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Translated by Vivian of Exiled Rebels Scanlations

 

Unexpectedly, Xiahou Lian didn’t have to use many words to convince Shen Jue to let him and Chi Yan go to the North. Xiahou Lian felt in disbelief, as he had originally thought it would take a lot of effort.

It was probably because he had acted first and reported later when swallowing Bliss Fruit, so even if Shen Jue wanted to scold him, he couldn’t scold him upon seeing that he was like a dying bird after taking the drug. Xiahou Lian felt apologetic, but he had no other choice. Shen Jue merely looked at him and sighed, bringing him below the flower stand to bask in the sun. They didn’t have anything to do all afternoon, so he simply let him lean on his thighs as he napped. Xiahou Lian laid muddledly, murmuring, “Young Master, do the wounds on your body hurt, do you want me to blow on them for you?”

“Blow, my ass, go to sleep.” Shen Jue covered his eyes with his hand.

With this sleep, the afternoon flashed past.

It was time for dinner, so Shen Jue instructed people to serve food and drink in the small drawing room. Although the drawing room was small, it was very light and spacious, and opening the door and looking out, there was a small pond in the garden. A few kerria flowers had bloomed brilliantly, stretching directly into the moon gate. This was the first time the three of them had sat together and eaten a meal. Before, Shen Jue had been wounded so he hadn’t been able to get out of bed, and when he finally got out of bed, he had been entangled in official business and hadn’t been able to get free time no matter what. Shen Jue was sitting in the host’s seat, holding his sleeve as he distributed food to Chi Yan. Today’s dishes were very mild, and glancing around, it was an expanse of green and white, with less salt, less oil, and less sugar, specially made for Chi Yan’s tastes.

“Do you drink alcohol?” Shen Jue asked Chi Yan.

Chi Yan shook his head.

Xiahou Lian said, “He only drinks plain water.”

“Do you want plum blossom wine?” Shen Jue asked. “It’s soaked in white plum, so it doesn’t have much vinosity.”

Xiahou Lian patted Chi Yan’s shoulder. “Have a taste, how can a man not drink a bit of alcohol?”

Chi Yan looked down at Xiahou Lian’s hand that was placed on his shoulder and pursed his lips, staying silent for a while. Suddenly, he stood up and moved his stool to sit down next to Shen Jue.

Xiahou Lian’s hand was stiffly suspended in midair as he blankly looked at Chi Yan, who was across from him.

Chi Yan lowered his head and poked his rice. “I do not want to drink.”

He silently ate with his chopsticks, his eyes only looking at his own bowl, but anyone could see that he was angry. On one hand, Xiahou Lian felt at a loss, and on the other, he felt strange that Chi Yan could actually be angry.

“Chi Yan, what’s the matter with you?” Xiahou Lian reached out and shook his hand in front of Chi Yan’s eyes. He thought this way and that, but he didn’t know how he had provoked Chi yan.

“You lied to me,” Chi Yan said in a low voice.

Xiahou Lian was stunned. “Huh?”

Chi Yan lowered his eyes, his long eyelashes covering his clear and quiet eyes, an obvious desolation on his face. “Before, you said that you can only marry a woman for a wife, and that they have to be younger than you. They also have to be virtuous and can keep the house, cook, and do needlework. The little young master does not fit a single one, but you took him as your wife.”

Xiahou Lian was speechless. He wanted to explain, but he was clumsy with speech, and only after a long time did he stammer, “At the time, I originally liked women…” He caught a glimpse of Shen Jue’s gaze that was becoming colder and colder, and bit his own tongue, forcibly swallowing all of his words back.

Fuck, always saying what shouldn’t be said. This was just great, the two of them were offended together now.

Shen Jue put down his chopsticks and took the napkin Shen Wenxing was holding to wipe his mouth. “A-Lian taught you correctly, though what he taught you was the principle of common customs. The harmony of yin and yang conforms with human relations, so according to convention, a man should indeed marry a woman, and a woman wed a man. However, ‘human relationships must not be restricted, and cannot be forbidden by sages.’ As long as they like each other, how is being male or female a hindrance? If you meet someone you like one day, whether it’s a man or a woman, you should do what you want.” He turned the ring on his hand and smiled. “There’s one more thing you misunderstood, your little brother didn’t take me as his wife. Since he lives in Shen Manor and took my surname, he is naturally married to me.”

“…” Xiahou Lian wanted to retort, but Shen Jue swept a chilly gaze over, and Xiahou Lian closed his mouth.

