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01 April 2017 @ 01:27 am
LIVING UP TO YOU - CHAPTER 11 - JOURNEY  



CHAPTER 11 - JOURNEY

Translation Notes: So sorry readers for the super long disappearance! I got caught up in a lot of other stuff and wasn't able to update as usual. I think that was a pretty good cliff-hanger to leave off on though, no? haha, hopefully everyone is done mourning over Da Shixiong. It was really sad for me too when I first got there, was confused and upset XiXI Dongdong killed off my wonderful Da Shixiong, how could she!! Not much new chinese romanizations in this chapter. Just a few reminders: Xiao Hei is Qing Kui's nickname for Little Black aka Blackie aka Little Black Turtle who has been MIA for a while already... Xiao-shimei is just a more enduring way to call a shimei, usually the youngest (therefore 'xiao') of the bunch and therefore the one everyone dotes on.
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Ling Xi knelt there alone at the center of the Cloud Pavilion. Her bloodstained white robe had not been changed yet, the blood on her face had not been wiped away either. Her head was lowered, eyes downcast.

Cang Yu stood before the high chair, watching her without saying a word.

Both were silent. It had already been an hour. The sky had brightened faintly. This long night, finally was about to pass. However Cang Jia Shan, it seems was no longer the same Cang Jia Shan from one night ago.

Some more weatheredness seemed to have been added to Cang Yu's visage. His white beard rested quietly on his Dao robe, so softly it seemed to be comforting him.

“Qing Kui said that the eagle that had saved him was your xian spirit?” Cang Yu finally spoke, his words carrying suppressed rage.

“Yes.” Ling Xi nodded.

“According to what Qing Kui said, to this day, it has only grown for no more than sixty years. How did it manage to have a spiritual awakening, furthermore able to shape-shift at will?” Cang Yu's slowly stepped down, stopping before Ling Xi, looking directly at the little black turtle in front of her.

“Maybe... because Qing Kui Shixiong wanted to help me win the Sword Trial, he gave it two hundred years of his cultivation, so it was able to change into an eagle on its own.” Ling Xi didn't dare to hold anything back.

It was apparent that Cang Yu was not satisfied with her answer, “That is all?”

Ling Xi had kept her head low the whole time, after thinking for a brief moment, she finally said, “Usually I would also give it some xian medicines, those should have enhanced the growth of it's spiritual powers.”

The rage on Cang Yu's face had already been exposed, “Then why can I sense Feng Shu's energy on it?”

Once Feng Shu was mentioned, Ling Xi froze. Lifting her head to look up at Cang Yu, she shook her head, “Ling Xi doesn't know, before last night, Da Shixiong did not even know of it's existence...”

“What thing did he give you that you have given it?” Cang Yu pointed at the little black turtle that was on the ground.

Something that Da Shixiong had given her... something that she had given the little black turtle...

Ling Xi responded with realization, “Everyday Da Shixiong would give me some herbal tonic to drink, I would give some to it. Ever since I discovered that it's consciousness had awakened, I... I just...”

Ling Xi's voice got smaller and smaller. Cang Yu shouted out enraged, “What did you just do?”

Ling Xi replied in a delicate voice, “I just... fed the entire bowl of tonic to it.”

“You vile creature!”

Cang Yu was at the brink of his rage, without even another thought, his hand slapped down on her. The force of the blow caused Ling Xi who had been kneeling to fall ruthlessly to the ground. Her mind was like a reverberating bell, for that moment she could not form any thoughts nor move her body at all.

“Who was it that brought you up onto Cang Jia Shan?” Cang Yu's anger escalated.

“Da Shixiong...” Ling Xi could taste the blood in her mouth.

“Who was it that had you stay on Cang Jia Shan?”

“Da Shixiong...”

“Who was it that rescued you from the water prison, enduring fifty rounds of the God-spurring whip in your place?”

Ling Xi started to sob, “Da Shixiong...”

