Translated by Rikko of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Just as Zhong Yan was trying to recollect if this was in the story, the quaking grew exponentially stronger, signaling the culprit was nearby. Zhong Yan finally could have a clear look at it—it was a giant ape the height of two men!
The giant ape was covered in white fur. As it lived in the forest, its fur was not only tangled, stained black, and repulsive, but also emitting a rotting corpse-like stench. At the moment, it was panting heavily, thrashing around the forest, dashing towards the two!
The rapid change of events put them in a tight spot.
Before unsheathing his sword and speeding towards the monster, Gu XuanYan hollered, “Senior Brother, step back!”
If the spectators of the match at Buddhist Hall yesterday were around, they would notice Gu XuanYan was currently multiple times faster than when he struck Zhu Ping! He was as quick as lightning, yet as obscure as a fogbow! Even Zhong Yan noticed the ferocity of the attack, which Gu XuanYan seemingly poured all of his powers in. The sword ruthlessly penetrated into the ape’s abdomen.
A mournful cry bellowed out from the giant ape the moment it was pierced. It lifted its paws high up in the sky before pummelling them towards Gu XuanYan!
The strong blast of wind from the strike rustled the nearby tree branches. Zhong Yan had his heart in his mouth as he yelled, “Gu XuanYan! Hurry and back away!”
Perhaps due to Gu XuanYan draining all of his powers, even though he took a few steps back after withdrawing his sword, he was still too slow to evade the attack. The giant ape struck heavily on his shoulder!
Instantly, blood spurted out of Gu XuanYan’s shoulder, who was hurled seven to eight meters away. He smashed onto the ground, puking out a large mouthful of blood. At that very moment, the giant ape dashed in his direction, its feet just about to stomp on him!
Zhong Yan unsheathed his sword and threw himself in front of Gu XuanYan. Gritting his teeth, he swung his sword towards the ape’s chest, avoiding the close call! Although Qin MingXi was only at the Essence Condensation stage, Zhong Yan imbued quite a bit of his powers into the strike. Appearing swift and aggressive, the sword plunged into the giant ape’s chest!
Although his attack wasn’t as powerful as Gu XuanYan’s, it still drew blood. After a howl, the white ape launched his hand in Zhong Yan’s direction!
Due to how speedy Zhong Yan dodged, the ape’s paw merely whizzed past him. Still, as mighty as a tsunami wave, the air from the slap smacked hard on his chest! Blood began seeping out of the corners of his mouth due to the sudden, sharp pain. Fortunately, the white ape took two hasty steps back as well, putting a three to four meters distance between them. Surprisingly, it didn’t dare to charge at them again.
Nonetheless, both of them knew the beast merely hesitated due to the pain; the standstill was just temporary. Blood still pouring profusely from his left shoulder, Gu XuanYan urged hoarsely, “Senior Brother, make a run for it.”
Yeah, I want to! But if you die, I’ll kick the bucket too!
In a pickle, coupled with the excruciating chest pain, Zhong Yan disregarded how out of character he was as he turned around and shouted, “Shut up!”
Right after, he screamed in his heart, not even taking a glance at Gu XuanYan’s expression. [System, what should I do?! We’re going to die!]
Zhong Yan didn’t expect an answer, but shockingly, the system’s voice rang out in his mind, its tone was cool and collected, a stark contrast to the atmosphere. [Want some cheats, bro? One cheat for ten points, fair trade for old and young alike.]
Zhong Yan went speechless. Officially sold cheats? This novel transmigration isn’t legit at all!
Nevertheless, he didn’t have the luxury of time to mull over that. Charging towards the ape with his sword, he shouted internally, [Give me one!]
Wind began to rise in a split second, the sky darkening into pitch black. The nearby leaves and branches flailed around in unison. Unlike the trembling from the giant ape, the shaking was brutal; it broke countless branches straight away. The term ‘branches’ probably no longer fit them. As instead of landing on the ground, they were surrounded by a blue sword energy and emitted a low hum reminiscent of a sword. They chased in the direction Zhong Yan’s sword pointed instantly, as though thousands of unsheathed swords!
The white ape had no way to escape. As if the sharpest weapons in the world, numerous branches pierced through each and every one of its limbs, its abdomen and chest. Blood drenched its fur in a split second. After a wail, it plunged onto its knees, falling to the ground, which quaked upon impact.
Now’s his chance! Zhong Yan disregarded the excruciating chest pain as he forcibly gathered energy from the massive sword energy around him. With a leap, he appeared in front of the white ape and rammed his sword into its throat! The gargantuan ape crashed onto the ground, kicking up dirt.
