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22 November 2016 @ 04:31 pm
living up to you - chapter 03 - shixiong  


CHAPTER 03 - SHIXIONG

Translation Notes: All old terms this chapter! I'm trying to change all building names to english and trying my best for the idioms so don't need to burden anyone with more romanized terms. Chinese idioms are the worst! Pretty much the only things I will use romanized chinese for are titles and honorifics like shifu, shixiong, shijie, shidi, shimei, shishu, zhangmen, etc.... There will be some special ones that pop up here and there, but I will keep it minimal.  The suffix 儿(-er) is added to the end of someone's name, usually someone younger, to add endearment or intimacy. In this chapter, Feng Shu starts to call Ling Xi as Xi-er. She is technically his shimei, but their relationship is more like shifu-disciple since he is doing all the teaching lol! 大师兄 (Da Shixiong) is what all the disciples in Cang Jia Shan call Feng Shu because he is the zhangmen's eldest disciple, even though they have different shifus. Last chapter, you can tell he is very important in Cang Jia Shan and basically 'under one, above a million.'
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On the Tian Mai Peak, there is a deep valley cut by a stream. At the very bottom of the valley, the stream's water is like the surface of a mirror. With the sound of birds and the fragrance of flowers, it's as if spring lasted through the four seasons.

Regarding this place, Ling Xi feels love and fear. What she loves is the sea of flowers by the stream that seems to go on forever, and whenever the flowers bloom, as far as the eyes can see, it's all covered in these lilac petals and the fragrance of the flowers drift through the entire Tian Mai Peak. She just loves to roll around in those flower beds, back and forth until she calms down, laying there on the ground looking up at the sky which was always blue as ever. What she feared was that stretch of qingrong woods, with it's dense leaves and intricate branches, tall and looming tree trunks that seem to reach the heavens. She is often left there all alone, relying on a single faint light to practice her cultivation.

Regarding this term 'cultivation', she has grown from curiosity at the very beginning, which gradually turned into frustration, and now she just hates it. She really wanted to know if all the other disciples on Cang Jia Shan was the same as herself, 'cultivating' like this. The reason is because every single day, her only task was to stay in the qingrong woods and use the stones on the floor to hit the falling leaves.

When she first started, she never thought it would be a particularly hard task until she found herself stubbornly throwing rocks for three days and three nights in the woods and not once successfully hitting a single leaf. In her dejection, she realized that Feng Shu's 'Leaf Does Not Touch Ground', would probably never come to fruition by her hands.

Heed the Wind, Hear the Leaf, Cast the Stone; those six simple words, Ling Xi had never been able to complete in one breath. Even if she had already practiced for an entire year, she could only manage a slight improvement. She could cast the stone at exactly the moment she saw a leaf fall, but still she is unable to hit a single leaf.

"Tsk, the half-wit is going into a daze again! Cang Qu shishu was serious when he said there's something wrong with your head. If you could master 'Leaf Does Not Touch Ground', then you wouldn't be having such a hard time with just putting together sentences!" The young man up in the tree gave the wine bottle in his hand a swish, took a long drink out of it and scoffed.

Ling Xi blinked. As if not hearing a word he said, she continued picking up stones.

"Yo, looks like she's not just a half-wit, but also a deaf..."

The stone that was in Ling Xi's hand just happened to take off at that moment. It made a slight incline, hitting the trunk of a qingrong tree. That tree gave a little wiggle, a little twist, and shot downwards burying itself under the ground.

The guy that was talking just now is Cang Yu's second disciple, Qing Kui. After seeing Ling Xi failing to hit a leaf again, he massaged his forehead to ease the headache, "Seriously, there must be a loose string inside da shixiong somewhere, or else why on earth would he go find and bring a headache like you up to Tian Mai Peak!"

While he said this, he leaped down, grabbing hold of the top of that qingrong tree that had nearly disappeared under the ground. After he whispered a quick incantation, that tree very grudgingly sprung out from the ground again.

Qingrong trees are considered very rare and valuable trees. Not only is everything from the leaves to the roots are treasure, it's also especially sensitive and intelligent. Whenever it senses any signs of disturbance, any movement of the wind or rustling of leaves, it would immediately bury itself underneath the ground and refuse to come out again. Of the entire Cang Jia Shan, the only patch of qingrong trees left is this very one on Tian Mai Peak. Thinking back to when he had just arrived at Tian Mai Peak to start his cultivation, the first task that Qing Yu gave Qing Kui was to take care and look after these qingrong trees.

On Tian Mai Peak, where the four seasons all resemble spring and energy seems to drift freely through the air, also there is only the three of them, the conditions already say that this task of taking care of these qingrong trees should not be a difficult one. All of this changed a year ago, when that arrogant da shixiong brought back this girl. Ever since then, Tian Mai Peak has been a mess!

