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Chapter 91: Longing (Part Two)
Translated by K of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
With an almost insatiable force, Wei WuXian picked as many lotus seeds as he could. There was almost no room on the boat left to put their feet, all three of them sitting amid mountains of green lotus seed pods. When the skin was torn off, the creamy green seeds could be seen hidden right inside the brown, puffy coats. Dig them out, peel the coats off, and there were the seeds, soft and snowy. They had a refreshingly sweet taste. Even the centers were made of watery greens, not at all bitter.
Wen Ning continued to peel the seed pods, sitting at the front of the boat. Lan WangJi stopped only after he peeled two. As he saw Wen Ning pass them the peeled seeds, he shook his head and let him give them to Wei WuXian. Alone, Wei WuXian finished the entire boat. They finally arrived at the docks of Yunping City after being afloat for another three or four hours.
The shallow regions of the docks were cramped with small fishing boats. A few groups of women were gathered on the stone stairs before the waters, washing clothes. Shirtless boys with tanned skin dove and swam around the edge of the river.
Suddenly, a ferry slowly drifted over. One person was at the end of the boat, head hanging low, but the two young men inside both had striking looks. The man sitting at the front was dressed in snow white, carrying a most ethereal air while the grinning youth right beside him had quite a pretty face as well. People rarely saw such figures on a daily basis, so everyone widened their eyes and stared as hard as they could. A few of the boys swimming in the river gathered toward them like fish. Around seven or eight heads bobbed up and down beside the ferry.
Wei WuXian, “If I may ask, is Yunping City here?”
A girl washing clothes by the river blushed, “Yes, it is.”
Wei WuXian, “We’re here. Let’s go.”
The ferry docked. Lan WangJi was the first to stand up. After he was on land, he turned around and helped Wei WuXian up. Both of the two had gotten off already, yet Wen Ning was still on the boat, unable to move an inch. The swimming boys watched as he looked down and said nothing, strange marks crawling up his neck across his pale cheeks. They found him strange, but felt amused instead of scared. Over ten pairs of hands clung onto the boat and shook without stop, so hard that Wen Ning almost couldn’t steady himself.
Wei WuXian turned around, “Hey! What are you doing? Don’t bully him.”
Wen Ning hurried to reply, “Young Master, I can’t get off.”
As he called out for help, two of the boys slapped the river’s surface to splash him with water. Wen Ning pulled a helpless smile, at a loss as to what to do. If only the boys knew the ‘person’ they were fooling around with could tear their bodies, even their bones, into smithereens, how could they make fun of him they way they were right now?
Wei WuXian tossed over the few lotus seed pods that were left, “Catch!” The boys immediately scattered, fighting for the seed pods. Wen Ning could finally jump ashore. Embarrassed, he patted the drenched hem of his robe.
Even out of the entire Yunmeng, Yunping City wasn’t just some small place, but rather bustling instead. The three entered the city. On their way were countless vendors and passerby. Wen Ning didn’t like places that buzzed with people; he disappeared in silence shortly afterward. From the address in his memory, Wei WuXian asked as he walked, but when they finally arrived at their destination and confirmed what they saw, both were somewhat surprised.
Wei WuXian looked at the grand building, prosperous with incense, “This is… a Guanyin Temple?”
*Deity of Mercy
Lan WangJi, “Mn.”
Jin GuangYao really didn’t seem like the devout type. The two exchanged a look with each other. Together, they passed the flood of visitors, crossed the tall threshold, and entered the temple. The temple had three courtyards. Everywhere smoke could be seen and woodblocks for prayers could be heard. It didn’t take long to complete an entire circle around the temple. The last courtyard was the Guanyin Palace. Before the two even stood for long before the entrance, a monk came to greet them with his palms put together. The two returned the salut.
Wei WuXian chatted with him for a while, asking in a casual manner, “Most temples are built inside mountains. Ones inside cities are truly rare.”