Chi Yan was stunned. He looked at Shen Jue with wide eyes, and Shen Jue also looked silently at him. Then, he turned his head to look at Xiahou Lian, repeating in a low voice, “Do what I want?”

“Naturally,” said Shen Jue.

Chi Yan asked, “Then can I marry the two of you?”

The entire hall was silent. Xiahou Lian’s movements were slow as he held his forehead.

Outside the flowerbed, various flowers and greenery rustled in the wind, and the sunset’s dim lights and shadows added brilliant splendor to the ground.

Shen Wenxing stood next to the incense stand and silently thought, Master Uncle’s brain doesn’t seem too bright.

Shen Jue smiled slightly. “No, you cannot.”

After eating, it had already become dark, so the three of them returned to the study. Xiahou Lian closed the door, lowered the curtains, and lit candles and lanterns everywhere, making the room glimmer. Shen Jue took a seat behind his desk, and Chi Yan turned his back toward Shen Jue and Xiahou Lian. He took off his upper garment, and the moon-white colored domestic robes and snow-white undergarments slipped off, revealing his firm and vigorous muscles, as well as the black Asura totem that was tattooed across his entire back.

“Is the map hidden in this totem?” Xiahou Lian examined Chi Yan’s tattoo.

Chi Yan nodded. “Following this map, we can go up the mountain from the north side of Xue Mountain and arrive at Linbei Marquis Manor.”

“Have you gone up Xue Mountain before?”

“I have.” Chi Yan said, “Linbei Marquis Manor is halfway up the mountain. When going up the mountain, people usually go out from the northern gate of Huaishuo City and go up the south side, because the southern slope is gentle. The northern slope is steep and it is connected to a big snowfield, so it is very easy to get lost.”

Shen Jue pushed the memorials to the throne to the side and spread out a six-meter paper on the ebony desk. “I’ll copy down the map.”

“Young Master, you even know how to draw?” Xiahou Lian put his head closer in curiosity. “How do you know everything?”

“Before when I was bored, I would draw for fun.” Shen Jue seemed to remember something, and he coughed dryly and pushed Xiahou Lian’s head away, setting his brush down on the snow-white paper.

The night was silent, with only the light bursts of the candle flame. Shen Jue finished copying the totem, and Chi Yan put his clothes back on and sat next to the desk. Xiahou Lian looked left and right, but he really couldn’t see how this evil Asura spirit looked like a map. Shen Jue glanced at him lightly and turned the entire drawing around, then filled in the blank areas with vermillion ink. 

The lines along the bright red connected into an expanse, and the map slowly took shape.

“The bottom is the map of the mountain roads, the top is the map of the marquis manor.” Chi Yan pointed at the manor. “Around the marquis manor, there is a sentry pavilion every five steps and a watchtower every ten steps. There are layers of screening inside, and people’s identities are checked when they pass through a door. It is very hard to sneak in.”

Shen Jue pondered for a while before saying, “I’ll help you two think of a way, don’t worry. Chi Yan, tell us about Baili Yuan. Among us, only you understand her the best.”

Chi Yan was taken aback and looked down at his own palms. The cool and refreshing breeze penetrated the moon gate, hooking onto his fingertips. He was silent for a moment before saying, “I met her when I was in Zijing Pass. That day, the snow was very heavy and I had become ill, so I had fallen in the snowfield. The North is too cold, and there are a lot of drunkards who get drunk and lie down on the side of the road, and their corpses that had frozen to death are only discovered the next morning. I thought I was also going to die, but she saved me.”

“Why did she save you?” asked Shen Jue.

“She said that in her childhood, she heard me play the xun and accidentally fell unconscious from freezing, and it was me who carried her back inside.” Chi Yan said, “But I do not remember. Besides her taking me up Xue Mountain, I only went once with the abbot when I was fourteen years old.”

“Eleven years ago… she was only one or two years old, right? Can someone listen to the xun at such a young age?” Xiahou Lian was shocked.

Shen Jue furrowed his brow slightly and asked, “Do you know her well, Chi Yan?”

Chi Yan nodded and gazed at the pitch-black dome of the sky outside the window, saying softly, “Baili has always been a child, a very, very young child.”

 ———————————————

A-Chu stepped on moonlight as she returned to Yunxian Building. These past few days, she had been afraid of the assassins taking revenge, so she had laid low in an acquaintance’s house. She didn’t dare to stay in Shen Manor, as Shen Jue didn’t seem to like her very much. Every time he saw her, his gaze would be chilly, and only when Xiahou Lian was there did his expression become a little more relaxed. She suspected that Shen Jue was pretending for Xiahou Lian.