"Of all places, why does she have to practice here in the qingrong woods?" Qing Kui was still muttering on in obvious displeasure, "Alright, have her practice in the qingrong woods.. Fine! Why can't you find someone smarter? Already practiced for a whole year and still no sign of progress! At this rate, how long many more years of picking up after her do I have to bear..."

Just as he muttered this, another rock left Ling Xi's hand and once again, struck the trunk of a qingrong tree. Although caught off-guard, Qing Kui quickly sprung from the tree he was on towards the one that had just gotten hit, not forgetting to curse and shoot angry glares at Ling Xi while he was at it.

In one year's time, Ling Xi's little wrinkled face has already changed quite a lot. Her facial features had smoothened out and her eyes are not as dull like they were when she had just ascended the mountain, but still it remained clouded as it had always been, making her appear like a wooden doll without a soul. At this moment, her eyes were also clouded, incessantly picking up rocks, incessantly throwing them at the qingrong trees.

Qing Kui's figure darted back and forth amongst the qingrong trees, no longer having any time for ranting.

"You brainless and ugly little girl! Can't you rest it for a little while!" An enraged Qing Kui hollered as soon as he got a breath. The next second, he turned and dived back into the duty of protecting the qingrong woods.

This ugly little girl, while outwardly she might not differ from any normal person, in actuality the three pieces of her spiritual soul is missing one piece and her physical soul, of the original seven pieces, four are missing. If Cang Qu shishu had not secretly told him this before, he would surely think that she was doing this right now on purpose to taunt him!

In the qingrong woods, the usage of all incantations aside from the growth summoning incantation are forbidden. By the time the sun descended behind the mountains in the west, Qing Kui's body was already covered in sweat from head to toe, sprawled limply on a big boulder, gasping loudly for air. This degree of filthiness, how many years has he not experienced it? Five hundred years? Eight hundred years?

"Second shixiong... you say I haven't made an ounce of progress in the past year?" A small crease appeared between Ling Xi's eyebrows as she looked at Qing Kui earnestly.

Qing Kui's face was a conflict between wanting to cry and having no tears. Progress... that was something he said how many hours ago? She was only now reacting to it! Progress... obviously she was getting worse the more she practiced!

He wiped the perspiration from his face, deeply convinced that he should not stay here and continue to waste time. He would rather go to shifu and tell him that he had decided going down to Di Mai Peak and taking a disciple for himself does not sound so bad after all! The more time he spends in the company of this idiot, the more he suspects he might die choking on his own anger.

"By the way, second shixiong..." Just as Qing Kui swung his sword over his shoulder looking ready to leave, Ling Xi spoke again, "Zhangmen sent for you, he wants you to go look for him at the Hall of Oblivion."

Qing Kui's footsteps paused for a brief moment before continuing forward again. Great, he was intending to go look for his shifu anyways. Ling Xi continued, "Zhangmen said that it is imperative that second shixiong be there today, or else don't think about taking in a disciple for the next hundred years."

Tsk tsk, in the past he indeed thought taking a disciple was an unnecessary hassle, hence he found all sorts of outlandish excuses to prevent that from happening. It looks like shifu had gotten angry...

Ling Xi still had more to say, "Zhangmen also said that since second shixiong needs to go to the Hall of Oblivion today at noon, today's watch duty over the qingrong forest has been excused."

Qing Kui let out a scoff, "If I don't do watch duty, then who's going to do it? Da shixiong? If that's the case, then why didn't he just come over here with you?" The thought made another lap inside his head. Hold on, something isn't right... Today at noon...

He quickly glanced at the setting sun which had already hid half of itself away, "Great! It's already nightfall!"

As he said this, he had already got on this sword and shot out of the woods.

Ling Xi blinked, watching as that light blue figure disappearing in the direction of the setting sun. A ripple of a smile rose to the surface from the depths of her dewy eyes, bringing with it a vague tinge of mischievousness.

***

Ever since Feng Shu returned to Tian Mai Peak, the main complex at the top of the peak underwent a rigorous cleaning by the hands of it's three original residents. Not a single particle of dust was missed. Shows how perfectly happy they were to have him back under the same roof. Some of this generosity also rubbed off on Ling Xi. Because of Feng Shu, she also ended up with unusually spacious living arrangements.

Unfortunately, spacious living arrangements might not exactly be a good thing, at least to Ling Xi it wasn't. She spent three months memorizing the path from her own chamber to Feng Shu's chamber, another three months the path from her chamber to the qingrong woods, and finally the remaining half of the year the paths from her chamber to her three shixiong and shijie's chambers.

To add to this, Ling Xi was short, walked slow, and also happens to not know any spells. At her pace which was that of a human child, walking these paths which, even on xian cultivator's terms aren't short paths, honestly it's a bit difficult.

