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02 November 2016 @ 10:55 pm
Living Up To You - Chapter 01 - Demons  

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CHAPTER 01 - DEMONS

Translation Notes: This section before every chapter will intruduce new romanized terms that I will not be translating either because they are used a lot or you probably already know what they mean. 哥哥(gege) literally meaning 'big brother' can be used by a younger person to address an older male person, blood-related or not. A 仙(xian) is an immortal. A 天灵(tian ling) is a kind of spirit, tian means sky, so a tian ling comes from the heavenly realm. The "demons" that shows up in this chapter are 妖(yao) if you are familiar with the term from other books. 江湖(jianghu)litterally translate to rivers & lakes, but actually refers to the the mortal realm and humans, specifially those that know martial arts. This story will not be taking place in jianghu since it is xianxia and not wuxia. Lastly, this chapter you will probably discover our heroine is rather special. In english the word 傻(sha) can be used interchangeably to say stupid, dumb, foolish, mentally disabled, etc.. I will just be using whatever suitable according to the context of the sentence, so you can decide for yourself which kind of 'sha' she is as you read on.
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Gege said that on the night she was born, there was a big hurricane, it even blew away the straw roof over their house. Over half of the village's trees were knocked down, along with them went those horrible people that always gave the two of them a hard time therefore, they got what karma they deserved.

Because of this, whenever the villagers point their fingers and call her a harbinger, gege will say that she was his lucky charm. After burying their sickly mother who had passed away after childbirth, gege immediately fled their torn up village with her tucked in his arms.

Since then, it's been ten years. He dragged her along with him as he lingered in the mortal realm, everywhere yet nowhere was home.

The reason she said he was 'lingering' in the mortal realm was because whenever gege got the chance, he would remind her that if it weren't for her, he would've went off to pursue his dreams of becoming a xian a long time ago!

Whenever this time comes, she would always pull on the corner of his sleeve and give him her simple and eager to please smile. Gege would pat her on her head, smiling so hard his eyes turning into little crescent moons, even purposely showing his pearly white teeth and in a deflated tone say: "Don't worry, I will feed you till you're fifteen and marry you off before I leave."

And the everywhere yet nowhere was home part, saying it aloud is so easy, just like imagining a jianghu rouge so carefree and graceful, in reality the bitterness is apparent, every time gege talks about it he would pinch her left check and sigh loudly how much he regret his judgment back then. One wrong step turns into endless self-loathing, right now, he can't even think about getting rid of her!

Now that she is talking about it, it really is strange. Wherever gege takes her, within half a year, that place will most definitely befall some kind of calamity, natural or human-made. Even something as unthinkable as a river flooding over in the middle of winter has happened before.

Eventually, someone found the "divine pattern", all the cities, villages, towns sprung up a rumor, if ever you come by an inhumanly handsome, drop-dead gorgeous man that looks as if he is a xian fallen from the sky and by his side is a dumb girl, you must do everything in your power to make them leave immediately, or else, light consequences would be the whole village fall sick, heavy consequences would be death of the entire village! Because this dumb girl... is a harbinger!

When she heard these words from gege, she frowned and twirled her hair, thinking about it from sunrise in the east till sunset in the west, still she couldn't make any sense of it.

In these times of simultaneous natural disasters and human calamities, she just coincidently, exactly happened to set foot in that area. There wasn't even any time to consider permanently settling down there, the disaster has already hit. She seriously doesn't believe she has this incredible ability to attract such attention from whatever gods or demons that are making this mischief... anyways, no matter how big the scale of the natural disaster, no matter how horrendous the human calamity, gege will always take care of it properly. The cities they pass by, rarely is there any deaths. These ungrateful people, although nobody is forcing them to be grateful, how dare they go around spreading this nonsense "heavy consequence, death of entire village."

Since then, it's been three days. She has finally thought her way into the light. That so-called rumor, it must be something gege made up to trick her. Strangers would never describe him as a "inhumanly handsome, drop-dead gorgeous man that looks as if he is a xian fallen from the sky", evenmore would not just replace her with a simple "dumb girl."

From when she could remember, when people ridicule her, they would always use "that ugly monster, stupid girl", "that extraordinarily, incomparably ugly idiot" or the likes of these. Anyways, it'll never stray from "ugly" or "dumb".

There was this one time where she truly couldn't bear it, so she asked gege, am I ugly?

Gege pat her head and said, nope, it's these peoples' hearts that are ugly, so their eyes are unclean. Whatever they see is ugly and disgusting to them.

So I continued to ask, am I stupid?

He continued to rub her hair, smiling like a puddle of warm water in spring and said to her, of course you're not stupid.

Her reaction would always be a bit slower than gege, only now remembering what gege had said previously, she nodded her head furiously, "En... So in their eyes, Gege is also an ugly monster."

She clearly saw the end of gege's upturned lips twitch, the smile on his face fluttered for a brief second. She continued to her reaction to the next question, nodding repeatedly with a smile on her lips: "En... I don't think I'm stupid either."