That year she had gone down the mountain by herself, sabotaged the great Muo-extermination plan, causing the death of over a hundred Cang Jia disciples. In rage, Cang Yu had her locked away in the water prison, sentencing her to fifty rounds of whip.

Ordinary disciples, enduring just one round of the God-spurring whip, the damage would be one year in cultivation. If at that time, that sentence had indeed fallen on Ling Xi, Ling Xi would've been dead long ago. When Feng Shu had went to rescue her, he had nearly torn apart the entire water prison. In the end, for her sake, he stubbornly endured twice the flogging before he was finally able to take her back to Tian Mai Peak.

“Who was it that kept you safe and taught you your skills?” The rage in Cang Yu's voice grew with each word.

Ling Xi felt that her head had gotten a little lighter, straining but managing to push herself off the floor, continuing to kneel, replying, “Da Shixiong.”

“Feng Shu did everything he could for you, yet the only thing that matters in your eyes was to have a xian spirit?” Cang Yu only felt the rage consume his heart, like a burning fire, impossible to put out.

The bowl of tonic that Feng Shu had given Ling Xi, it must've been using his own blood as the potent, fused into it must've been a substantial amount of his cultivation. Otherwise, it would not be possible to patch her soul by means of spiritual energy, making it so that today she was no different than any ordinary human that had their complete soul intact...

But she dared to feed all of those tonics to her xian spirit!

Feng Shu seeing that she did not have much improvement, surely mistook it for the tonic not being potent enough, that there was not enough spiritual energy fused into it, so he increased the amount. Only after a prolonged time of doing this, could result in his weakened condition the previous night... only being struck twice by that flock of Muo before he collapsed, only able to resort to freeing his soul from his body in order to come back to protect Ling Xi, only... one blow from his Qing Xu staff... nearly reduced his soul to dust!

Ling Xi wanted to explain, to say that the xian spirit was intended as her gift to Da Shixiong, but what was the use in explanation?

Right now the xian spirit was already hers, right now Da Shixiong was no longer here.

She only knelt there, the tears in her eyes unable to stop falling. Cang Yu could not believe that Feng Shu's wholeheartedness in turn, only amounted to this vile and selfish creature! The anger in his heart difficult to smother, he raised his Qing Xu staff, about to strike down with it.

Ling Xi crawled over to him, continuing to kneel, knocking her forehead against the ground as she cried, “Please spare Ling Xi's life!”

“So selfish is not enough, but afraid to die as well...”

“No, Ling Xi is not afraid of death.” Ling Xi wiped her tears, trying her best to suppress her sobbing, calmly saying, “Ling Xi's life was ransomed by Da Shixiong's life, Ling Xi doesn't want to die! Qing Kui Shixiong said that Da Shixiong isn't dead, he is only inside this mirror. Ling Xi will cultivate diligently, if only one day she could find a way for Da Shixiong to come out...”

Cang Yu's Qing Xu Staff stopped in mid-air, the hand that held the wooden staff was trembling. With a last hesitation, the Qing Xu Staff changed into a long whip, harshly landing on Ling Xi's body.

Ling Xi did not have any preparation, the single blow sent her tumbling across the ground. A mouthful of blood spurted from her lips. The momentary clarity that had just returned to her mind had already reverted back into a chaotic mess.

Cang Yu turned around, closing his eyes.

Just the previous night, he had used the Qing Xu Staff in his own hands and personally ended the life of his most favored disciple. Today, when he came face to face with Ling Xi again, that blow, despite everything, he was still unable to let it land.

For her sake, Feng Shu had reaped a fate of having his Hun shattered and his Po dispersed. Although that mirror indeed has the ability to gather his soul, but in order to truly piece it together and revive him, how much harder would it be than said?

Even if for Feng Shu's dying wish, he could not harden his heart to take Ling Xi's life a second time...

Cang Yu took in a deep breath, smiling bitterly.

