Chapter 43: The Protagonist Dies, Everything Ends
Ming Fan cheered, “Little apprentice-sister, great hit!”
Ning Yingying said weakly, “…no, it actually wasn’t me…”
Ming Fan encouraged, “Don’t be afraid—if you hit her then you hit her! Everyone saw that she started it. Even though other people haven’t hurt her out of the kindness of their hearts, she still launched a sneak attack on them. Serves her right!” All of the Qing Jing Peak disciples chimed in.
Glistening teardrops glimmered in the Young Palace Mistress’ eyes. “You… you guys… how dare you hit me… my dad hasn’t even hit me before!”
Ning Yingying, “No, it really wasn’t me…”
Ming Fan cut her off and spat, “You’re the one who hit her! Remember, if the Qing Jing Peak’s disciples are being bullied, we must return it twofold! If we don’t, we’re unworthy of Shizun’s teachings!”
Shen Qingqiu cheered in his mind with the rest of the disciples: this child Ming Fan really took his teachings to heart. Right right right, it was exactly like this: an eye for an eye!
Shen Qingqiu stealthily slipped into the crowd of Huan Hua Palace disciples and finally caught that howling, shrieking old cat. No matter how stupid they were, they should still be able to tell that something wasn’t right. The Young Palace Mistress cupped her big red cheeks, which looked to be extremely cumbersome, and stared at him with a surge of resentment. “Hey! Who exactly are you? You have the audacity to make fun of me like this?”
The Huan Hua Palace disciples encircled him completely and shouted, “Palace Mistress is asking you a question!”
Shen Qingqiu bent down and released the cat. When he straightened, he pointed at the disciple that was hunched over, lurking in the very back. He said, “Why aren’t you guys asking who that is?”
Everyone’s eyes instantly focused on that person.
The Young Palace Mistress was currently in a fit of anger, and at first, only glanced at the disciple. Unexpectedly, the more she looked, the more she felt something wasn’t quite right and couldn’t be bothered with Shen Qingqiu for the moment. She looked over and said suspiciously, “… who are you? Why do you look like that? Are you really from the Huan Hua Palace? Why have I never seen you before?”
This disciple faltered and didn’t speak. She turned towards her subordinates next. “What about you guys? Who knows him?”
That disciple saw that things weren’t looking too good and let out a strange cry. Everyone pointed their swords at him. Shen Qingqiu sucked in a deep breath and shouted, “Don’t get close to him!” At the same time, he picked up another green leaf and flicked it over with a flip of his wrist.
This time, Ming Fan also saw the force behind this leaf, not just Ning Yingying, and was stunned. The green leaf cleaved through the air with the glow of a sword’s spiritual energy and sliced open the disciple’s outer robe, exposing the skin and flesh inside.
This time, everyone looked as if they had seen a ghost, and they kept backing away. Some of them even squawked and immediately ran out of the wine shop.
It was exactly what Shen Qingqiu had guessed. Based on what he knew, there was only one kind of person who would carry themselves like that: a sower who had disguised itself as an ordinary human!
Since it only painted its exposed limbs the same color as human skin and didn’t bother with the rest of its body, its identity was revealed on the spot. The sower decided that it basically had nothing to lose and charged forward with a loud yell and bloodshot eyes. Most of these disciples were young juniors that hadn’t gone to Jinlan City last time. They had only heard of this strange creature, but they had never seen it before. Yet at that moment, it actually appeared in front of them and, moreover, madly lunged at anyone in sight, scaring everyone out of their minds. Shen Qingqiu saw that the sower was about to throw itself onto a Qing Jing Peak disciple and flashed in front of it, smashing his foot into its chest. The kick sent the thing flying into two tables, violently spewing fresh blood. He looked back and shouted, “Why aren’t you leaving!”
Ning Yingying was both crying and laughing at the same time. “Shizun, are you Shizun?”
It can’t be—you can recognize me even with a yellowish-brown beard stuck all over my face? Even though he was a tiny bit touched, if she didn’t leave during a time like this and stayed behind to drag him down instead, even revealing his true identity underneath his disguise—sure enough, her IQ was still low!
When he saw that the sower was about to stubbornly rush over again, Shen Qingqiu used one hand to push Ning Yingying out warmly and gently while using his other hand to send out a fire attack coldly and severely.
It didn’t hit.
No, it was never sent out!