Gege's lips twitched again, shot her a look, "fools never think they are foolish..."

So the issue regarding whether or not she is "dumb", she never quite found the answer. According to gege's favorite way of explaining it, her mind is just missing a "chord", that's all.

Taking the conversation back to it's origins, even if this rumor was true, or perhaps it is false, all she needs to do is continue tagging along with gege. If gege says they have to leave, then she will go with him. If gege says they can stay, she will start cleaning the house like she usually does. Only problem, with their "great reputation" being spread around like this, many places wouldn't even open their city gates for them. As for villages, it was usually one step in, next them getting kicked out.

All until one year ago, in a small village close to Cang Jia Shan by the Eastern Sea, perhaps it was due to the location being too remote, the two finally succeeded in settling down. Furthermore, even after a year of living there, nothing strange has happened. Just when she excitedly pulled on gege's robe to ask him, are they going to stay here from now on, the situation took a sharp turn downhill.

The consequence of our situation worsening was gege laying on the bed unconscious for three days and nights. The villagers that they were getting along harmoniously for the past year all turned on them in the short span of a day. Villagers waving butcher knives, raising hand axes, carrying shovels surrounded their home, intent on forcing them to leave.

"Demon girl! Demon girl! Leave our village!"

Facing the outrage of the villagers, the little "demon girl" however did not have any changes on her face was she continued to pull at gege's sleeve in agitation, "Gege..."

Laying on the bed for three days, doesn't his back hurt? Even if he's joking with her, now that they're being chased by people with big knives, he still won't get up...

"Gege..." She continued pulling on his sleeve, the person on the bed still had both eyes closed tightly, face pale.


"You demon girl! If you don't leave now, we aren't going to let you go easy!" The head of the village waved his shovel in the air, appearing very menacing.

She blinked confusedly at them, "Demon girl?"

Three days ago she was a harbinger, yesterday she was a scourge, today how did she become a demon girl?

"Suen family's daughter disappeared last night, Liu family's wife went out of the house last night and never came back! The village's chickens and ducks don't even have a feather left! Can only blame me for being so blind, how could I have allowed you demon girl to stay in this village and cause so many evils to happen!"

"Get out! Get out!"

"Kill to append the heavens!"

"Leave!"

Without even waiting for the village head to finish his sentence, the villagers already lost their patience, starting to chant loudly.

The village head saw that the child sitting on the bed didn't even have an ounce of emotion, much less remorse. After stroking his beard for a moment, he gave a hand gesture to signal the crowd to silence. With a cold and sharp eyes, he glared at her and said, "I, old Zhao, have never been one to take lives. Even animals, I have never killed, no need to say human lives! However if you continue to feign innocence and take us for idiots, it is not my wrong-doing if I have to break that tradition in order to protect this village!"

The little "demon girl" frowned. "I am not a demon girl."

"He has demon powers, if you are not a demon then what are you?" Chief Zhao raised his shovel to point at gege who was unconscious on the bed.

The little "demon girl" blinked, after what seemed like hours she finally said, "I'm not faking innocence and taking anyone for idiots."

Actually, her pace is not just slow compared to gege, it's slower than any normal person.

Once Chief Zhao heard her replies which were like a horse's muzzle slapped on an ox's head, his temper shot through the roof. With his shovel waving in the air again, his loud voice rang out: "Burn it! If they don't leave this village, don't spare a single one!"

"Gege wasn't using demon powers!" It's obvious that while everyone was getting ready to light fire, this little "demon girl" had only only now grasped the chief's third sentence. She sprung up from her seat at the corner of the bed, her petite face red with anger, "When did you ever see Gege use demon powers? Gege clearly used his martial skills! He only got sick because he wanted to save you all, you all pay mercy with revenge, you are the demons!"

Chief Zhao got even angrier hearing this, "Burn!"

The house was made of straw to begin with, it only needed a little spark, to turn it into an enormous blaze would be an easy task.

"Gege..." little demon girl worriedly shook gege's arm, the fire burned until all the blood in her body felt like it was boiling, but gege who laid there on the bed still didn't have any reaction.

She had always thought gege was capable of anything, carrying her from town to town, carrying the bad names and turning them into dust, no matter if it's disaster or calamity, he always had a faint smile, always found a way to find a way to take care of it. Afterwards, he would knock her head with softly with his hand and give a solemn sigh and say that line "One wrong step turns into endless self-loathing", taking her small hand and dragging her away in search of another city.

So that day, seeing gege fall unconscious on the bed, she thought he was just joking. These three days, she had been betting that gege must be playing a game with her. Even just now, when the fire had been lit, she was thinking that now gege's joke cannot go on, it's time to get up and take her away.

But that didn't happen.

Her hand gradually became cold, gege's wrist was warm.

All this time he laid there unmoving. No longer like in the past, when seeing her panicked expression he would pinch her cheek and tease her "Your face got scared crooked."

