Chapter 80: The One Life of the Nine-tailed Fox
Translated by Shiya of Exiled Rebels Scanlations
Gu Ting Yu was taken away from them under their noses.
Qing Que watched the sky in a daze, it was as if time had stopped for him last night.
Nian Xing was squatting in a corner and crying, even though he no longer had tears. His eye whites were all reddened—it made Qing Que think that he might actually be able to shed tears of blood.
Meanwhile Zhuo Yin felt extremely remorseful, to the point that he wanted to commit suicide; his face was pale, as he intermittently coughed up blood.
He remembered what happened yesterday. Tong Ying had strength superior to all three of them combined; the scarier thing was, though, that they didn’t even have any chances of fighting back.
… Ha. I’m so useless.
Why didn’t he die, Qing Que thought, if he did, then perhaps he would have felt better.
That person’s eyes suddenly came across his mind—when he had almost reached Nirvana, Gu Ting Yu who thought he was dead had had such sad eyes.
Qing Que closed his eyes and shook his head.
He couldn’t die just yet, or else Gu Ting Yu would be sad…
Forcefully calming himself, he walked up to the sobbing Nian Xing and pulled him up, “What are you crying about, it’s bad luck (i)!”
Then he proceeded to kick the petrified Zhuo Yin, “You aren’t dead yet, so stand up and go save Gu Ting Yu.”
“…” Nian Xing was crying his brains out; he blinked his eyes a few times, then went into a daze, but after a few seconds he continued crying again, “I’m useless, sob… sob… I didn’t have any strong magical attacks… I did nothing…”
Qing Que frowned; truly, yesterday’s battle was weird, it was as if all of his strength were sucked away.
He turned around wanting to ask Zhuo Yin about it, but all he saw was Zhuo Yin’s half-lidded eyes, as if half of him was already dead.
Zhuo Yin as the snake king had never felt so miserable before. Having his loved one taken away from him in front of his eyes, while he himself groveled on the ground pathetically, not being able to move an inch, he didn’t even know if Gu Ting Yu is alive or dead right now… When he thought that, his eyes darkened again.
“Zhuo Yin! I know you feel horrible right now, but what can you accomplish by feeling bad for yourself, if you guys can’t do it, then I will go save Gu Ting Yu all by myself!”
It was terrifyingly quiet in the forest, Nian Xing rubbed his eyes and finally stopped crying.
After a while, a rusty voice came out of Zhuo Yin’s mouth, “… Tong Ying, he used to have nine lives.”
Legends said that the nine-tailed fire fox’s oldest ancestor used to be Yan Di’s (ii) ride. Because the fox was crimson red all over like flames, flexible, and smart, Yan Di liked him a lot. Therefore, Yan Di blessed the fire fox with nine lives, but there was a price—every time he lost a life, he would forget what happened in one of his lives.
The Fire Fox Tribe was blessed with great life lines, their tribe grew stronger and stronger. Normally, the fire foxes would cherish their tails and their nine lives, but around a thousand years ago, there was an almost famous fox who was different and odd.
That fox was none other than Tong Ying.
The power stored in the tails wasn’t only “a life”, they could also be used to convert into strong spirit powers or defensive powers, it could even be used to predict the future, warping time and space.
In the beginning, Tong Ying was like the others and protected his tails with care, but one day, he accidentally burned and used up a tail, then he disappeared without a trace. Days later, he was found by the others, lying on the ground in his original form; his body wasn’t hurt but he had one less tail than before.
When he transformed to his human form, he had forgotten everything in his past life, the things he did from that point onwards shook all of the Fire Fox Tribe.
He only left one tail behind, then he let the rest of the tails burn, some for spirit energy, some for defense power, except for that, every time he saw a person, he’d stare at them intently, until they got scared and ran away.
Therefore, Tong Ying had strength above anyone else’s, but at the same time he had lost the blessing given to him as a member of the Fire Fox Tribe.
However, Tong Ying didn’t feel any regret for that, he only said…
Zhuo Yin stopped for a while after he reached that point of the story, then he continued, “He said, ‘He didn’t want to forget anyone ever again’.”
“Like I care who that son of a turtle fox is!!!! That saggy balls bastard, in short the only thing he had left is a stupid tail, right? What is he all high-and-mighty about, stupid seaweed! Watch me cut the thing off!”
Qing Que knew that Nian Xing was beginning to recover, because he was starting to scold people again.
“Umm… That magic circle thing that zaps our energy away was called… I think it’s called ‘Flame Shield Circle’? Yes, that’s it!” Zhuo Yin’s voice sounded less gloomy than before, “To use this magic, one has to surround his opponents with flames, and as long as the opponents are inside the circle of flame, they wouldn’t have strength to fight back, but…”
“On the other hand,” Qing Que continued, “if the opponents aren’t surrounded by the flames, then the ‘Flame Shield Circle’ will have no effects.”