The mouthful of blood that concealed itself in Shen Qingqiu’s body for many years rose sluggishly in his throat again. He really had enough of this ‘Without A Cure’ poison that liked to screw him over in critical moments!
He snapped numerous times in a row, but not even a single spark appeared. It was just like a lighter that had run out of fuel, and no matter how many times he snapped, he just couldn’t ignite any sparks. Shen Qingqiu was flustered and exasperated, but the sower had already rushed over and latched onto his thigh.
Shen Qingqiu, “…”
He subconsciously raised his plagued-with-misfortune right hand. Indeed, three red spots appeared and started cheerfully spreading at a speed visible to the naked eye.
This was unfair. Why did it infect him so fast every time!
Maybe with his grief and indignation serving as fuel, his last snap finally caused an explosive ball of fire to kindle between his fingers. Shen Qingqiu sent the sower that was hugging his thigh flying with a kick before he cleaved downwards with the flaming fireball in his hand!
The sower’s body was obliterated amidst the flames and sounds of shrieking. Ning Yingying and Ming Fan tearfully rushed forward, one on his right and one on his left. “Shizun!”
The other Qing Jing Peak disciples also wanted to join in on the fun, but they were quickly forced to retreat by Shizun’s “go outside and run five hundred laps” gaze.
Since his disguise was already ruined, Shen Qingqiu scrubbed his face with his hands and regained his original appearance. He asked, “Was anyone infected?” Then he sincerely and earnestly said the lines that he had always wanted to say to someone else: “Quickly, take medicine. You must not stop taking medicine!”
A female voice and a male voice, one high and one low, sobbed into his ears. “Shizun, we finally found you.” “Shizun, this disciple has missed you so much!”
Shen Qingqiu had yet to respond when his back suddenly grew cold. He pushed aside the two disciples as the Xiu Ya sword flew out from his robes and blocked the Young Palace Mistress’ iron whip with a clang.
If the Young Palace Mistress could be described as being in a fit of fury during her previous dispute with the Qing Jing Peak, this time, her actions truly carried the intent to kill. In her hands was a short whip that could slice like a dagger and cut like an ax, vicious and threatening.
Shen Qingqiu asked bluntly, “Are you crazy? Where do you get such vigorous anger from every day?” He had wanted to ask this question for a long time now!
The Young Palace Mistress shouted loudly, “Traitor! Return my Shixiong and Shijie’s lives!”
At first, Shen Qingqiu thought that she was crying about the Huan Hua Palace disciples who were killed or injured during the Immortal Alliance Conference again. Who knew that next, the Young Palace Mistress would scream, “All Ma Shixiong did was say something that wasn’t very nice when he was imprisoning you, yet you just… you just… he died so tragically, so tragically…”
Who was Ma Shixiong? Could it be that bitter and sarcastic pockmarked fellow? Shen Qingqiu said, “When I left Huan Hua Palace, I did not take a single person’s life. What’s the significance of you telling me that he died tragically?” He looked back and asked quietly, “…he really died? How tragically?”
Ming Fan also answered softly, “He really died, very, very tragically. His whole body was blue and rotten, and they say that he was infected by the demon race’s poison.”
‘The demon race’s poison really did sound like something Luo Binghe would do.
The Young Palace Mistress said, “There’s no use arguing! Today, I’ll make you pay for the death of my Huan Hua Palace’s disciples with your life!”
Shen Qingqiu said, “All my life, I have never been good at using poison. There are thousands upon thousands of ways to kill your Huan Hua Palace’s disciples, so why would I select the most troublesome method? It’s true that I was escaping from prison, but who can prove that I killed someone?”
A Huan Hua Palace disciple yelled, “Then who can prove that you didn’t kill someone?”
If this knot wasn’t untangled now, he was afraid that the two great sects wouldn’t be able to let matters rest in the future. Shen Qingqiu deliberated for a moment before probing, “What does head disciple Gongyi Xiao have to say about this matter?”
The Young Palace Mistress’ eyes opened wide, and the tears that she had originally held back started to fall from her eyes again. “You still dare to mention Gongyi Shixiong?”
She pointed her whip straight at Shen Qingqiu. “Do you think that just because he’s dead and there’s no evidence left, you can just make up whatever you want about him now?”
Shen Qingqiu felt like he was struck by a thunderbolt.
