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09 January 2017 @ 04:05 pm
living up to you - chapter 06 - Conscience  



CHAPTER 06 - CONSCIENCE

Translation Notes: sorry everyone for taking so long on this chapter! I did something really stupid, which was translate half of chapter 7 thinking it was chapter six haha! I guess that means chapter 7 will be coming real quick! No new romanized terms this chapter. YAY!!
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Cang Jia Shan's Sword Trial takes place once every ten years. The seven zhanglao as well as the zhangmen's four arch-disciples will also be selecting disciples at this Sword Trial. Although not all of the disciples chosen to participate have the chance to come out as champion, but surely they must all have irrefutable strengths that push them above the others.

Recounting the past century, of the four arch-disciples, Da Shixiong Feng Shu has never once taken a disciple. Second Shixiong Qing Kui only took in a disciple once. Afterwards, amidst countless excuses he has never taken one again. Third Shijie Qing Lian usually recruits female disciples that practice in the water element. Fourth Shixiong Qing Nian, although he is highly gifted, but due to his age and foundations being comparatively shallow, the number of disciples under his door would naturally be fewer.

However at this Sword Trial, zhangmen has given word that he would be taking in the disciple that takes the championship as his fifth disciple. The prestigious Feng Shu, due to his action of taking a child up the mountain three years ago and personally teaching that child, there is a possibility that he could also be taking in a disciple. Qing Nian has also proven with the past hundred years that he is not any less than Zhangmen's other three disciples.

In the last ten years, there has been incessant calamity in the mortal realm. Every year, more and more people are looking upon the xian path for answers. When Cang Jia disciples come down from the mountain to subdue the distress, they would sometimes bring back those 'fated' individuals that they happen to meet along the way. The number of selected disciples out of Di Mai Peak's new recruits is three or four times that of previous times. One could even say, of all the times in this past thousand years, this Sword Trial is the most lively as well as the most anxiously awaited one.

“In the past, the disciples that participated in the Sword Trials were only new disciples of Di Mai Peak. However this time, because the zhangmen will be naming another arch-disciple, the Sword Trial will be open to all regardless of identity or rank of cultivation. Anyone with intent may compete.” Feng Shu explained it to Ling Xi this way.

Ling Xi was originally in a very good mood, sitting besides him admiring the vast sea of qilian lilies since she didn't need to be practicing any spells. After hearing his remarks, she could even feel the cold sweat seeping out through the skin on her forehead. “Da Shixiong... don't you see, there's no way I can win...”

To become an arch-disciple of the zhangmen, this is the kind of opportunity that can only be chanced upon and not sought after. This time, Zhangmen even let the word spread, whoever takes first place is whoever he is accepting. Unfortunately that meant the entirety of Cang Jia Shan, specifically any senior disciple with any considerable amount of cultivation, would be restless...

The pale purple qilian petals danced in the breeze, a few fell into Ling Xi's hair. Feng Shu reached over and brushed them off one by one, smiling as he said, “Just do your best.”

Ling Xi bit on her bottom lip, lowering her head into her arms which were wrapped around her knees.

If she were still that muddle-headed girl from three years ago, perhaps she could really believe Feng Shu's words. Although she still had trouble remembering things and occasionally her mind would just falter and not work as well, but her thoughts have become much faster already. She can analyze and make sense of many things, at least to a bare understanding of hows and whys.

Three years ago, Feng Shu brought her up the mountain. In order to let her stay on Cang Jia Shan, he didn't mind offending the zhangmen and his shishus. Furthermore, these three years he had put a lot of time and effort into teaching her, using every method possible to amass spirit and energy for her, wanting to help her patch that 'chord' she is missing.

Three years ago, under the gaze of countless eyes, Feng Shu asked Zhangmen to take her as disciple. Three years passed, under the gaze of countless eyes, Feng Shu had shown the extent of his protection and his partiality towards her. Now three years later, if she were to fail so miserably in the Sword Trial that nobody could bear to watch, what would be left of Feng Shu's face?

“Da Shixiong, why do I have to become Zhangmen's disciple?” Ling Xi asked in a deflated tone.

Actually, according to her current circumstances, she shouldn't be calling him Da Shixiong, likewise she shouldn't be calling Qing Kui by Second Shixiong. Only thing was, Feng Shu acted as if it was inevitable that Zhangmen was going to take her as disciple. The moment they arrived on Tian Mai Peak, he already made sure she addressed the others as shixiong and shijie.

“Ling Xi doesn't want that?” Feng Shu rubbed her head.

“I want to..” Ling Xi nodded, “But I know, I can't.”

“If you never tried, then how would you know you can't?”

“I...”

