Chapter 214 – Helenos of Troy
Translated by Tracy
Yan City had four gates into the city, with one in each cardinal direction. Each of its four gates are said to be made of a special jade and able to withstand blows from a Spiritual level warrior without so much as a scratch.
In the past, there had been one such warrior who wanted to test if the gates were truly as sturdy as the legend goes. He was taken down by guards at the gate not long after the start of his barrage, and as for the gate itself…it was completely unscathed.
Yan City was the poster child of the North, symbolizing the authority of certain forces in the territory. Due to this fact, air travel in the area immediately above the city was forbidden and any trespassers would be immediately shot down by patrol upon discovery. Worst case scenario would result in the perpetrator being exiled and barred from entry for the rest of their life.
The punishments were usually quite cruel. Because there have been people made an example of in the past, all travellers looking to pass through the city were aware of this particular law of Yan City. In fact, it could be considered a prerequisite to entrance, despite being by no means broadcasted.
As the saying goes: when in Rome, do as the Romans do. And thus, You XiaoMo and Ling Xiao followed the crowd of people onto the road and began their hike. Despite all appearances, Yan City was actually quite a distance away from their landing area. It only looked rather close due to its abnormally large silhouette.
Four hours of walking later, You XiaoMo began to feel the effects of this extreme exercise. He looked forlornly at the seemingly close city and wilted in despair.
He had thought that Yan City was rather close, but obviously that wasn’t the case. Apparently they had only covered half the ground in these four hours, which would mean that there’d be another four hours of walking until they could reach the city.
Ling Xiao, who was walking ahead, noticed that You XiaoMo had fallen behind. “What’s wrong?” he asked.
You XiaoMo was half crouching and replied with a pained expression, “My feet hurt.” He could feel the beginnings of a blister forming on two of his toes, making the very action of walking painful.
“So fragile,” Ling Xiao said, approaching him.
You XiaoMo scowled at Ling Xiao. Please, he never liked going out in his last life to begin with, opting to stay inside as much as possible. And this life wasn’t much better as a scrawny pill maker who did nothing but make pills and practice self-cultivation; who’d have time to strengthen the body? Walking for four hours straight was already quite an accomplishment.
Ling Xiao was not at all affected by You XiaoMo’s hostility, continuing after a chuckle: “I’ll give you two options. One is being carried in my arms, and two is being carried on my back. Which would you prefer?”
You XiaoMo was about to retort that there was no difference between the two, but after a period of careful consideration realized that there was, in fact, quite a big difference. No matter how he thought about it, the image of a man like him being carried in someone else’s arms made him feel kind of embarrassed. Therefore, You XiaoMo opted for the latter.
Little did he know, both options were equally embarrassing for him. Feet getting tired after a mere four hours of walking, he seemed even more delicate than a woman.
And so, a breathtakingly handsome young man who gave off an air of nobility appeared on the road to the southern gate, carrying a dainty-looking boy on his back. This scene made many an exquisitely-looking male coveting ladies turn their heads at Ling Xiao’s demeanor, immensely jealous of the boy on his back.
With such a magnificent man, they couldn’t even cherish him, let alone make him carry out tasks. Not only did that boy not cherish the man, but also dared to make the man carry him!? What a despicable, ungrateful brat. The more they thought about it, the angrier they became, directing their hateful gazes right at You XiaoMo.
You XiaoMo at this time did not yet detect that he was public enemy number one and was half-napping on Ling Xiao’s back when he suddenly felt someone’s gaze on his back. Raising his head from Ling Xiao’s nape, he caught many women hurriedly looking away, adding to his confusion.
That confusion didn’t last long, however, as he realized that their stare jumped to Ling Xiao’s face every once in awhile. You XiaoMo feels like he’s found the answer after more or less guessing the thought going through everyone’s minds. A man’s beauty is a sin, indeed!
Ling Xiao used less than two hours to cover the remaining distance, following the flow of people, and finally they were directly outside the southern gates.
The towering gates were painted a dull red colour, reached to at least fifty metres in height, sixty metres in width and was like nothing You XiaoMo had ever seen.
But for convenience’s sake, there were three smaller doors within the gates. Right now, there were long lines of people hailing from a plethora of different backgrounds and professions; travellers, merchants, pill-makers and even Yan City locals alike sensibly formed neat lines with no trace of line-cutting.
Ling Xiao looked over the scene and walked over to the shortest line. In saying that, even the shortest line had over two hundred people. Thankfully, the guards were quite efficient and within fifteen minutes, twenty to thirty people had already passed through.
Feeling the pressure of being looked at strangely, You XiaoMo caved. “My feet feel much better, you can let me down now,” he said to Ling Xiao.
“Really?” Ling Xiao asked, turning his head.
“Really,” You XiaoMo nodded, kicking at the air a few times to prove it.