He caught the edge of her whip with two fingers and suspected that he’d heard something wrong. “What did you say? Gongyi Xiao died? When did that happen? Who did it?”
Even in the original work, wasn’t the most tragic thing that happened to Gongyi Xiao the fact that he was assigned to go to Huan Hua Palace’s most remote region to do some trivial labor?
The Young Palace Mistress said viciously, “Who did it? You still have the nerve to ask who did it!”
All of the Huan Hua Palace disciples rushed forward at once, and she commanded, “Kill this despicable traitor, and get revenge for Gongyi Shixiong and the Shixiong and Shijie who were guarding the water dungeon!”
Shen Qingqiu’s heart went cold. Did Luo Binghe kill all the disciples guarding the water dungeon, including Gongyi Xiao, without sparing anyone?
Could these hundred plus human lives all be placed on his head?
Ning Yingying said angrily, “We can’t ever explain things clearly to you, you stupid girl. Can’t you see that my Shizun also didn’t know about this?” The Qing Jing Peak disciples immediately entered into the fray as well. There were countless swords, and it was too late for Shen Qingqiu to think carefully. When he saw that only endless fighting would ensue if things continued like this, he leaped out of the wine shop and lightly called, “Come out!” Indeed, both sides couldn’t be bothered to keep fighting, and they scrambled to squeeze out of the shop.
Once he landed on the street, Shen Qingqiu was speechless.
A large group of cultivators who were all wearing different styles of clothing stood in a line, combat ready, glaring at him menacingly.
Alright. After all, they had caused too much chaos inside of the wine shop just now, so it didn’t make much sense if people weren’t drawn over, right…
With a tap of his foot, Shen Qingqiu leaped onto the roof before flipping over and standing on the upturned eaves. He sucked in a deep breath of air before shouting from his core, “Liu—Qing—ge!”
Someone flew up on his sword and furiously rebuked, “Shen Qingqiu, you’re so evil. Did you purposefully run here and draw all of the manpower from various sects in a single place just so you could collude with the demon race and round up everyone in one fell swoop? Do you want to re-enact the tragedy of the Immortal Alliance Conference? My Ba Qi Clan won’t let you get your way!”
They could just blame whatever they wanted onto him at this rate, couldn’t they?!
Shen Qingqiu wasn’t even in the mood to strike back. The sharp whistling sound of sword energy came from the east, and a person in white flew over on his sword as fast as lightning. He had too much momentum, and he needlessly created a strong gust of wind to the point that it threw the criticizing person off his own sword.
Liu Qingge stood steadily on Cheng Luan, arms crossed. “What is it?”
Too reliable, Renowned Master Liu!1
Shen Qingqiu said sincerely, “Take me away.”
Liu Qingge, “…”
Shen Qingqiu said, “My poison flared up again, so I can’t activate the energy to fly on my sword. If you don’t take me, I can only fall down from the sky.”
Liu Qingge sighed. “Come up.”
The crowd watching from below continued to endlessly denounce him with things like ‘the Cang Qiong Mountain sect is a pit of wickedness’ or ‘the Bai Zhan Peak and the Qing Jing Peak are partners in crime’, but both of them acted as if they couldn’t hear anything. The Cheng Luan sword shot towards the sky, the wind whistling in their ears, as they left the rest of the people on their flying swords far behind.
Liu Qingge said, “Go where?”
Shen Qingqiu said, “The roof of the tallest building in this town. Please help me keep these people away in a bit.”
Liu Qingge said, “What on earth is up with you? If you didn’t want to go into the dungeon, why didn’t you say so earlier instead of making things so troublesome? Even if the Cang Qiong Mountain sect doesn’t know how to navigate the water dungeon, did you think we wouldn’t know how to tear it apart?”
Shen Qingqiu said, “That… there’s no need to tear the water dungeon apart…”
Liu Qingge said, “Get off.”
Shen Qingqiu, “I only said that there was no need for it anymore, but actually, I’m still grateful for your good intentions. It isn’t necessary to throw me off, is it?”
Liu Qingge, “Something’s coming.”
Shen Qingqiu didn’t say anything else and instantly jumped down.
The tips of his feet landed on the tiles, and he stood on the eaves of a roof. Cheng Luan’s momentum was extremely strong, so Liu Qingge did a dazzling backflip on his sword in the air before finally coming to a stop. He looked attentively off into the distance, and Shen Qingqiu followed his gaze to look over as well.