So it is, so it'll be. Having been Zhangmen for over a thousand years, he never imagined that he would be in this predicament, not just once but repeatedly and for the same person, consumed by rage. Each individual person has their own fate, that is something set by the heavens. Who was he to interfere?

“Go to the Xu Wang Cliff to self-reflect.” Cang Yu waved the back of his hand excusing her, tiredness evident in that gesture. “Without my word, you are not to leave there, forever.”

Ling Xi was coiled up on the floor, fresh blood stained half of her body. Trembling, she answered, “Ling Xi... Ling Xi is grateful for Zhangmen's... mercy...”


* * *


When Ling Xi came out from the Cloud Pavilion, Qing Kui was waiting for her outside all this time. He could see her face was flushed and swollen, the corner of her lips even stained with blood, it looked like she was having a hard time just walking. An uncommon expression of worry surfaced on his face.

“Ah-Chou, how are you?” Qing Kui rushed over and caught her, his eyes reddening when he saw the whip-wounds on her body.

Ling Xi's gaze was trance-like, she didn't answer. Cang Yu's voice drifted out already, “Qing Kui, escort her to the Xu Wang Cliff.”

Qing Kui's expression changed abruptly again, in a low voice he answered “Yes,” Afterwards he wiped away the blood on Ling Xi's face, getting down on one knee, back facing her. “Ah-Chou come here, Second Shixiong will carry you.”

Ling Xi's body collapsed, fell onto Qing Kui's shoulders.

Qing Kui didn't glide on his sword, instead he just carried her, step by step going further and further away from the Cloud Pavilion, step by step coming down from Cang Jia's main peak.

“Second Shixiong, why don't you... glide on your sword?” Ling Xi glanced at the road descending down from the mountain through heavy eyelids. It twisted and turned, thorny bushes everywhere, “It would be a lot faster.”

“Ah-Chou has been on Cang Jia Shan for three years, but you haven't really gotten a good look at the scenery up here have you? Second Shixiong wants to bring you to take a closer look.” Qing Kui said laughing.

Ling Xi moved her head over a little, so that her range of vision became a little wider, “Second Shixiong, is that Shui Mai Peak over there? That's a very pretty waterfall.”

“Yeah, in the future when you learn water-element skills, you'll be going to Shui Mai Peak.”

“But that waterfall's water, it looks like it's increased a lot since yesterday...” Ling Xi weakly said.

Qing Kui was speechless.

Ling Xi continued, “Is it because Qing Lian Shijie is sad? When she cries, the Shui Mai Peak waterfall also cries.”

Qing Kui tried to change the conversation, “Ah-Chou, look over there. That's Huo Mai Peak. Once autumn arrives, all the maple leaves on the mountain looks like a blazing fire.

Ling Xi lifted her gaze over in that direction, lightly nodding her head, “Qing Nian Shixiong is on Huo Mai Peak. He must be feeling very self-blaming right now, but it is actually all Ling Xi's fault, it's Ling Xi that caused Da Shixiong's death.”

Qing Kui's expression drooped along with his eyes, he continued down the mountain. “Da Shixiong didn't die, he'll be back.”

Ling Xi started to sob, her tears falling from the corner of her eyes and dripping onto Qing Kui's shoulders. “Ling Xi has been fooling you all along, actually Ling Xi isn't as dull as three years ago. Ling Xi understands, Da Shixiong's soul is already in pieces and can never be put together again. Second Shixiong, you don't need to comfort me, I've grown up. I also know, perhaps Gege... will never come back either...”

Qing Kui fell into silence once again.

All he knew was that the silver mirror is something from the gods' realm, possessing the ability to gather and mend souls. That year long ago, when Shifu saved Qing Nian, it was exactly this silver mirror that he used to snatch back his soul that would have soon drifted off to the ghosts' realm. However Da Shixiong, his soul had already been reduced to shards... even if it were protected inside of the silver mirror, it was still in pieces...

To say that Da Shixiong would still return, truthfully it was only to comfort Ling Xi.

