmosphere as well. Holding their breaths, they looked at him. Wei WuXian smiled again, “Do you know why I’m not carrying my sword? It wouldn’t make a difference if I told you anyways.”
He turned around, stating one word at a time, “Because I want you to know that even if I don’t use my sword, with nothing but what you call a ‘crooked path’, I will still rise unparalleled and leave all of you staring at me from behind.”
With his words, all of the people present were shocked speechless.
No disciple had ever dared say such lofty words in front of so many people. A moment later, as Jin ZiXun finally regained his composure, he yelled, “Wei WuXian! You’re only the son of a servant—how dare you be so bold!!!”
Hearing those words, Lan WangJi’s gaze froze. The pupils of Wei WuXian’s eyes shrunk. It seemed that his right hand was almost going to touch Chenqing. As the air thickened with conflict, ready to burst any second, somebody suddenly spoke, “A-Xian!”
Hearing the voice, Wei WuXian’s heart softened. He turned around, “Shijie?”
Jiang YanLi waved at him, “A-Xian, come stand behind me.”
Wei WuXian hesitated. Before he could move, Madam Jin quickly picked up her hand, “A-Li, don’t intervene in their business.” However, with an apologetic smile toward Madam Jin, Jiang YanLi went forth and stood in front of Wei WuXian. She saluted Jin ZiXun and the others.
Jin ZiXun and his people didn’t know how to respond either. A few of them returned the salute, and a few didn’t. Jiang YanLi spoke to Jin ZiXun in a thin voice, “Young Master Jin, from what you meant, it was A-Xian who made a third of the prey on Phoenix Mountain his all to himself; it defied the rules and he was too bold. I… I haven’t heard of anything like this either. It truly must’ve troubled everyone here. I apologize to you in place of him.”
As she finished, she bowed down again. It seemed to be quite a serious apology. Wei WuXian, “Shijie!”
Jiang YanLi didn’t rise yet. She looked at him and shook her head almost unnoticeably. Wei WuXian could only clench his fists and stay silent.
Jin ZiXuan gazed over from afar. His expression was quite complicated. Jin ZiXun and the rest, however, didn’t even try to conceal the triumph on their faces. They were more than satisfied with themselves.
Jin ZiXun chuckled, “Maiden Jiang, you really are kind and understanding. What your shidi did was extremely unbefitting, and indeed caused us much trouble. But since you do recognize that it was unbefitting, then for Maidan Jiang and Sect Leader Jiang’s sake, an apology won’t be needed. The YunmengJiang Sect and the LanlingJin Sect are as close as brothers, anyways.”
He was on the verge of breaking into pompous laughter. Wei WuXian was fuming with rage as his tightened knuckles cracked. Just as he was about to speak, Jiang YanLi had finished her bow and got up, continuing in an earnest voice, “But, even if I haven’t participated in a hunt before, there’s one thing that I know—for all of the hunts that have happened, I’ve never heard of a single rule that prohibits someone from hunting too much prey.”
The smiles on the people’s faces froze before they could even set into place.
Jiang YanLi, “And so, you said that A-Xian defied rules—which exact rule did he defy?”
This time, it was Wei WuXian’s turn to laugh.
Jin ZiXun’s face was dark, but he didn’t respond. There were two reasons. First, he had never seen Jiang YanLi step up and talk before, so he didn’t know how strong his reply should be. Both Madam Jin and Jiang Cheng held Jiang YanLi in high regard, and he didn’t dare rashly go against them. Second, if they really looked into it, they’d indeed fail to find such a rule!
At this point, some people among the crowd couldn’t hold it down any longer. At such times, Sect Leader Yao was always the first one to jump out, “Madam Jiang, that wouldn’t be the best way to put it. Although some rules aren’t written out, everyone understands and follows them.”
Someone shouted, “How much prey is in Phoenix Mountain in total? Is it even five hundred? How many people are there in the hunt? More than five thousand! We’re fighting for the prey to begin with. If he keeps so much prey to himself using such wicked means, what could the other people do?”