Only later did she know the reason. Once when she had been drinking tea in a teahouse, she had heard the neighboring table gossiping that she was an old lover of Xiahou Lian’s, his intimate confidant. These words must have spread to Shen Jue’s ears; no wonder he never had a nice expression toward her.

Baili Yuan had already left the city, and she had heard that depot guards of the Kaiping Guard had discovered her tracks. On one hand, A-Chu felt fortunate that she had escaped, and on the other she felt worried about what would happen if Baili Yuan… if the A-Yuan from her memories was caught.

She would die. Her heart actually already had the answer.

She always couldn’t help but recall Baili Yuan’s black and bright eyes under the moonlight, and recall her appearance when she sweetly called her “jiejie.” Could someone putting on an act really pass off the falsehood as the truth? She racked her brain but couldn’t understand. Shaking her head vigorously, she sighed and entered the door.

Because of Garan’s matters, Yunxian Building hadn’t opened for a long time, so it appeared deserted everywhere. Her sisters were playing pai gow and madiao, looking listless. Seeing her return, someone greeted her lazily, and she nodded before going back to her own courtyard. Fallen leaves were piled below the steps and the flowers in the flowerbed had wilted, their branches and tendrils growing disorderly and stretching toward the trail. She opened the red-painted door, lit a short candle on the table, and the light shone clearly. Behind her, her shadow was dragged into a long line, stretching up to the ceiling.

She put her cloth bundle onto a drum stool and turned around, opening the beaded curtains on the floor-to-ceiling screen. In the darkness, a short figure appeared indistinctly. She was sitting on her alcove bed, and her feet couldn’t touch the ground, suspended above a rosewood footstool. A-Chu saw a pair of dark eyes open in the darkness, and Baili Yuan slowly revealed a dark red smile.

“You’re back, Jiejie.”

A-Chu screamed and fell to the ground, nearly knocking the candlestick over. She turned around and scrambled, wanting to get out, but two assassins closed the door and guarded the entrance. She pressed herself against the door and turned back around. In the darkness, Baili Yuan walked over step by step and stood in front of her, her indifferent eyes lowered as she looked down at her.

Am I going to die? she thought in a panic. She secretly tipped Xiahou Lian off, so she would definitely be killed, like all people who died under Garan’s saber.

She closed her eyes, and in the silence, she only heard her own rapid breathing and heartbeat. Chilliness seized her, and her hands and feet became cold. She waited for a saber or dagger to pierce into her chest.

Suddenly, a familiar milky scent lingered at the tip of her nose, and she was embraced by a pair of soft hands.

Baili Yuan hugged her tightly and said in her ear, “Jiejie, I waited here for you for so long, why did you come back only now? Didn’t we agree to go to the North together? I came to pick you up, Jiejie.”

 

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wist
November 21, 2022 3:40 pm

TWO CHAPTERS IN A ROW YAY !!!!!
THANKS TO THE TRANSLATOR AND EDITOR MWAH MWAH !!!!!!!!!

i liked the funny bits in the chapter, god i was dying when Chi Yan asked if he could marry them both LMAO, anyway, i don’t think i can be mad with Baili Yuan tbh, she’s just a child and i know that doesn’t excuse what she’s done as the Yama but i can’t help but feel bad for her, she just wants a family, even if she doesn’t get it by the best methods.

WangXian31
November 21, 2022 3:47 pm

XL and CY were identical twins before XL altered his face (XY has a scar above his eye though).
I have a feeling it eas XL and not CY, who saved Baili Yuan when she was a toddler.
I doubt BY could cope with losing both CY and A-chu from her life. I dislike her immensely, but how else will a hugely lonely and unloved child turn out? 🙄
Dreading XL & CY’s trip North.
Thanks for translating and editing.

LicoLico
November 23, 2022 2:16 am

Thank You for the new chapter (◍•ᴗ•◍)♡

Meika
Meika
November 24, 2022 8:56 pm

Xl sleeping on SJs lap .awwww. Fluff.

Chi yan is so innocent (*^3^)
While BY is such a creepy child, the kind that’s misunderstood, yes, but still creepy coz u dont know what shes thinking

loneplum
December 3, 2022 4:18 pm

Love that unexpected bit of humor when CY wanted to marry XHL and SJ! 😂 🤣

But also super worried about A-Chu’s fate! Really hoping that she can stay alive and escape from Baili Yuan.

Thank you for the chapter!

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