Drained of energy, Zhong Yan took a look at Gu XuanYan, whose eyes were tightly shut and had seemingly fainted. The system’s tone had a hint of arrogance. [Relax, I knocked him out a second before you got the cheat. He will be up soon.]
…A legit transmigration system wouldn’t say something like that.
The system added, [Oh right, your points…]
Before collapsing, Zhong Yan waved his hands, [I know. Ten points, right? Just deduct it.] The system stopped the conversation.
The sword energy was too much for Zhong Yan’s cultivation base. As he closed his eyes, a wave of sleepiness from the pain and exhaustion swept over him. Nonetheless, he couldn’t doze off since Gu XuanYan had not woken up yet. If some random black or yellow ape came over again, the two of them would be able to enjoy each other’s company while drinking Old Lady Meng’s soup. 1
Thus, he forced himself up, moved Gu XuanYan under a tree before examining the wound on his shoulder. Only after noticing that it wasn’t bleeding did Zhong Yan lean beside him in relief. Attempting to recover a bit more strength, he tried his best to slow down his breathing while remaining immobile. At the moment, only the whooshing sound of wind passing the forest could be heard, along with intermittent footsteps.
Footsteps…? Instantly, Zhong Yan clutched his sword, his eyes wide open. He grumbled inwardly. Did I just jinx myself?!
However, the footsteps were as light as a feather. A while later, a lady poked her head out from a tree, alarmed. “Oh my! There really are two people here!”
With his sword in hand, Zhong Yan lifted his line of sight, directing it to the lady in front of him. Her ink-black hair was fine and thin. Clad in a green, delicate dress, she had a string of turquoise wrapped around her wrist, accentuating her creamy complexion. Her dress reached right above her ankles, revealing her bare feet. A lifelike tattoo of a flying green bird was above her ankle, partially visible from the fluttering of her dress.
As though bestowed with wisdom, Zhong Yan remembered who the lady in front of him was. Knowing he would be rescued from the jaws of death, he cast his sword aside. Only when she got nearer did he start speaking, “Tong Ling, help.”
Turquoise bracelet, flying bird tattoo, she must be Tong Ling, a stunning green bird spirit in the story who practiced spiritual cultivation. Also, she was the only person Gu XuanYan fell for in the story.
Tong Ling halted in her tracks, flashing a mystified look towards Zhong Yan, “You know me?”
After nodding, Zhong Yan pointed at Gu XuanYan while forcing words out of his mouth, “You must save him. He is…”
He is your future partner! However, he collapsed before he could finish his sentence.
Tong Ling swiveled around and yelled, her heart almost stopping right then, “Hurry over, you guys!”
Just as she was about to help them up, she realized the guy with his chest covered with blood had opened his eyes. That guy swept a rather emotionless glance at her. Judging from the lack of surprise in his eyes, he probably was conscious ever since he detected her footsteps. In contrast, Tong Ling was bizarrely startled by his gaze and didn’t dare to approach him right then.
Gu XuanYan lowered his head, looking at Zhong Yan. Zhong Yan’s eyebrows were tightly knitted, appearing restless. Dirt caked his pitiful looking face. Still, his chest rose and fell slightly. It wasn’t known what was in Gu XuanYan’s mind then, but a second later, he let out a sigh, “Once again, Senior Brother’s incredible ability to survive amazes me.”
Neither the unconscious Zhong Yan nor Tong Ling, who was a distance away from him, caught his whisper. She only noticed him lifting his head and tossing a sudden smile at her. Unlike his previous chilly gaze, his smile was as light as a spring breeze brushing over a lake. Seemingly coming out of nowhere, the refreshing and gentle warmth in his smile could melt a glacier.
Following which, she heard him requesting, “Miss, might I ask you to heal my senior brother?”
It was the next morning when Zhong Yan woke up; the sun had just risen. The pain from Zhong Yan’s chest had mostly dissipated. Gu XuanYan sat beside him, his injury bandaged up. Noting he was awake, Gu XuanYan lowered his head, asking softly, “Senior Brother, do you still feel unwell anywhere?”
Zhong Yan straightened himself up, moving his body slightly before shaking his head, “I’m fine.”
Gu XuanYan seemingly heaved a sigh of relief. “Senior Brother almost scared the life out of me when Senior Brother shielded me just then.” A hint of a smile spread across his face, “But it is surprising that Senior Brother managed to kill that monster.”
Zhong Yan had already anticipated the question, replying without any hesitation, “It’s a matter of life and death; I merely tried my utmost to fight.”
