Mo Shu assumed Nan Ge Er didn’t like him killing others, yet clueless that what Nan Ge Er actually feared of was his pragmatic expression when he murdered others.
Nan Ge Er could only survive through that because he had struggled on the brink of death twice, seemingly always ending in an agonizing death. Plus, he was much more tenacious than any average person. If it were someone with slightly lower perseverance, that person probably would have broken down long ago.
In his first life, he was burnt alive by a blazing fire. That stinging stench emitted from his scorned body, the terrifying feeling of breathlessness; all of those were something he had once experienced.
Then, five years ago, he was tormented for three years. He endured all kinds of tortures; whipping, the fiery pillar1, bone piercing needles. Suffering from hunger that could drive one mad, he even became willing to consume the dirty limescale in the water. The icy cold water was so chilling; it almost froze his soul.
He inched close to death at every single moment. The most despairing part to him was, all of that came from someone he protected since young. He only felt freed when he fell down the cliff.
Humans should die peacefully; it was a mercy from the heavens. Pitying the arduous labours in humans’ lifetime, the heavens granted them a natural death. It was a punishment from the heavens if one died a torturous death without an intact corpse. One would have to suffer an excruciating end due to the punishment while repenting on the wrongdoings made in the past
Nevertheless, every single one of that still ended up being a mercy from the heavens. No matter a natural passing or retribution, all of that ended with death anyway. No longer needing to suffer nor worry about the unforeseen future, one only had to rest in a peaceful, long slumber.
However, what if one couldn’t die a natural death, and was instead tormented yet again after dying once, while still unable to die in the end? It, indeed, could be deemed as an utter contempt from the heavens. He really had no idea what had he done wrong, and what unforgivable crimes he had committed, that made fate hate him as such. Since, in the end, he still had to die one more time. Who knew how much he had to suffer before reaching that demise?
Thus, he wished for death. Since he would end up dying anyway, might as well speed up the process, ending in a smooth and clean death when he was still clear-headed, to avoid suffering an excruciating torment in the unforeseeable future. After all, he only felt dread towards his life, and fearful of the impending tomorrow. Just that and nothing else. Nonetheless, he still decided to live on in the end.
Although life is filled with agonizing hardships, I’m still willing to live on.
This time, he was still bedridden for a good half-month. Sure enough, the New Year was spent in bed.
The person, who should have been fetched by them initially, was arranged to be brought back to Guang Tian by someone else instead. Mo Shu accompanied Nan Ge Er as they passed their days peacefully in the small town of Jun Yao. The Guang Tian citizen living in this small town had the identity of a trader. Who knew what methods he used, but during their temporary stay in the town, not a single governmental officer came over to inquire about the loss of more than twenty lives that day.
After promising again and again that Nan Ge Er seriously wasn’t in danger, the doctor was released and returned back—although the doctor’s disciple was keeping watch of Guang Tian, he still felt much more at ease doing that himself.
As Mo Shu accompanied Nan Ge Er in his recuperation for yet another week, half of the first month in the lunar year passed by. Even though his life was saved, his thinned face couldn’t get plump anytime soon. This caused Mo Shu to worry again for quite some time. However, the work in Guang Tian couldn’t be neglected for long either. Hence, when Nan Ge Er got slightly better, both of them set out towards Bei Jun again.
Indeed, as promised, during the journey, Mo Shu never killed a single soul. Though, Nan Ge Er couldn’t really bear to see him restraining himself in such a strenuous way. Nonetheless, if he allowed Mo Shu to kill freely, blood would probably be trailing behind their journey from Jun Yao to Bei Jun. In any case, he was just someone normal, incapable of disregarding human lives like Mo Shu. After living in Guang Tian for all those years, Nan Ge Er realized his heart was getting softer, or perhaps, weaker.
Today was similar to before. Both of them rode the horse together while strolling through the streets of the bustling city — their lodging today was at a villa of a certain wealthy merchant. Hearing Mo Shu would be passing by, the merchant instructed servants to arrange the food and accommodation for the two of them.
If Nan Ge Er didn’t get together with Mo Shu, he probably would never know this affluent merchant, famed throughout the four countries, was actually a citizen of Guang Tian. But, after a second thought, he didn’t really find it strange. When had Guang Tian citizens ever did anything inferior to outsiders? Each and every one of them was the cream of the crop; none was mediocre.
This city was indeed much larger as compared to the previous town, and the pedestrians’ outfits were much more vibrantly colored and plentiful than the small town. However, the two males on a horse still attracted countless gazes. Not to mention their unique attires, and that troublesome appearance of Mo Shu. Some even whispered to one another, wagging their tongues.