But then, he heard a sneer come from behind him. “Where are you looking?”
Shen Qingqiu narrowly avoided staggering off the roof on the spot.
That ‘wait and see!’ unexpectedly wasn’t just lip service.
That also made sense. Since when was Luo Binghe someone who gave lip service?
Despite bearing the risk of the Heart Devil Sword’s counterattack, Luo Binghe actually still came to catch him… what a deep resentment.
Luo Binghe stared unwaveringly at them, his expression gloomy. He slowly reached out a hand towards Shen Qingqiu and said, “Come with me.”
Shen Qingqiu said, “Gongyi Xiao died.”
Luo Binghe froze.
Shen Qingqiu continued, “The disciples guarding the water dungeon also died.
“Luo Binghe, was it really worth it to exchange over a hundred Huan Hua Palace lives just so that I would be hated by everyone?”
Red flashed through Luo Binghe’s eyes.
He said coldly, “You won’t trust anything I say regardless, so there’s no need for this nonsense! I’ll ask you one more time—are you going to come over or not?”
He stubbornly refused to retract that hand. Shen Qingqiu still hadn’t answered yet when ten or so people suddenly appeared in the air around him on flying swords, completely surrounding them.
The one in lead was that man from the Ba Qi Clan. This time, his body seemed to be a little lower, as if he was using the horse stance on his sword to prevent himself from being thrown off again. He yelled, “Shen Qingqiu is ours! No one else should even think about touching…”
Luo Binghe violently turned his head and shouted, “Beat it!”
He didn’t even unsheathe his sword before a powerful wave of energy burst out of him, and there seemed to be a high-pitched whistling noise in everyone’s ears. This time, all ten or so people were thrown several meters away, swords and all. Half of them even crashed into a wall or pillar, causing fresh blood to spurt from their mouths.
The Ba Qi Clan encountered a truly powerful and overbearing aura and were completely wiped out. The observers left behind were all terrified: this black-clothed youth’s cultivation was extremely exceptional, so why had very few heard of his name before?
Liu Qingge pushed Shen Qingqiu. “Go. Do what you have to do!”
Shen Qingqiu said, “Can you handle him by yourself?!” 5:2, ah, 5:2, he hadn’t forgotten this score. He had called over Liu Qingge only because he wanted him to help take care of some of the small fries and conveniently give him a lift along the way. He didn’t want to bring misfortune on his head!
But these two were both characters who absolutely wouldn’t obediently listen to someone else. With some disagreement—no, without a single word, they both started fighting. The Cheng Luan sword was extremely powerful, but Luo Binghe didn’t draw his sword. Instead, spiritual energy began to gather in his hand, and he faced the attack head-on, using his palm as a blade!
Shen Qingqiu knew why he couldn’t draw his sword. There was no room for a single mistake during a duel between two masters, and this was the kind of moment where it was the easiest to be sucked into the void by the Heart Devil Sword. If the demonic energy invaded and seized his mind with killing intent while everyone was watching, then it wouldn’t be worth it. Luo Binghe actually had two cultivation systems in his body; one set was for spiritual energy, and the other was for demonic energy. Since his mixed blood had blended successfully enough, the two cultivation systems coexisted peacefully and worked well on their own. If needed, he could even use two different attacks in his right and left hands respectively and combine them to show off. But right now, first of all, he couldn’t draw his sword, and second, it wasn’t convenient for him to use demonic energy. There was no way to hold back its destructive power, and so, unexpectedly, he was on the same level as Liu Qingge.
A burst of enormous noise shook the roof, and the white rainbow of spiritual energy exploded together. They were fighting too intensely, so the cultivators below who were from the various sects didn’t dare to just rashly rush in. Even a brainless rookie who had never experienced such a thing before could see that if they even barely touched the two’s murderous auras, they wouldn’t need cultivation to instantly fly away!
They fought so fiercely that Shen Qingqiu also felt an itch in his heart. If it weren’t for Without A Cure activating at such an inconvenient moment, he truly would have also wanted to go up and fight a bit too. Unfortunately, time was about to be up. He narrowed his eyes and stared at the sky before leaping onto the tallest floor of the building.
The wind whistled past him as he stood on the roof as if it could blow him right off.