The monk smiled, “Those in the city often toil all day. Don’t they also need such a Guanyin Temple to pray and search for inner peace?”
Wei WuXian smiled as well, “Wouldn’t the noise disturb Guanyin?”
The monk, “Guanyin delivers all from torment. How could they be disturbed by people?”
Wei WuXian, “Is Guanyin the only one this temple worships?”
The monk, “That’s right.”
The two walked around the temple some more, an idea already in mind. After they left the temple, Wei WuXian led Lan WangJi into an alleyway, picked up a branch, and drew a few squares on the ground before he tossed it away again, “Jin GuangYao really went out of his way.”
Lan WangJi picked up the branch he tossed away and added a few more strokes onto the squares. The outlines became clearer and clearer—it was an aerial view of the Guanyin Temple.
Wei WuXian took the branch from his hand again, “There’s a big array inside the temple. Something is being suppressed.” He pointed at a certain spot, “The array’s a bit complicated. It’s quite safe. But if the eye of the array right here is destroyed, whatever it’s suppressing will come out.”
Lan WangJi stood up, “We will do it at nighttime, when people are sparse. We should find a place to rest before we strategize.”
They didn’t know how powerful the creature under the Temple was, so of course they couldn’t act rashly in the day, when there were so many passersby. Wei WuXian, “I wonder how long it’d take to finish off the thing in the Temple. Could we make it to Lanling? Would our schedule be delayed?”
Lan WangJi, “The condition of your body is still unclear. You must not force yourself.”
In the fight at Burial Mound, Wei WuXian exerted too much energy and stamina. Both his mind and his body were strained for too long. A few hours earlier, Jiang Cheng angered him so much that he almost bled from his qiqiao. He only recovered after a long time of rest. Although he didn’t feel too bad right now, if there was something he missed and he pushed himself all the way to Lanling, it was hard to tell whether or not an accident would happen at a critical moment. On top of that, he wasn’t the only one straining his mind and body in the past few days. Lan WangJi didn’t rest for a second either.
Thinking even if he didn’t need to rest, Lan WangJi definitely needed to, Wei WuXian replied, “Okay. Then let’s find somewhere to rest first.”
Wei WuXian himself was able to live anywhere, an estate if he had money, and under a tree if he had none. But right now, Lan WangJi was with him. He definitely couldn’t imagine Lan WangJi lying on some tree roots, or cramped with him inside a small, dirty room. And so, after some time of walking, the two finally settled on a neat inn at the other side of Yunping City.
The owner rushed outside enthusiastically, almost dragging them inside. Inside of the inn was both clean and organized, and the first floor was almost full with guests, making it obvious that whomever responsible for the place was quite good at their work. Most of the people working inside were women, from young girls just over ten sweeping the floors to chubby ladies working in the kitchen. When they saw two young men walk in, their eyes lit up in unison. One of the girls pouring water for the guests was staring at Lan WangJi so hard she didn’t even notice that the mouth of her teacup pointed off.
The owner shouted a few things, telling them to do their work properly. She herself led Wei WuXian and Lan WangJi upstairs to look at the rooms, asking as she walked, “Young Masters, how many rooms would you like?”
Hearing this, Wei WuXian’s heart suddenly skipped a beat. He snuck a glance across at Lan WangJi.
If it were two months ago, the question wouldn’t even be necessary. During the time they just returned, in order to escape as soon as possible, he tried everything he had to disgust Lan WangJi. Lan WangJi noticed it as well, so he just decided to get one room ever since then. In any case, no matter how many he got, Wei WuXian would find a way into his bed.
Not only that, because nobody knew whom he was, Wei WuXian dared to do anything, no matter how shameless it was. Just the first night they went down the Cloud Recesses, and he was already the first to slink into Lan WangJi’s bed. Lan WangJi saw him rolling on his bed the moment he opened the door. Expressionless, he stood for a while before he went to the other room next door that he paid for. Wei WuXian, of course, wouldn’t let him go as easy as that. He chased after, yelling that he wanted to sleep with him. Even after he crawled into the bed, he tossed the other pillow out the window, insisting on using the same one as Lan WangJi. He even went as far as to ask why Lan WangJi was sleeping with clothes on, trying to forcefully strip him.