Nan Ge Er didn’t know martial arts, so he couldn’t quite hear what was said. On the contrary, being highly skilled in martial arts, Mo Shu’s hearing was much more exceptional. He began feeling uncomfortable once he heard those filthy words spouted out. According to his usual habit, so long as the person wasn’t from Guang Tian, no matter if it was just blocking of path, Mo Shu would still strike down with no hesitation. Sometimes he did so without rhyme or reason. To him, killing such a weak fellow was as simple as crushing an ant. Even if there were three to four thousands of them, he merely found it as a slightly lengthened waste of time. Now, with those things uttering such unpleasant words, killing them ten times over probably still wouldn’t be enough to simmer his anger.
Mo Shu reached his hand out to his waist involuntarily and touched his sword. As Nan Ge Er was in Mo Shu’s arms, he obviously noticed his movements. Mo Shu must be thinking of killing again. Nan Ge Er held his hand out and gripped on Mo Shu’s wrist. “Let’s go.”
Living among regular people, Guang Tian’s citizens probably had to spend quite some effort to hid themselves. If Mo Shu continued his killing spree, it would undoubtedly stress them furthermore. Perhaps the doctor was referring to this when he said about wanting Nan Ge Er to restrict Mo Shu.
Mo Shu loosened his grip, stroking Nan Ge Er’s head instead, “Mn.” He shook the reins with one hand, prompting the horse to continue on.
Nan Ge Er poked his head out from Mo Shu’s arms, before glancing at those gossipers. As he had not much time to recover after pulling through the illness, his face was only the size of a palm. This caused his eyes to look huge and rather nimble as they moved around. However, all who came in contact with his eyes would feel their hair rising all over. He had a pair of bone-chilling eyes, which was as cold as ice. His gaze towards them appeared as though anyone in his line of sight had already died. In truth, they had no idea that they might actually be dead if not for Nan Ge Er’s presence.
Nan Ge Er didn’t really object when Mo Shu stated he wouldn’t kill in front of him. That was only because he wasn’t willing to witness Mo Shu’s ruthlessness during his murdering. As for any other times, he felt incapable of controlling it. Still, he hadn’t let out what he thought to Mo Shu, since he didn’t wish Mo Shu to know he feared him that much instinctively.
Mo Shu clearly found it natural, yet Nan Ge Er felt frightened about it; he didn’t want Mo Shu to feel perplexed by that. Although it wasn’t proclaimed bluntly by Mo Shu, Nan Ge Er had more or less guessed that Mo Shu found nothing wrong at all with what he had done. And yet, it was the most immoral part of it. Nonetheless, he didn’t have any inkling on how to explain it too, so he had no choice but to let Mo Shu continue on such a misunderstanding. It was precisely due to Mo Shu’s overly pragmatic look which made him unable to explain.
It was also precisely because Mo Shu, even though not knowing the reason of Nan Ge Er’s sudden outburst, decided to repress his killing desire without any slightest hesitation, which caused Nan Ge Er’s refusal to have Mo Shu realize the fear he had. He would rather let him misunderstand than make him aware of his fear. I don’t possess much now, so I don’t want to lose even a single speck of thing.
The white horse galloped while carrying two people, reaching in front of the mansion at the end of the main street. Personnel was already waiting at the gate. They were headed by an old lady, with a few able-bodied males behind and their families further back. Servants of different sizes and ages crowded together, almost jamming up the street.
“Xian Sheng, you’ve finally arrived.” The old lady was around sixty, looking quite dignified. She had a rosy complexion and a resonant voice, “The journey must have been hard.”
Mo Shu rode the horse towards the old lady and got off. Afterwards, he extended his hands out to get Nan Ge Er down before helping him to stabilize his footing. “We need some rest.” Mo Shu supported Nan Ge Er’s slightly unsteady body. Then, he smiled towards the old lady, “Zhi Niang, is everything prepared?”
Nan Ge Er noticed that Mo Shu was the usual gentle and kind Mo Shu-xiansheng in front of Guang Tian’s citizens; but once he came in contact with outsiders, he would go berserk without fail, turning into a bloodthirsty demon—any little reason was enough to get him on a killing frenzy.
“Of course,” the old lady, named Zhi Niang, replied, “Chu Yi is here this time around. Would you like to meet him, Xiansheng?” she led the way while talking. The people at the back cleared out a path wordlessly.
“Chu Yi.” Mo Shu supported Nan Ge Er as he walked behind. Noting what Zhi Niang said, he seemed to ponder for a while, before answering, “Please make arrangements, Zhi Niang.”
Chu Yi? Who is that? Nan Ge Er’s mind was filled with confusion.
1The fiery pillar: a torture device in ancient China which has people roasted alive by tying them to a hot bronze pillar