The fire got bigger and bigger, the chilly night air came through the windows, rendering her entire body cold. She held onto gege's hand tightly, tried to pull him up.

Gege always mocked her, small body and small head, but surprisingly her strength even bigger than his.

Her odd strength finally has some use. In the past it was always gege protecting her, now it's her turn to protect gege.

The little demon girl used all her strength to pull her gege onto her small ten-year-old back, on her face even hung a forced but proud smile, "Gege, this time I will take you away."

A wave of scorching heat mixed with the chill of winter spearheaded in the direction of the night wind. The once-silent village suddenly became swallowed in a bout of fearful screaming, quickly followed by cries of pain. Little demon girl consumed whole-heartedly with the task of carrying gege and avoiding getting burned by the fire while making her way out, did not mind the screaming all around them until stepping through the door. The sight before her eyes startled her so much she almost fell to the floor.

About half a month ago, gege had ordered her not to step out of the house. She had always listened to what he said, so from that time she had really not stepped foot outside at all. Only vaguely hearing that demons had appeared in the village, in the beginning it was just the neighborhood's cattle disappearing, dead, later the occurrences turned into villagers.

Three days ago, gege told her he needed to go take care of some things, when he returned he just laid on the bed and never got up again.

So if it isn't gege playing a joke on her, then what made her gege turn out like this was...

Demons.

It had actually been demons!

A large blizzard that hasn't been seen in a hundred years stirs the village by the Eastern Sea. Snow slices up the deep black night into numerous forms, taking the illusions of dagger-like teeth and sharp claws, laughing menacingly while scooping up the villagers scattered all over the ground, shredding them up at will, swallowing them up.

The pure white of the snowflakes stained with the dark red color of blood, the once quiet village is like hell on earth, all sorts of wretched sounds permeated the air.

The little demon girl became utterly scared, her small frame frozen in the cold wind and violent snow. She could only stand there, taking in the bloody scenes before her with wide eyes, her small mind tossing and turning for a long time before she was hit with a question.

What to do?

It had always been gege protecting her, but now that gege is down, are they going to become meals for the demons?

No.. she doesn't want to be eaten, is there another way?

The little demon girl felt her head hurt. Something gege had said before, suddenly flashed inside her mind.

Cang Jia Shan, it's a place where immortal xian live.

"Go westward! Go to Cang Jia Shan!" She shouted at the villagers sprawled around her who were running in all directions wanting to escape.

If there really are demons in this world, then there's a chance that there really are xian too.

Look, she's really not dumb! Compared to those villagers jumping into the bloody mouths of those demons, she's much smarter.

All of a sudden, the whole village fell into silence. After that shout by her, even the sound of the snow had disappeared.

The little demon girl had yet to come around to it, still as before, trudging westward with gege. All until next to her ear sounded a mass of laughing voices, half of which were startled, the other half excited.

"She can see us..."

"She can actually see us..."

"How is it that this mortal human can see us?"

...

All these voices whether it be old, high-pitched, man's, woman's, all of them saying the same thing... her eyes widened, in fear she watched as all of the black shadows closed up around her with wide mouths and waving their claws. The bloody scent that stung her lips and nostrils almost made her unable to breathe.

"She can see us!"

"She is not a human!"

"Eat her!"

"Eat her and take her ling Qi!"

"Eat her eat her eat her..."

... ...

Little demon girl was forced to move backwards a few step due to the horrendously scent of rotting flesh. Seems like they want to... eat her?

"Wrong, it's the man besides her!"

"It's him, the person that tried attack us three days ago!"

"A tian ling! His flesh body is dead, but his spirit energy hasn't dispersed yet, eat him!"

"Eat him! Eat him! Eat him!"

Countless black shadows opened their bloodied mouths, showing off their sharp teeth and piercing claws, all started to press closer and close in on them.

Eat... gege?

By the time she responded to the thought, all those black shadows were eyeing them like hawks locked on their prey. Accompanied by a chorus of shrill cries, they swooped inwards at alarming speed. Hostility saturated the air, the coldness of those breaths seeped in through her clothes and her back, a feeling of indescribable pressure.

"Go away!!!" She still hadn't figured out what was happening, a scream already flew out from her mouth. As if by instinct, she tightly held onto her gege, arms wrapped around his head.

Her gege, nobody even think about touching him!

Snowflakes falls at the fingertips of the night wind, it's a bit cold. After a long moment, she didn't hear a single sound. Slowly opening her eyes, she saw that her gege was still there in her arms, let out a breath of relief and finally raised her head carefully.

The black shadows that had filled the air in uncountable numbers just before had at some point gathered together, becoming a cloud of black ink. Piercing claws or blood red mouths, all of those were gone. Only a pair of quiet eyes remained, giving off a faint blue glow. They were long and narrow, without any warmth in them.

"It" was looking directly at her.
 
 
 
(Anonymous) on January 3rd, 2017 03:54 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the chapter.
Oh, and I really like the pictures you insert before each chapter; they're a nice touch. :)
~Adnana