A silence hung between them for quite a bit before Gu XuanYan answered. “Senior Brother is right. During a matter of life and death, one should naturally be a bit more ruthless.”
Words failed Zhong Yan. Bro, I’m just talking out of my ass! Please don’t try to kill me!
A melodious voice of a lady rang out behind them, “You’re awake!” As Zhong Yan turned around, he saw Tong Ling raising the hem of her dress and skipping over to them, still babbling non-stop, “Your junior brother was so worried about you; he stayed by your side for quite some time. I’ve told him you would be fine. See? You did wake up. But how do you know my name?”
Zhong Yan chuckled, his tone getting mischievous. “Well, all cultivators know Tong Ling, the green bird spirit, is one of the prettiest ladies among the spiritual cultivators.”
Tong Ling’s eyes sparkled in delight, “Really?”
“Yes.” Zhong Yan nodded. After a glance at Gu XuanYan, he tried to raise their affection points for each other. “Junior Brother, don’t you think this lady looks good?”
Gu XuanYan lifted his head to take a glimpse, nodded before adding, “Senior Brother looks good too.”
His remark rendered Zhong Yan speechless. Are you crazy?
Instead of getting offended, Tong Ling started giggling. The frustration Gu XuanYan oddly had after Zhong Yan praised Tong Ling disappeared once he glanced at Zhong Yan’s expression. His tone was gentle. “Senior Brother, I’m sorry. We should be heading back to the Sect.”
Reluctance flashed across Tong Ling’s eyes, “If so, remember to come over and play when you are free. Aside from me, there are only my tribespeople and beasts that speak different languages in the mountain. It’s so boring here.”
Zhong Yan replied with a nod. After pondering, he inched towards Tong Ling, warning her softly, “Never go into the demonic cultivators’ territory in the Northern Wilderness.”
In the story, Tong Ling’s life ended there. To threaten Gu XuanYan, the demonic cultivators kidnapped Tong Ling, which led to her tragic death. That was the moment Gu XuanYan turned utterly evil. Zhong Yan’s reminder not only served to stop Gu XuanYan from reaching that point, but also because he didn’t want to see an energetic girl like her to die tragically. Although he knew the plot was diverting after the series of changes and might not follow the original story, he still wanted to try avoiding it by reminding her.
When reading the story, Zhong Yan treated it as something fictional. Only when he personally stepped into the story did he feel every single character was real and alive.
Despite being clueless about what Zhong Yan said, surprisingly, Tong Ling was mute when she saw the grim look on his face and bobbed her head intensely. Reassured, Zhong Yan rode his sword back to Green Summit together with Gu XuanYan.
The train of events delayed their trip back by a day. Zhong Yan almost wept out of joy the moment his eyes caught the familiar dull tiles and bamboo eaves. The only thing he had in mind was to return to his bed and sleep for three whole days.
However, before they could heave a relieved sigh, someone behind them roared the second they landed, “Who goes there?!”
Both of them turned around, just to see the person in front of them unsheathing their sword. After a closer look at the two, the person sheathed their sword and hurried over, a hint of a whimper in their voice, “Senior Brother, you are finally back! The monks over at the Buddhist hall told us you had gone back a day earlier, but you are still not back after such a long time. All of us were worried sick!”
Gu XuanYan knitted his brows a little, seemingly confused. Still, he answered gently, “We chanced upon a beast during our journey back, so we took a bit of time. There’s no need to worry.”
“How can we not be worried?!” Urgency was evident in the person’s voice, “Senior Brother, didn’t you hear? Herbal Cloud’s Senior Chun Qin died in the Buddhist Hall on the night of the ceremony!”
The news was like a sudden clasp of thunder, exploding in Zhong Yan’s ears. He raised his head at once. “Wait, who died?”
A robotic voice rang out in his mind before he got a reply, [Host: Zhong Yan. Mission: Stop Gu XuanYan from killing Chun Qin. Mission failed. Deduction of twenty points. Usage of items, deduction of ten points. Points remaining: Seventy.]
Zhong Yan could only feel icy tendrils of fear reaching towards him from the back, chilling him to the bone. Any bit of relaxation he had just then vanished into thin air. He subconsciously turned his line of sight to Gu XuanYan, who was right beside him. Gu XuanYan seemed to have been staring at him for quite some time. Seeing him turning his head, he lifted the corners of his lips a little, revealing a light smile.
Zhong Yan, “You must save him! He’s your future partner!”
Tong Ling, “Nope, no way! This is clearly a BL story!”
- Aka both of them will die. For more info: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Meng_Po