He slowed down his pace again, in a soft voice he replied, “It's not your fault either. If anyone's to blame, blame Second Shixiong for being useless, lived nine hundred years in vain. Even having to rely on Xiao Hei's help in order to escape. If you hadn't come back to look for me, none of what happened afterwards would have happened.”

“Second Shixiong was harassed by those Muo, it's not your fault.” Ling Xi sniffled, resting her head on Qing Kui's shoulder. It was very warm.

“How about Cang Hai Shishu, or Shifu? Do you blame them?”

Ling Xi's eyes were unblinking, gazing on as the boundless and enchanting beauty of Cang Jia Shan passed by before her eyes. Her lips were pressed together, not a word came through.

Qing Kui let out a sigh.

Cang Jia's main peak was linked with the other seven peaks. Qing Kui carried Ling Xi on his back, without using any spells, relying on nothing but his own two feet to descend and ascend from one peak to another. By the time the sun was ready to set, they had finally made it halfway up the side of Tian Mai Peak.

“Ah-Chou, sunset on Cang Jia Shan is the most beautiful in all the six realms.”

Because Cang Jia Shan is close to the Eastern Sea, when the sun rises the horizon is a glowing thread. When the sun sets, all the mountains and the waters become the same color. Ling Xi narrowed her eyes to gaze at the setting sun in the west, however the question that came out of her lips was: “Second Shixiong, what kind of place is the Xu Wang Cliff?”

Qing Kui was speechless for a long time before he slowly answered, “Ah-Chou don't be afraid, Da Shixiong spent some time there in the past also, it shouldn't be that horrible.”

What Ling Xi actually wanted to say was, if it really weren't that horrible, why is he acting as if he was afraid she would never be able to see the brightness of the sky again, carrying her all the way here just so she could see Cang Jia Shan's scenery... but once the words came to her lips, she still asked, “Why did Da Shixiong have to go there?”

“It used to be where Cang Jia disciples are sentenced for punishment...” Qing Kui carried Ling Xi and walked for an entire day, he was already out of breath. Wiping off the sweat on his forehead, he continued, “Six hundred years ago, Da Shixiong's cultivation was already unmatched. Once could say that it was impossible to find anyone else who could surpass him. Shifu gave him a Lingshu grass, with a heart full of anticipation that he could bloom forth ten thousand snow lotuses, however...”

“However what happened?”

“He did manage to bloom forth ten thousand snow lotuses, however they were all ink black in color.”

“That can't be!” Ling Xi cried out, startled.

“You see... since the beginning of Cang Jia Shan, the fate of anyone who blooms forth black snow lotuses has always been immediate death sentence, kill on the spot. At that time Shifu was plagued with bitterness. He questioned Da Shixiong what vile thoughts he was harboring, what secrets he was keeping from Cang Jia. Da Shixiong only replied that he never had any.”

“And in the end?”

“In the end, Shifu sentenced him to endure the penalty of three-hundred whips of lightning. If he were to survive, then it was apparent the heavens wanted to keep him, then he would go to the Xu Wang Cliff to self-reflect. In actuality, it was just abandonment, to leave him in the hands of fate...”

Ling Xi's heart shuttered, a rancid feeling welled up in her throat, but she could not cry anymore.


“Everyone sees Da Shixiong as a cold person, shutting himself away from the world. The truth is actually because he was locked away for five hundred years in that place. It wasn't until six hundred years ago during that invasion by the Muo realm, Cang Jia was facing imminent danger, that he was set free... After that, he truly became cold and arrogant.”

Ling Xi became even more sad thinking about the cold expression that he faced people with everyday. it made her heart twist in pain. “Someone as clean as Da Shixiong, how could it be possible that he bloomed forth black snow lotuses!”

“It's like you, a simple and good-hearted girl, how did you manage to make the snow lotuses turn into dust?”

“Second Shixiong...” Ling Xi tightened her arms around his neck, “Is it because I made the snow lotuses turn into dust, so the six realms cannot accept me?”