Luo Binghe looked at him from afar and suddenly felt a burst of impatience. He was in no mood to continue fighting, and ruthlessness rose sharply in his eyes as he placed his hand on the hilt of the long sword on his back.
He actually dared to draw his sword here?!
Shen Qingqiu said hastily, “Luo Binghe, don’t be impulsive!”
Luo Binghe said severely, “Too late!” With a flick of his wrist, the Heart Devil Sword slid out, surrounded by visible, seething black energy!
Cheng Luan stabbed straight towards him, and Luo Binghe lightly tapped the edge of the Heart Devil Sword, which was as thin as a cicada’s wing. It seemed as if waves and waves of terrifying intent slowly oozed from the center of the sword, and Cheng Luan came to a complete stop in mid-air.
Cheng Luan wasn’t obeying his command. Liu Qingge had never once encountered this kind of situation before, and his momentary shock was hard to conceal. But Shen Qingqiu knew that the situation was serious.
If Luo Binghe was actually counterattacked by the Heart Devil Sword right now, then the people here in Huayue City and within a hundred kilometers all wouldn’t need to live anymore!
As a last resort, the Xiu Ya sword left its sheath, and Shen Qingqiu said, “Luo Binghe, come here. We should settle things today.”
Luo Binghe raised his head and looked at him darkly. In the next moment, he flashed to about three feet in front of him before raising his hand to create a formation that covered the entire upper half of the roof, cutting them off from everyone else.
He laughed with a twisted expression. “Settle things? How do you want to settle things? Shizun, can you and I still settle things cleanly by now?”
How could they not settle things cleanly?
Shen Qingqiu drew in a light breath of air. Even though he was holding his sword in his hand, he had no intention of crossing blades. In reality, he couldn’t do much right now even with this sword.
He said sincerely, “As matters stand, I have nothing much to say. As expected, even if every trick is used, it is difficult to disobey destiny.”
Luo Binghe sneered, “Destiny? What’s destiny? Is it allowing a four-year-old child to be bullied and humiliated without anyone lending a helping hand? Is it letting an innocent old woman die from anger and starvation?”
With every sentence, he took a step closer aggressively. “Or is it letting me fight with a dog over a scrap of food? Or is it allowing the person who I wholeheartedly, genuinely admired to deceive me, abandon me, betray me, and personally push me down into a place worse than purgatory?!”
He said, “Shizun, look. Am I strong enough the way I am now?
“Do you know how I spent those three years underground?
“During those three years in that endless abyss, all I did was spend every moment, every second, thinking about Shizun.
“Thinking about why Shizun would treat me like this, why you wouldn’t even give me a chance to explain or beg for mercy.
“You want me to acknowledge that this is the destiny that the heavens assigned me?
“I thought about it for so long, and I finally understand now.”
In Luo Binghe’s smile, there was a hint of savagery.
“None of that is important, it’s enough if I do what I want to do. Destiny doesn’t exist at all, or if it does, then it’s something that should be trampled underneath my feet!”
The scorching sun was directly overhead, and the last of the clouds also vanished without a trace. Sunlight flooded the entire city, causing everything to glow radiantly as if pure gold had been spilled all over the land.
Shen Qingqiu looked away from the sky. Because he had been looking directly at the sun, it seemed as if there were some tears glistening in his eyes.
Even though there had been no other alternative, he truly had played a large role for Luo Binghe to reach this point today, turning him into a dark youth who was vindictive against society. His original intention had been to prevent Luo Binghe from going to the extremes, but everything he did not only failed to achieve any real purpose, but also carved Luo Binghe’s hatred and resentment even deeper into him.
When Luo Binghe saw his expression, he suddenly softened and couldn’t help but be a little dazed. But simultaneously, a fierce, sharp headache pierced his head. He clenched his teeth and gripped the Heart Devil Sword tightly, which was attempting to struggle free.
Not good. At the very least, he couldn’t be counterattacked by it here!
Suddenly, Shen Qingqiu said in a soft voice, “Don’t let it suppress your heart.”
When he heard this voice, he was suddenly taken back to his years at Qing Jing Peak.
It was even more difficult for Luo Binghe to control himself. It felt as if there was a sharp knife churning his mind, and the black flames surrounding the Heart Devil Sword abruptly surged out.
This time, it pressed down on him violently, and Luo Binghe was struggling to endure the severe pain when he suddenly felt someone gently embrace him.