Halfway through the night, he had suddenly stretched his cold feet into Lan WangJi’s blanket, grabbing his hand and laying it on his chest, “Listen to my heartbeat, HanGuang-Jun!” And then he stared innocently yet romantically into his eyes… In the end, Lan WangJi struck him frozen. Unable to move, he finally quieted.
The past was almost unbearable to remember. This was the first time Wei WuXian felt shocked at his own shamelessness.
At the third glance, Lan WangJi was still looking down. He didn’t say anything, and his expression couldn’t be seen either. Noticing how he hadn’t responded even after so long, Wei WuXian’s mind began to wander, In the past, Lan Zhan’s always gotten only one room. Why isn’t he saying anything this time? If he gets two rooms this time, that means he really does mind. But if he only gets one room, it wouldn’t mean he doesn’t mind either. Maybe he’s only making it seem like he doesn’t mind so that I don’t mind either…
After the whole mind-this mind-that business, the owner promptly answered herself, stating, “One room, right? One room is enough! My rooms here are comfy even for two people. The bed won’t feel cramped.”
With no refusal coming from Lan WangJi for quite a while, Wei WuXian’s body and heart finally stopped giving out, temporarily coming to a steady state.
The owner opened one of the doors and led them inside. It was indeed large enough. She asked, “Hey, would you two like dinner? Our cooks have great skill. We’ll bring the dishes up here once we finish?”
Wei WuXian, “Yes, please, but not right now. How about a bit later? Bring them at around seven.”
The owner answered as she walked out the door. Right after she left, just as Wei WuXian was about to close the door, he suddenly chased after her, “Ma’am!”
The owner, “Yes, Young Master?”
Wei WuXian seemed as though he made up his mind, lowering his voice, “When you’re bringing up the meals in the evening, please get some liquor as well… the stronger the better.”
The owner grinned, “Of course!”
After this, he finally went back inside the room, pretending that nothing happened. He shut the door and sat down at the table. Lan WangJi’s hand reached over and pressed onto his veins. Although he knew it was only checking the condition of his body, as the two long fingers swam up his wrist, slowly rubbing, Wei WuXian’s other hand tightened up slightly underneath the table.
After almost an hour of examining his body, Lan WangJi spoke, “There is no imminent danger.”
Wei WuXian stretched and smiled, “Thanks.” Seeing that Lan WangJi’s brows were tight-knit in a serious expression, he added, “HanGuang-Jun, are you worried about ZeWu-Jun? I think Jin GuangYao still holds a certain degree of respect towards ZeWu-Jun. ZeWu-Jun’s cultivation is higher than his, anyway, and he’s already been alerted about him, so he might not necessarily fall into his traps. Let’s figure out the Temple’s array as soon as possible and aim to be on our way again tomorrow.”
Lan WangJi, “Something is strange.”
Wei WuXian, “What?”
Lan WangJi, “Brother has been familiar with Jin GuangYao for many years. Jin GuangYao is not one who acts on impulse and lusts for blood. He never proceeds rashly.”
Wei WuXian, “Yep, that’s also my impression of him. It isn’t that Jin GuangYao still has a heart, but he tries to offend as few people as possible.”
Lan WangJi, “The incident at Burial Mound was rushed and exaggerated. It did not seem like his manner of doing things.”
Wei WuXian thought for a bit before speaking, “The battle at Burial Mound, if it succeeded, it’d be a success; if it was exposed, it’d be forcing the entire cultivation world to oppose him. The risk was high indeed.”
Lan WangJi, “Further investigations are perhaps necessary.”
Please do NOT comment with ANY spoilers!! Thank you!