So, today when she reported back to Feng Shu's chamber, the sky was already covered in stars.

Feng Shu happened to be meditating, his long white robe making his face appear especially pale and refined. A few strands of his hair gently rested on his white robe like black watercolor. His eyes tightly shut as if he was asleep. He was quiet like still water, his posture exuding a sense unworldly distance. At that moment, Ling Xi had the misconception that he did not belong to this turbulent world, but that palace high up in the nine heavens.

Whenever such a time comes, Ling Xi would always be at a loss for courage or simply unwilling to break the silence. Just as she was about to turn around and soundlessly retreat through the chamber doors, Feng Shu spoke, "How did today's practice go?"

Ling Xi look down at her feet, hiding the gloom that was in her eyes, "Same as yesterday."

Feng Shu's expression didn't change, "There seems to have been more incantations cast in the woods today."

Ling Xi pouted sheepishly, "It was very noisy."

That second shixiong, although he was usually full of chatter, it was still bearable. Yesterday though, specifically after he returned from Cang Qu shishu's place with wine bottles in hand, after he consumed that wine, after that wine made it's way to his head and got him all stirred up, that's when he transformed into a fly. "Dumb girl" and "ugly girl" buzzed in her ears all morning long, until she could not take it anymore.

Feng Shu opened his eyes. They were dark like ink, quiet and void of all turbulence, "Did you change your hair wreath?"

Everyday, Feng Shu had her gather all the qingrong leaves after practicing 'Leaf Does Not Touch Ground' and braid them into a hair wreath, switching the previous with a new one each day. Ling Xi had always done what she was told so although she didn't know the reason for doing it, she still did as ordered, every single day.

Ling Xi nodded her head. When she looked up, Feng Shu was already standing before her, in his hands was an intricately decorated porcelain bowl that she didn't remember seeing a moment ago. He soaked the cloth in the water and wiped away the dust that was on her face.

Even if it was like this everyday, Ling Xi still felt as if the warmth of Feng Shu's hand seemed to seep into her skin with the water and soak her entire body. All the fatigue and drowsiness that amounted from the day's practice instantly fled from her.

"When Qing Kui left, his rain clouds just about covered the entire peak." Feng Shu casually said.

"By the time I remembered to tell him about the gathering at the Hall of Oblivion, it was already nighttime." Ling Xi frowned, if he hadn't been making such a racket that it made her head swell up for most of the day, maybe it would've stuck better.

"The sunset today won't be beautiful anymore." Feng Shu turned around and pushed open the window. The cool breeze poured in.

Guilt was written all over Ling Xi's face. In a small voice, she replied, "Tomorrow, Ling Xi will not make him angry."

"Missing the gathering at the Hall of Oblivion, he cannot take a disciple in the next hundred years. He will not be leaving Tian Mai Peak during these three years."

Ling Xi's eyebrows arched up like a pair of little crescent moons. Qing Lian shijie and Qing Nian shixiong had both went to the Di Mai peak to take disciples, apparently they will not be coming back in the next three to five years. That said, if Qing Kui shixiong had also gone there as originally planned, he too would've been gone for three to five years...

"It's Ling Xi's fault." Ling Xi said, her voice showing how upset she was. Da shixiong loves quiet most while Qing Kui shixiong loves to make unnecessary noise. Originally he could have gotten away from that annoying second shixiong, if only temporarily...

Feng Shu leaned against the window, a couple strands of his black hair drifted in the night breeze and caught around the iridescent blue wine cup. The wine was fragrant and rich in flavor. Even the night air seemed to carry enticing scents. He brought up the wine cup, taking a sip, "If all the clouds are the same color, it wouldn't be nice to look at either."

At this, Ling Xi finally broke into a smile, the two little indentations on her cheeks making her appear to overflow with sweetness, "Then Ling Xi will go rest first, tomorrow I will practice very hard!"

Ling Xi ran towards the outside of the building as she talked, but stopped when Feng Shu called her back, "Xi-er, did you forget something again?"

Turning around, Ling Xi's expression was of confusion for a moment before it became clear. She playfully stuck out her tongue, quickly ran back to the table and took up the bowl of medicine, finishing it all in one long gulp.

Feng Shu gave a faint smile before closing his eyes, quieting his breathing in order to continue his meditation.

When Ling Xi put down the bowl, she suddenly remembered something else. Eyes wide as she stared at Feng Shu for a long while, finally in a soft voice she asked, "Da shixiong.... where is gege?"
 
 
 
yadane on November 24th, 2016 08:36 am (UTC)
suspicious that LX suddenly needs to drink medicine
raini7o5raini7o5 on November 28th, 2016 02:09 am (UTC)
You will see why soon~
(Anonymous) on November 24th, 2016 11:41 pm (UTC)
:D
Thanks for the chapter :D

Wonder were big bro is too...