Like the collapse of a vast dam, a burst of spiritual energy flooded into Luo Binghe’s body, bringing a relief akin to a torrential rainstorm after a long drought. In an instant, it extinguished the evil energy of the Heart Devil sword that he was currently in a deadlock with.
Luo Binghe’s breathing evened out and everything returned to normal, but immediately, his heart went cold.
Some of the people below the roof were already gasping and shouting, “Shen Qingqiu self-destructed!”
Shen Qingqiu let Luo Binghe go and slowly moved backward, staggering once.
The Xiu Ya sword fell first. Its master had already self-destructed his spiritual energy, and a sword was only there if its master was. It broke into numerous pieces in midair.
Shen Qingqiu always had the bad habit of swallowing his blood back down his throat, but at that moment, he couldn’t swallow it down anymore.
After his spiritual energy destructed completely, he was now a good-for-nothing that was even worse off than an ordinary, common person. His voice was light and buoyant, and most of it was blown away by the wind, but Luo Binghe still heard it clearly.
What he said was: “Everything that’s happened in the past, I’ll repay it all to you today.”
It could be considered a final act of kindness.
Afterward, he toppled backward and fell from the roof.
At first, Luo Binghe only stared blankly at him, and it was as if everything had been slowed down several times for him in that second. Even the moment where Shen Qingqiu fell was so slow that it was incomparably clear.
The body that was falling in mid-air was like a bloodstained paper kite. It was only when Luo Binghe’s body started to move on its own, fighting to catch Shen Qingqiu before he hit the ground, that he discovered Shen Qingqiu’s chest was light and flimsy—his entire body was empty of spiritual energy. He truly seemed like a paper kite that would break with one tear.
He didn’t even need to tear anything. It was already broken.
He still didn’t dare believe it.
Didn’t Shizun loathe his kind the most?
Wasn’t he always unwilling to get close to him? Didn’t he draw a clear line between them?
Then why would he tell him to control his heart so gently, as gently as back then, at the last moment?
… why did he not hesitate to self-destruct his soul and help Luo Binghe suppress the Heart Devil Sword’s counterattack?!
It seemed that there were people shouting things like ‘execute the demon’ and ‘righteousness above loyalty’ all around him. The inside of Luo Binghe’s head was a muddled mess, and he could only hold onto Shen Qingqiu and murmur, “Shizun?”
The Qing Jing Peak disciples and Huan Hua Palace disciples fought each other the entire way over before they finally reached them. Ning Yingying had long since heard that Luo Binghe wasn’t dead, and she was both surprised and happy to be reunited with him, but then she saw Shen Qingqiu, whose eyes were already closed peacefully. The words she was about to say suddenly changed, and she said, trembling, “A-Luo… Shizun… what’s wrong with him?”
Liu Qingge walked over. There was still a trace of blood next to his lips, and he said with a heavy expression, “He’s dead!”
All the disciples were dumbstruck.
Suddenly, Ming Fan shouted, “Who killed him?!”
Everyone’s eyes landed on Luo Binghe.
Even though, strictly speaking, Luo Binghe couldn’t really be regarded as the one who killed him, but Shen Qingqiu indeed self-destructed and died in front of him.
Ming Fan and the crowd of disciples behind him all drew their swords, ready to strike. Liu Qingge said, “You all cannot defeat him.”
Ming Fan’s eyes bled crimson. “Liu Shifu! Then Liu Shifu can kill him and get revenge for Shizun, right?!”
Liu Qingge said evenly, “I also cannot defeat him.”
Ming Fan choked.
Liu Qingge wiped away the traces of blood next to his lips and said, “He didn’t kill Shen Qingqiu.
“But although he was not killed by him, he did die for him,” Liu Qingge said, one word at a time, like a sharp sword being drawn, “The Cang Qiong Mountain sect must avenge this wrongdoing!”
Luo Binghe turned a deaf ear to everything else, greatly agitated and at a loss of what to do. He was still holding Shen Qingqiu’s body, which was rapidly cooling down. It seemed like he wanted to call for him loudly and forcefully shake him awake, yet he didn’t dare to, as if he was afraid of being scolded. He said slowly, “Shizun?”
Ming Fan shouted, “Stop calling him Shizun already, he can’t bear the responsibility of being called your Shizun! My fellow Shidi, who cares if we can’t defeat him? At the most, we’ll just be beaten to death by him!”