“There’s also the question of where Xiao Yu is now, Ye Yin Ju or Tong Ying?”
“Currently, I think it should be Ye Yin Ju.” Zhuo Yin remembered the moment from last night when Gu Ting Yu was kidnapped—Tong Ying’s face had surprise written all over it, indicating that something unexpecting had happened. “Tong Ying should be trying to find Ye Yin Ju too, so as long as we find one of them, we will surely be able to find the other.”
At the other side, Ye Yin Ju was carefully holding onto Gu Ting Yu’s waist as he soared through the forest.
He stopped atop a tree, listening carefully with all his might, he breathed a sigh of relief after a while—luckily for them Tong Ying hadn’t caught up to them just yet.
Gu Ting Yu who was at his side had his eyes wet; he was biting his lips hard, and his trembling body revealed how much of a panic he was in.
Ye Yin Ju tightened his grasp on Gu Ting Yu, wanting to give him some support subconsciously.
Gu Ting Yu looked at him and asked, “Are we going?”
He didn’t notice Ye Yin Ju’s pale face and the drop of sweat sliding down his cheek, Ye Yin Ju only slightly nodded, then proceeded forward with Gu Ting Yu.
They went back to the river they were at last night, only seeing the scorched trees and ground, on the ground were traces of dried up blood, except for these, there were no familiar faces.
Seeing the red traces, Gu Ting Yu was immediately terrified, his face went pale.
“They…” Gu Ting Yu just began speaking, but his cold fingertips were already held onto by a huge warm palm.
“They are fine,” Ye Yin Ju used a calm voice to say so.
“Last night, they passed out here and today they are gone, this indicates that they still have strength to walk; they must be trying to find you even as we speak.”
Gu Ting Yu calmed himself a bit, nodded and stayed silent.
Ye Yin Ju’s throat moved a little, trying to say something. However, to his dismay, he had always been a person of very few words, so he couldn’t come up with any interesting topic to divert Gu Ting Yu’s focus, and he only managed to lower his head and stared at the ground.
After a few moments of silence, the wind picked up, blowing at the collars of their clothes, their hair rustled in the wind, Gu Ting Yu who had his back to Ye Yin Ju spoke first.
“… At the beginning, someone ambushed us in the dark, then I got poisoned. When I woke up, a black leopard was in front of me; I saved that leopard, but then he paid me back by biting me.” He stopped there and turned around to check Ye Yin Ju’s complexion, then continued in a low voice, “That black leopard, would that be you?”
“Yes, that’s me,” Ye Yin Ju admitted honestly.
“After that… you had chances to kill me, why didn’t you?”
Ye Yin Ju pursed his lips, intentionally avoiding Gu Ting Yu’s gaze, and he only replied after a while, “There were things that I didn’t understand, so I wanted you to answer me first.”
Gu Ting Yu hesitated for a while, then nodded his head.
“You came here all the way from the Palace of Mazes. What is your goal, also what method did you use to tame all those sacred beasts?”
“I didn’t tame anyone, and I also didn’t come here on my own accord at the beginning either.” Remembering Bai Zhi Ao, Xiu Er, and all the things that came afterwards, Gu Ting Yu sighed and continued, “As for the final goal… well… I want to get them all out of this place.”
Destroying the Evil Source for justice’s sake was nothing more than a farce—the truth was that he came all the way here because there were people he wanted to protect now.
Ye Yin Ju was in a daze, his pupils moved around at confusion, “Then…”, he continued, “what if you failed to do so, what if you led them to a place that had nothing but pain and misery?”
Gu Ting Yu froze—Ye Yin Ju asked him exactly about what he was the most afraid of. However, Gu Ting Yu had thought long and hard already, and he had prepared for the worst, “They… asking them to be with me and stop everything right now is close to impossible. I won’t do selfish things believing that they are for their good anymore. If… truly as you said, the ending is going to be a tragic one, then at least we’ll be together in all of this and we will shoulder it together.”
At least, I will have them until the very end.
“I think I understand what’s happening now…” Ye Yin Ju said without an ounce of emotion, “Take off your clothes, right this instant.”
Gu Ting Yu’s face turned pale immediately, “What…what do you mean!?”
(i) Ominous: The Chinese sentence actually meant that if you cried a lot bad things will happen to you, but they won’t if you didn’t cry.
(ii)Yan Di: The words mean Flame King in Chinese, but it’s actually a legendary figure, he was supposed to be the greatest ancestor of all Chinese people.