Wei WuXian sneered. As he was about to speak, Jiang YanLi stopped him, whispering, “It’s best if you don’t say anything.”
Someone else felt unsatisfied as well, “Yeah, or else I would’ve at least been able to get one.”
Jiang YanLi, “But… It isn’t his fault that others can’t capture the prey.”
The person couldn’t say anything back. She continued, “Isn’t the hunt all about true strength? Even if the ghouls are gone, aren’t there also the fays and the monsters? Even if he didn’t keep one-third to himself, or even if he didn’t attend the hunt, those who can’t capture the prey will never be able to. Although the methods that A-Xian used is different from what other people use, it’s still an ability that he cultivated. You can’t call it a crooked path just because others don’t have access to that third of the prey, can you?”
The people who gathered around Jin ZiXun had on the same dark faces as he did. Yet, taking into consideration Jiang YanLi’s background, they didn’t dare talk back to her directly.
Jiang YanLi added, “Besides, hunting is hunting, so why bring the matter of discipline to the table? A-Xian is a disciple of the YunmengJiang Sect. He grew up with my brother and I, and so he’s as close as a brother is to me. Calling him the ‘son of a servant’—I’m sorry, but I won’t accept this. And thus…”
She straightened her back and raised her voice, “I hope that Young Master Jin ZiXun would apologize to Wei WuXian of the YunmengJiang Sect!”
If the one currently saying these words wasn’t Jiang YanLi and instead some random person, Jin ZiXun would probably have come at them with a slap already. His face was almost black, but he kept his mouth shut. Jiang YanLi stared at him quietly, refusing to turn her eyes away.
Madam Jin spoke, “A-Li, why are you being so serious? It’s just a small matter. Don’t get so worked up.”
Jiang YanLi’s voice was soft, “Madam, A-Xian is my younger brother. Him being humiliated by others, to me, isn’t just a small matter.”
Madam Jin glanced at Jin ZiXun, sneering, “ZiXun, you heard that?”
Jin ZiXun, “Auntie!”
For him to apologize to Wei WuXian was at the least impossible. How could Madam Jin not know what his personality was like? The situation at hand, however, was already quite uncomfortable. Imagining how Jin ZiXun would definitely throw a few tantrums after he apologized and returned to Koi Tower, she grew more and more annoyed, almost wanting to hold his neck down and force him to apologize. Suddenly, two sword glares arrived. It was Jin GuangYao and Lan XiChen.
Lan WangJi, “Brother.”
Lan XiChen mused, “WangJi, why are you here as well?”
Jin GuangYao, “Everyone, what happened here?”
As he arrived, the repressed anger of both people immediately found a target to settle on. Just as Jin GuangYao landed, Madam Jin scolded, “Still smiling? Such a big thing happened, and you’re still smiling! Just look at the hunt you organized, you good-for-nothing!”
Jin GuangYao always had the same smile plastered over his face. Not at all expecting to be scolded as soon as he arrived, he retracted his smile at once and replied earnestly, “Mother, what in the world is going on?”
Madam Jin narrowed her eyes, “What in the world is going on—can’t you see for yourself? Aren’t you supposed to be good at reading the atmosphere?”
Jin GuangYao stayed quiet as Jin ZiXun spoke, “One-third of all of the prey in the entire Phoenix Mountain is gone. What are the five thousand people here going to hunt for?!” He used the chance to muddle through the matter of apologizing to Wei WuXian.
As he was about to continue, Lan XiChen spoke up, “LianFang-Zun has already set about expanding the range of the hunting grounds. Please calm down, everyone.”
Now that ZeWu-Jun had spoken, Jin ZiXun knew that it wasn’t suitable for him to say anything more. He couldn’t keep on venting off to Jin GuangYao either. Throwing his arrow onto the ground, he laughed bitterly, “The hunt this time is like a farce! Nevermind. It’s fine if I don’t participate. I quit.”