At this display of confidence, Ling Xiao put him down. You XiaoMo’s feet were still slightly sore as they touched down on the ground, but it was tolerable. He’s definitely going to start working on strengthening his body after this whole academy business settles down.
The remaining time was gruelling, but with Ling Xiao’s face it couldn’t be gruelling even if they wanted it to be. It wasn’t even ten minutes after You XiaoMo stood on his own again when a guard clad in scarlet armour approached them. To be more specific, he walked towards Ling Xiao.
The guard raised his clasped fist. “Excuse me sir, my lady is also looking to enter the city and wishes to ask for your company.”
Polite words aside, anyone with half a brain would be able to tell that this lady he speaks of is only after Ling Xiao’s good looks; why else would she have chosen them out of all the people here? You XiaoMo suspects that even he himself was simply an add-on.
Ling Xiao looked towards the first door which had a line of people longer than theirs, all waiting to pass through. The lady that the guard speaks of seems to be of an important identity, however, and is able to enter Yan City freely. At this very moment, she was sitting in an elegant horse-drawn carriage, peeking through the window with sharp eyes.
Ling Xiao looked towards You XiaoMo for approval and let out a few chuckles at the sight of his moodiness. “What do you think, Momo?”
You XiaoMo considered it for a moment. His original plan was to just brave the lines, but upon seeing hundreds of people still before him he wasn’t entirely sure. The sun was about to set, and this was an opportunity presented to them on a silver platter. Having made up his mind, You XiaoMo nodded in agreement; only idiots would let this chance pass by.
Ling Xiao turned to the guard. “Then please excuse our intrusion.”
The guard was slightly taken aback at how Ling Xiao had asked for the opinion of the boy, hurriedly snapping back to reality with an “It’s our pleasure” and leading them to the carriage.
One would normally express their gratitude by personally speaking to the owner, but Ling Xiao and You XiaoMo were not normal people. One never did things by the book and the other was wrapped up in petty matters, so in the end they turned down the guard’s suggestion and instead asked him to deliver their thanks.
Without even waiting for the guard’s response, the two of them left.
The guard could do nothing but follow their orders.
After a while, the convoy of carriages entered the city. Despite not catching the exact conversation between the guard and his lady, You XiaoMo could faintly make out some high-pitched swearing, confirming once and for all that the woman’s intents from the very start was to seduce Ling Xiao.
But as soon as they made it past the city walls, You XiaoMo ordered a guard behind him to pass on a message to his lady and made a run for it before she could personally come over.
Seducing Ling Xiao right in front of him? No way!
You XiaoMo smugly tugged Ling Xiao away from the fleet and very soon the lady’s carriage was too far away to be seen.
Ling Xiao had to utilize his cast-iron self-control to hold back laughter as he watched You XiaoMo go about his petty actions. What intense jealousy; although he knew for sure that You XiaoMo held him dearly in his heart, it was still a surprise to see him react so strongly.
You XiaoMo knew nothing about the internal struggle taking place behind him as he stopped dead in his tracks, whipping around.
All traces of amusement on Ling Xiao’s face instantly vaporized, leaving behind only innocent confusion. “What’s wrong?”
“I was thinking and I think…it might be best if you covered your face up after all.” In the short time span of barely half a day, Ling Xiao’s uncovered face had already attracted a person. Who knew how many others it would attract in the following days? You XiaoMo didn’t want to spend all day driving away annoyances.
At You XiaoMo’s use of the word ‘cover’, Ling Xiao stroked his chin. “Alright. I have no objections.”
You XiaoMo rolled his eyes so hard it must’ve hurt. All objections would’ve been rejected anyway.
Having made a goal, the two of them set out to find a stall that sold masks. Due to the fact that it was the first time that either of them had been in this place, it took them nearly an hour to find a store with exquisitely detailed masks for sale, named Emerald Court. True to its name, Emerald Court occupied an unusually large surface area – about twice the size of normal stores. The exterior was equally as grand with not a trace of tastelessness.
This so-called Emerald Court was a rather famous place in its surrounding area. It welcomes an endless flow of customers every day, most of whom were women.
Translator’s note: Helenos of Troy
Once again, we have the saying of 蓝颜祸水lán yán huò shuǐ (lit. A man’s beauty is sin) – see the T/N in chapter 209 if you are a fellow victim of memory loss. The original phrase (with woman instead of man) has a direct translation of Helen of Troy, who caused many a misfortune with her exquisite looks (more info on her here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Helen_of_Troy). To represent You XiaoMo’s changing of this saying (from female to male), the name Helen was replaced with its masculine counterpart, Helenos. Apparently it’s not an actual name anymore but there was, at one point, a few dudes in ancient history who were named Helenos, and who are we to judge the poor naming choices of ancient parents?