This is obviously a fact that doesn't even need to be argued, in her current state she can't even cast a transformation incantation without making a scene. How could she possibly go up against those disciples with a few hundred years of cultivation under their belts?

That rose that she had changed into a little turtle with wings, even now she had not been able to change it back...

“Only after you become the zhangmen's disciple, will you no longer be looked down on, no longer be hurt by others.” Feng Shu got up, his white robe almost blocking out the blue sky completely. The qilian petals on his body all showered down like a light rain. He stood there, gazing down at Ling Xi, “Xi-er, don't leave yourself a path of retreat. When there is no path of retreat, naturally you will find a way through.”

Ling Xi felt like his gaze could see through everything, so she lowered her head. He's right, she did want to escape. She didn't feel that she absolutely must become the zhangmen's disciple, she didn't want to make him lose face at the Sword Trial.

Feng Shu gave a faint smile, patting Ling Xi on the head probably to comfort her again, “Just give it your best.”

Ling Xi felt disappointed as well as guilty. In a voice that was as low as can be, she mumbled, “Right now like this... is not bad either. Not being looked down on, not being pushed around...”

The pale purple qilian lilies, even under the setting sun, were still blooming relentlessly. Just before disappearing under the last flush of red at the end of the horizon, the white figure suddenly stopped and turned around.

Ling Xi raised her head, squinting her eyes slightly. The expression on Feng Shu's face was blurred by the colorful clouds. She could only see the white of his robe against the endless sea of flowers, drifting in the wind, bathed in a pale golden glow.

“You will always stay by my side, right?”

She could hear his voice faint like the sound of zither chords, floating over. Her eyes became entranced by his calm but lonely gaze.

Without waiting for an answer, a fleeting smile seemed to have been on his lips before his silhouette became drowned out by the flowers and rays of light.

Ling Xi sat there in a daze for a while before her mind came back to her. It felt as if Feng Shu's eyes just now, had submerged her from head to toe in desolation.


* * *


A little turtle that can fly, a little black turtle with a little pair of wings.

Ling Xi poked at the wings attached to the turtle's shell, apologetically darting a glance at it before focusing all of her thoughts on the incantation, “Change!”

The little black turtle was still a little black turtle. Aside from it's wings, the rest of its body was hiding inside its shell, staying completely still.

“I'm so sorry, I... I tried...” Ling Xi dejectedly picked it up, placing it on the windowsill. “You.. You should just accept your fate... Wait until I get better at this, or maybe when I get on Second Shixiong's good side, I'll ask him to change you back. Just..just enjoy the sun for now.”

The windowsill was not wide, just wide enough for the turtle shell. The little turtle must have felt that someone was moving it, sticking out its head and limbs. This slight movement caused it to lose its balance on the windowsill, falling over the edge.

Ling Xi's heart plummeted with it, but just as she was about to reach out to catch it, she saw it spread out its wings and start to fly up.

“Hahahaha....” Ling Xi burst into laughter seeing the way it was furiously flapping it's wings. The more she watched, the more she felt this image was extremely weird, extremely violating, and extremely.... cute. The dejection from the incantation failure was completely swept away as she clutched her stomach laughing loudly.

“Hahahaha! Why don't you just be a little black turtle from now on!”

It's much more fun than being a black rose!

Watching it flapping it's wings, it's even more entertaining than tormenting Second Shixiong!

Ling Xi's laughter permeated for a long while as she clutched her stomach. Every time she wanted to stop, the thought of a pair of dainty little wings attached to its hard turtle shell, flapping vigorously nonstop would somehow slip into her mind and she would be doubling over in laughter all over again.

All until she felt that the temperature inside the room had fallen, even her body started to feel a bit chilly, did she notice that the little black turtle was lying safely on her desk. A pair of little eyes were actually open, currently watching her with a cold calculating gaze.

Ling Xi's thoughts immediately drifted back to that day, that pair of eyes against the blackened sky. An involuntary shiver coursed through her.

She nearly forgot that this little black rose already has an awakened consciousness...

“I didn't mean to laugh at you, please don't be mad...” Ling Xi hurriedly apologized, petting it's carefully on the head, “Don't worry, the Sword Trial is only three days from now. There's no way I'm going to be winning. Maybe by that time I'll be forced to leave Cang Jia Shan. I'll give you to Da Shixiong, he'll definitely be able to change you back to your original beautiful self.”

Speaking of this, Ling Xi let out a sigh.

If she can't stay on Cang Jia Shan, does that mean... she wouldn't be able to find Gege...

If she wanted to stay on Cang Jia Shan, Qing Kui shixiong had said before already, if the zhangmen is against her, the seven zhanglao would not dare to keep her. If Da Shixiong wanted to personally take her as a disciple, he would've already done so three years ago. Qing Lian shijie, she could tell from a long time ago that she didn't really like her, so she would never keep her either. Qing Nian Shixiong...