Ning Yingying raised a hand to stop him. Ming Fan was seized by an outburst of anger, and he thought that Ning Yingying was still recalling her former affection for Luo Binghe. He accused, “Little apprentice-sister, it has already reached this point. Why are you still being childish?!”
Ning Yingying said, “Shut up. Even if you rush up and court death, would Shizun know? What would he say if he knew? Shizun would rather himself be infected before letting us suffer or be taken advantage of. This is how little you treasure your life?”
For so many years, Ning Yingying always had the charming attitude of a young maiden. When she suddenly grew unyielding at that moment, Ming Fan was completely stunned.
After a long pause, tears abruptly started to fall from his eyes.
He sniffled and sobbed as he said miserably, “But… if it’s like this, Shizun was wronged too much…
“Clearly, he didn’t do it, yet everyone said that he colluded with the demon race, that he killed people, that he’s scum, so they shut him in the water dungeon… he didn’t even have a chance to clear his name.”
He was choked with sobs. “Clearly, he liked this brat so much… he even bet five thousand spirit stones on him during the Immortal Alliance Conference, carrying such high expectations for him. He was so happy when other people praised him… afterward he wasn’t willing to return the Zheng Yang sword to Wan Jian Feng, insisting on keeping it and making a sword mound behind the mountain… he was heartbroken for such a long time… and in the end, this is the kind of fate that he meets!”
Luo Binghe listened faintly as if he was half in a dream and half in reality.
Was that how it was?
Back then, Shizun was also actually… very heartbroken?
Ning Yingying took a step forward, and though the rims of her eyes bright red, the tone of her voice was steady. She said, “A-Luo, even though we weren’t there during the debacle at Jinlan City, we all heard about it. I don’t know why you didn’t return to Cang Qiong Mountain sect or the Qing Jing Peak even though you didn’t die, and I also don’t know why you didn’t speak up for Shizun. I know even less about what exactly happened at the Immortal Alliance Conference. But at the very least, Shizun’s kindness to raise you and train you throughout the years, as well as his tender affection for you and his desire to protect you, were not fake. Everyone knew this naturally.”
After a pause, she continued, “If you feel that Shizun wasn’t good to you a very long time ago, then think of the day you lost your jade pendant. Shixiong and the rest were inexplicably beaten back, and you must have also thought that something wasn’t quite right. There isn’t another person on Qing Jing Peak who would pick leaves and send them flying as weapons to teach others a small lesson.”
Luo Binghe involuntarily held Shen Qingqiu closer.
He said in a small voice, “I was wrong, Shizun, I really… know that I was wrong.
“I… I didn’t want to kill you…”
Ning Yingying said loudly, “Everything that needs to be said has already been said. Even if there was once a time that Shizun was unfair to you or there’s some grudge that you can’t let go of in your heart, today everything can be considered to have been repaid to you, right? From today onwards, you…”
When she reached this part, she still couldn’t bear it and looked away. “I ask that you… do not call him Shizun anymore.”
Yes. It seemed that Shizun had said he would “repay it all” to him just then.
Could it be that he was referring to… when he struck him down into the abyss in the past, so today, he would fall from a high building for him?
Luo Binghe panicked.
“I don’t need you to repay me. I… I just couldn’t control my anger,” he said out loud to himself. “I just couldn’t control my anger, since you acted as if you saw a ghost every time you saw me. You went on talking and laughing with other people as if nothing had happened. You were like that only with me in the past, but now you aren’t even willing to speak to me, always suspecting me… I was wrong.” He stammered and stuttered, wiping the blood off of Shen Qingqiu’s face as he spoke.
“You don’t like the fact that I’m part of the demon race, so I was afraid that if I went straight back to the Cang Qiong Mountain sect, you would chase me out. I thought that if I could seize the Huan Hua Palace and become a peak lord of the righteous path like you, maybe that would make you happy…”
Luo Binghe said in a trembling voice, “Shizun… I… I really…”
- This chapter is by Yan. Yan asked if we ought to not put the chapter title up there but I was like, “Ummm the author put that there, we only translate, we don’t censor the author…. only the crab does that.” So yeah, massive spoiler in the chapter title.
- Farewell, dearest cannon fodder Gongyi Xiao.
- I cry every time I read this chapter. The comments are open, go ahead and let it all out!