“Yes, ten thousand years ago when the snow lotuses all turned into dust, the gods perished.”

“How could I possibly have such ability...”

“There will always be some situations which divert from their original paths, even the Lingshu grass doesn't promise to work every time. It's like Da Shixiong, although he bloomed black snow lotuses, but even to this day, he has never done anything remotely evil. I also believe Ah-Chou will also continue to be simple and good-hearted, that you will not do anything to harm the six realms.”

One could already vaguely see the main pavilion on Tian Mai Peak. Once they have gone back and fetched a couple things, Qing Kui would definitely have to bring Ling Xi to the Xu Wang Cliff. After this parting, no one could say when they would be able to see each other again.

After another long stretch of silence, Qing Kui spoke, “Ah-Chou, don't hold any grudge against Cang Hai Shishu or Shifu.”

Ling Xi didn't speak.

“Actually, Shifu originally had five disciples under his door. Three hundred years ago, I also had a xiao-shimei.” Qing Kui's expression was something that was never seen before: soberness. “Xiao-shimei was smart and cute, very gifted too. She would follow me around all day calling out Second-Shixiong. However she was extremely distracted by physical beauty, always striving to become more beautiful. Finally one day, she was bewitched by Muo spirits and fell into the Muo path. Now she spends all her days in the mortal realm snatching and devouring the skins of young girls...”

Ling Xi had never seen Qing Kui like how he is today, serious like this. Every word he said, she carefully listened to.

“That time, I was assigned to expel the Muo influences that had corrupted her heart, take her back to Cang Jia Shan. However, never did I expect that one wrong move...” Qing Kui's face seemed to have gotten slightly pale, the beads of sweat on his forehead seemed to have gotten more dense, “That's why yesterday when I was facing those shidis and shimeis that were possessed by Muo, I could not make myself strike at them. All I could see and feel was her, just before she died she was still tugging onto my sleeve calling me 'Second Shixiong'...”

A wave of cold air coursed through Ling Xi's entire body, chilling her to the point where she could not say a word.

Qing Kui continued, “So it's not that Shifu and Shishu are too cruel, it's Muo influence which is too fearsome. They had no other choice but to take precaution. Ten thousand years ago, the Shen realm fell to ruin. It was all because a single individual of the god's race had fallen into Muo. If the entire race of undying gods could also disappear without a trace due to a single instance of falling into Muo, how much more fragile would that make the Xian realm?”

Ling Xi pressed her lips together, nodding. “En, I won't blame them. It was those Muo... When they attacked the little village we were living in, they snatched Gege away. When they attacked Cang Jia Shan, they snatched Da Shixiong away...”

“Ah-Chou, Second Shixiong's deepest hatred my entire life has been reserved for Muo. I've made it my personal duty to eliminate the Muo race from the face of the earth. Even if no one teaches you in the future, you have to still remember, Xian and Muo stand in opposition. Those Muo, from today onward, when you see one you must kill one!”

The sun had just happened to sink into the clouds. At the end of the Eastern Sea, a round moon was slowly rising.

Ling Xi rested on Qing Kui's back, she could feel every step Qing Kui took from the up and down swaying. Her eyes however remained gazing over the surface of the Eastern Sea. When the clouds dispersed, the moon came out. The stars dazzled in their brightness.

“With the full moon as witness, from this day forward, Ling Xi swears that between herself and the Muo race, there can only exist one under the sky!”
 
 
 
lyly08lyly08 on April 2nd, 2017 06:05 pm (UTC)
Thank you for the chapter!
Welcome back! :D
So glad this got updated :p Thought it had been dropped oO

And I'm still not done mourning poor Feng Shu. He sure had a hard life...
raini7o5raini7o5 on April 3rd, 2017 02:37 am (UTC)
Re: Thank you for the chapter!
Sorry for the wait! No I'll definitely keep updating this!! Feng Shu's entire life is very sad actually...