Jin GuangYao paused in surprise, “ZiXun, it’ll soon be arranged. At most you’d have to wait a hour longer…”
Sect Leader Yao called out as well, “Young Master Jin, that’s really not necessary!”
Jin ZiXun replied, “The hunt has already lost all fairness. Why should I wait? Please excuse my absence!” With this, he was about to lead his cultivators onto their swords. Jin GuangYao hurried toward him to try and persuade him. Some wanted to follow Jin ZiXun and leave as well, others were hesitating and didn’t want to give up just yet. The situation was immediately a mess.
Jiang YanLi shook her head and turned to Madam Jin, “Madam Jin, I really did make trouble for you.”
Madam Jin waved her hand, “You’ll never make trouble for your mother-in-law here. Scold that dumb brat however you want to. It’s not like I care about him. If you’re still mad, I can help you beat him up.”
Jiang YanLi, “There’s no need, there’s no need… Then, I’ll go back first?”
Madam Jin hurried, “To the Watching Towers? I’ll get ZiXuan to walk us back.”
As she spoke, she tried her hardest in eyeing Jin ZiXuan, who was standing some distance away. Jiang YanLi whispered, “That’s not necessary. I’d like to have a few words with A-Xian. He can walk me back.”
Madam Jin raised her brows, looking Wei WuXian up and down. Her gaze was somewhat cautious, as if she was feeling displeased, “A young man and a young woman—you two can’t stick together all the time if nobody else is present.”
Jiang YanLi, “A-Xian is my younger brother.”
Madam Jin, “A-Li, please don’t be angry. Tell me what stupid thing that stubborn brat of mine did to you this time. I’ll tell him to make it up to you properly.”
Jiang YanLi shook her head, “That’s really not necessary. Madam Jin, don’t force him.”
Madam Jin urged, “How could I force him? It’s not forced at all.”
Wei WuXian lowered his head, “Excuse my absence, Madam Jin.”
He and Jiang YanLi bowed at the same time. As they turned around to leave, Madam Jin grabbed Jiang YanLi’s hand and refused to let her leave. Between the pushes and the pulls, Jin ZiXuan ran over and shouted loudly, “Maiden Jiang!!!”
Wei WuXian pretended as though he heard nothing. He tugged at Jiang YanLi, “Shijie, quickly, let’s go.”
Jin ZiXuan shouted again, “That’s not it, Maiden Jiang!!!”
This time, he couldn’t pretend that he heard nothing no matter what. Wei WuXian could only turn around, along with Jiang YanLi. Even Jin ZiXun’s group, who was making a fuss on the other side, had their attention brought over. Everyone was wondering what Jin ZiXuan meant by ‘that’s not it’. Jin ZiXuan ran a few steps forward, as if he wanted to catch up, but then he stopped. Standing afar, he took in a few long breaths, the veins on his forehead protruding.
A moment later, he suddenly yelled, “That’s not it, Maiden Jiang! It wasn’t my mother! It wasn’t her intentions! I’m not forced, I’m not being forced at all!!” Holding it back for a few seconds, he finally roared, “It was me! It was myself! I was the one who wanted you to come!!!”
Jiang YanLi, “…”
Wei WuXian, “…”
Madam Jin, “…”
Jin ZiXun, “…”
After his roars, Jin ZiXuan’s fair cheeks suddenly turned into the color of blood.
He staggered back a few steps, only managing to steady himself with the support of a tree. As he looked up, he froze. As if he finally recalled that many people were still present and remembered what he said in front of all those people, he stood blankly for a long time before suddenly realizing what had happened. With a shout, he sprinted away.
With a few moments of dead silence, Madam Jin broke out, “You idiot! Why are you running away?!”
She pulled Jiang YanLi toward her, “A-Li, let’s continue our talk later on the Watching Tower! First I have to go catch him!” She left before she finished, rising up on her sword with a handful of other cultivators. She shouted as she chased in the direction in which Jin ZiXuan had fled.
Wei WuXian didn’t at all expect things to turn out this way either. After the frenzy of events, he didn’t even know what to make of things, “The hell is he doing? Shijie, let’s go.”