Ever since that incident two and a half years ago, Qing Nian shixiong has not spoken a word with her.

That being said, if she wanted to stay on Cang Jia Shan, her only way would be to defeat all the Cang Jia disciples competing in the Sword Trial.

“Shixiong has a way to make you amaze everyone at the Sword Trial!”

This was what Qing Kui shixiong said to her last time.

This way of his, was to have little black turtle become her xian spirit.

Since she has not yet achieved an immortal body, on normal circumstances she shouldn't possess a xian spirit. However there is the rare occasion where an exceptionally powerful spirit, upon awakening will have the right to choose its own master. For instance the black rose.

She took care of it for two years, also she was the one who happened to witness its awakening. It's already very possible that it would choose her as its master, if he added a spell or two for an additional layer of security...

During the Sword Trial, xian spirits are allowed to be present with their masters.

As long as little black turtle is her xian spirit, Qing Kui shixiong said, after he passes two hundred years of his own cultivation to it, by that time even if Ling Xi herself can't beat her opponent, little black turtle could come out and help her. By itself, it is already an extremely powerful spirit, with his additional two hundred years of cultivation, there's no way they can easily be defeated!

However, wouldn't that just be the same as cheating?

Ling Xi stroked little black turtle's head again. It hasn't really chosen her as its master, it would be wrong to have Qing Kui shixiong use spells to force it to choose her.

Furthermore, her original plan to give black rose to Da Shixiong to be his xian spirit anyways.

If she were to cheat, even if she were to win the Sword Trial, Da Shixiong would surely not be happy. If she were to rely on her own ability, give it her best shot, even if she lost her conscience would be without regret. At that time, when she gives little black turtle to Da Shixiong, perhaps he might even be a little happier...

With that thought, Ling Xi decided not to mind Qing Kui's crooked advice, opening the book of incantations to continue studying.


* * *


The following three days, Ling Xi mustered all of her efforts, smothering herself wholeheartedly with incantations and practice. Her only wish was to not lose too miserably during the Sword Trial.

On the day of the Sword Trial, she was up very early already donning the the long dress Feng Shu had prepared for her since ages ago. As soon as she opened the door, there stood Qing Kui at the doorway smiling that cheerful smile of his. “Ah-Chou, are you ready?”

Ling Xi pursed her lips. As long as she doesn't lose too disgracefully, she would be fine. Stepping around Qing Kui, she continued her way out.

“Are you really not going to use my way?” Qing Kui followed by Ling Xi's side, tempting her. “If you use my way, you'll definitely win you know! Then you can be shifu's disciple you know! Then you'll be able to wait for your gege's return you know! Even if gege doesn't return, when you learn everything you need, you can still go out yourself and find gege you know!”

Ling Xi's footsteps gradually became slower and slower, in the end they finally stopped for good. She stood there in hesitation.

“Ah-Chou, you're different from other people anyways, why do you have have to be so stubborn...”

Actually what Qing Kui wanted to say was, you're not exactly smart to begin with, so it's understandable if you do things the easy way.

Ling Xi frowned instead, “No need!”

Gege said before, even if others look down on her, she cannot look down on herself.

“Aish... alright then...” Qing Kui helplessly waved his palms, “How about you go see little black turtle before you leave then, that you can do right? I've noticed you've been neglecting it these few days, it even came into my room.”

Qing Kui placed the little black turtle in front of Ling Xi.

When Ling Xi saw the little black turtle she finally realized that she had literally forgotten it these few days, reaching her hand out to stroke it's wings. “Don't worry, you'll be able to return to your original form very soon.”

After saying this, she quickly dodged around Qing Kui, afraid that if she stared into its two little eyes for a moment more she would change her mind. After all, the thought of having such a cute little black turtle as her xian spirit, how amusing would that be...

“Ah-Chou you can do it! You'll definitely win!”

Qing Kui leaned against the railing facing Ling Xi's back, waving his arm in the air. His eyes glinted mischievously like a thief's, watching excitedly as the little black turtle he had just tossed up in the air land precisely inside the bag at Ling Xi's side.
 
 
 
(Anonymous) on January 10th, 2017 06:01 pm (UTC)
:)
Ah. I read ch 7 before ch 6 by mistake. Oh well that's alright I suppose.
raini7o5raini7o5 on January 10th, 2017 06:53 pm (UTC)
Re: :)
oops! It's just the way blogs work, new posts first lol. I guess I posted chapter 7 a little too quick XD
(Anonymous) on January 15th, 2017 12:05 pm (UTC)
Re: :)
Oh that was just me xD I had opened both chapters in a new tab but still managed to read ch 7 first lol