Jiang YanLi paused shortly before nodding. Wei WuXian waved at Lan WangJi, “Lan Zhan, I’m going.”
Lan WangJi nodded, saying nothing. In silence, he watched his and Jiang YanLi’s silhouettes slowly disappear into the woods. On the other hand, Jin GuangYao couldn’t stop Jin ZiXun and the others any longer. The group mounted their swords and left, all talking at once. The large cloud of people who had gathered was at once half of its original size. Seeing that there was no more show to watch, the rest of the people began to scatter as well.
Jin GuangYao wiped the sweat on his forehead, forcing a smile, “This really is…”
Lan XiChen patted his shoulder, “Today’s matter was not your fault.”
Jin GuangYao sighed and massaged the center of his brows, “I’m afraid I won’t be able to do it even in two hours.”
Lan XiChen, “Why is that?”
Jin GuangYao, “In reality, not only did Young Master Wei keep a third of the prey to himself, our eldest brother has eliminated over half of the fays and the monsters as well.”
Hearing this, Lan XiChen laughed, “That is how Brother is like, after all.”
Lan WangJi, on the other hand, seemed to be thinking. Jin GuangYao spoke as though he had a terrible headache, “And so, the range of the hunting grounds might have to be expanded even more.”
Lan XiChen, “Then, let us set about it as soon as we can.”
Jin GuangYao apologized, “Sorry, Brother. You’re here to participate in the hunt, and I had to have you come over to help me last minute.”
Lan XiChen smiled, “It is fine. WangJi, should we leave, or would you like to help as well?”
Lan WangJi summoned Bichen in silence, “I will help.”
After they left on their swords, only a few people were left amid the trees, still chatting about what had happened. Soon later, someone strode out of the woods. Seeing the situation, he hesitated slightly.
The person was none but Jiang Cheng. On Phoenix Mountain, he heard others talk about how Lan WangJi’s and Jin ZiXuan’s sword glares appeared in the sky, like the two were fighting. In fear that Jiang YanLi was by Jin ZiXuan’s side, he came to check, but he was too late and everyone had gone off already. From the few people here, Jiang Cheng saw that Sect Leader Yao was the only one appearing somewhat familiar to him, “Sect Leader Yao, what happened here?”
Sect Leader Yao glanced at him, his tone meaningful, “Sect Leader Jiang, your sect’s Wei WuXian really is quite a character.”
Jiang Cheng frowned, “What do you mean?”
Sect Leader Yao laughed, “As if I dare mean anything. Sect Leader Jiang, you mustn’t take to heart what I said.”
Jiang Cheng’s face darkened. He knew that those weren’t good words and told himself that he had to find Wei WuXian later to sort it all out with him. Not in a mood to maintain false politeness with someone pretending to be clever, with a turn, he walked out of the woods. On his way, he could manage to catch the whispers of chatter coming from behind him. As if scared that he’d hear them, their voices were extremely low, but with his heightened senses, he could still hear the words clearly.
One of the sect leaders spoke in a sour tone, “This time, Lotus Pier is really the center of the show. Almost all of the spirits and corpses were summoned to the YunmengJiang Sect’s grounds. There’d definitely be a number of cultivators interested in them.”
Sect Leader Yao, “What could we do about it? Whose fault is it that our sects don’t have Wei WuXian’s?”
“It’s not necessarily a good thing to have Wei WuXian. I don’t want there to be someone in my sect always stirring up trouble for me.”
“Wei WuXian, he really is too bold… Anyways, from now on, I won’t attend any night-hunts that he’s going to.”
Someone sneered, “Huh? Interested in them? I don’t think so. To put it simply, they’re interested in Wei WuXian, aren’t they? Didn’t the YunmengJiang Sect grow in fame during the Sunshot Campaign only because of Wei WuXian?”
Jiang Cheng felt his entire body weigh down on him. It was as though something cast a haunting shadow on both his face and in his heart.