A bed of snakes and rats
This wonderful person had come into his life too late.
It seemed at this point, however he responded, he knew that the other would not easily let him go. The state he was in now meant that he really didn’t have anything worth reciprocating.
He stretched out his hand to cover the other’s hand. The palm of his hand and his fingertips were slightly wet, the water droplets slowly dripping off.
“I understand.” Jiang Zheliu said “It’s just that I……I haven’t done anything to deserve you. I don’t know what to do if you keep treating me like this.”
“Prestige, fame and fortune have nothing to do with this. Don’t think that just because everyone else wants something from you that I’m also like that.”
“I just want to do as I wish, and I’m willing to do so. What do you have to be ashamed of? Haven’t you spent your entire life bending over backwards for those who should actually be ashamed of themselves?”
Wenren Ye had always been quite critical of that deathbed promise, which in his opinion was less like valuing Jiang Zheliu and more like tying him down with morals and favours.
“Even if you’re ugly in the future, I’ll still treat you the same.” Wenren Ye actually didn’t want to say such things, in his love filtered eyes, no matter how Jiang Zheliu looked, for him the other would still be a beauty, “Even if you really were a bubble that would break at the first touch, I would still want to stay by your side.”
Jiang Zheliu had in fact heard such words quite often. From the day that he began cultivating to now, there was no shortage of people who fawned over him, making vows as evidence, vowing to be completely devoted to only him, but he had never believed any of them.
But at this point in time, he didn’t have the strength to say “I don’t believe you.”
“I sometimes feel as if you’ll be gone in the blink of an eye and will disperse like a light puff of smoke.” Wenren Ye found his emotions getting a little out of control and tried to steady his voice, “Jiang Zheliu, did you just come to the Mortal Realm to complete your mission? When it’s all over, you’ll have no qualms about leaving.”
“I ……” Jiang Zheliu spoke with a slight pause, “How long I am able to keep living is no longer up to me. Even if I want to live a long life now, the heavens do not loan years1天不假年 tiān bù jiǎ nián =expression that someone will not live long, the world and I are in contradiction2Author note: ‘世与我乖’ is a transformation of a line ‘与世多乖迕，论才信阔疏’ in Wu Yi’s ancient poem titled《效孟浩然体寄呈邦宪明府》T/N: Yah since this is purely a note on language, I’m not tl-ing an ancient poem for the fun of it 😉 sowee, me no like poetry.”
“That can’t be.” These words felt harsher than having his confession rejected, “As long as you understand me, I don’t expect you to give me an answer. As long as you’re alive, there is nothing more important.”
Jiang Zheliu did not know how to persuade him, he wanted to tell Wenren Ye that the latter still had a long life ahead of him, he wanted to tell him that there must be a more suitable partner that could accompany him for the rest of his life, he wanted to ask him why he wanted to spend so much of his efforts on an invalid ……
But again, he didn’t know how to persuade him. It was precisely because he could see Wenren Ye’s absolute sincerity that he was unable to utter a single word.
He could only gently hold Wenren Ye’s hand and say to him, “Okay.”
He replied with just a word but he felt that the atmosphere had become too heavy, so he added faintly, “I’ll live a little longer and give you the chance to take me by force.”
Wenren Ye narrowed his purple eyes at the sickly little willow tree and said, “You must let the whole world know that I forced you and am a great evil Devil.”
Jiang Zheliu did not know what kind of customs they had in the Devil Realm, and nor did he understand the former’s demand too well, so he just took it as the fact that these devils must like to be known as the villainous characters …… He nodded and suggested, “Maybe even forced me to give birth, hmmmm, so devilish …… The medicine is taking effort and I can’t stand up any longer.”
The great devil who had forced him to give birth immediately held him up nervously, he calculated the duration of time he had been in the pool, and then pulled Jiang Zheliu up from the medicinal pool. He then covered him with a plush soft cloak and reached down and used some devilish energy to dry the other’s hair and undershirt.
The Devil Lord was still rather inexperienced and was still a novice at taking things by force. He embraced Jiang Zheliu, feeling that Jiang Zheliu felt particularly light, and he looked down at him and whispered: “Are you asleep? I’ll take you back to your room to rest.”
“You can lean on me and rest a little.”
The other side leaned closer as instructed and was particularly obedient.
Wenren Ye looked at him for a moment, his heart, which had originally settled down, began to thump again. He lowered his head and kissed the other’s forehead once more, in a light, quick movement, as if he were an insecure thief, walking so straight that he wouldn’t even be able to turn a corner.
…… truly good-for-nothing.
The Devil Lord cursed himself whilst he reached out to straighten the cloak around Jiang Zheliu’s shoulders a little more tightly.
A bright clear day with light wind.
An unexpected guest arrived at Dan Xin Monastery.
Yu Jinnian who was dressed in a loose fitting daoist robe was sitting by a medicine stove recording the medicinal properties of some new medicines when he heard the harmonious voice of a young man floating towards his ears from the edge of the lake.
“The Divine Sage of Medicine and I have not seen each other in a long time, I have missed you.”
Outside of Dan Xin Monastery, Wang Wenyuan was approaching in a canoe. He was dressed in a white outer cloak, his robes were covered in seal inscriptions and diagrams, and he held a half-open fan in his hand, idly fanning himself. He got out of his canoe casually, walked straight past the main hall with the medicine grinding counter, and lifted up the bamboo curtain.
Although Wang Wenyuan, the Pavilion Lord of the Tianji Pavilion had not held the position for long. He was extremely skilled in divination and deduction, he was a prophet of sorts who always spoke of omens and unfulfilled prophecies.
Yu Jinnian didn’t even bother to look up and said lazily, “Come on, what kind of friendship do you and I have? Is it really worthwhile for Pavilion Lord Wang to make this trip? Or are you missing an arm and legs and even your heart has blackened. You’re dragging yourself on your last breath to me to find a cure?”
Wang Wenyuan was not angry in the slightest, but patted his fan against his hand whilst he took a seat opposite Yu Jinnian, looking all around the place and then casually said, “Divine Sage of Medicine would really dare to scold anyone, I am afraid that in your eyes, there are not many people in this world who are innocent and righteous…… However I am not seeking any medical assistance at this time. I am in need of something else.”
Yu Jinnian had quite an unusual feeling of foreboding as he raised his eyes to look at the smiling fake prophet, “One doesn’t visit a temple without a cause, go ahead and say it.”
“Xianyou Yu has not been out for a long time, and must not be well informed about recent events.” Wang Wenyuan changed the form of addressing the other and said with a smile, “Did you know that Jiang Xianzun is living in seclusion in Zhongnan Mountain?”
What kind of old news is this? Yu Yunnian narrowed his eyes but did not speak.
“Earlier, the Junior Lord of Wushuang Jian Pavilion, Jin Yujie, visited the mountain and following that he sought my counsel. He told me that Jiang Xianzun had lost all his cultivation.” He paused meaningfully as he spoke, “He had wanted to bring Jiang Xianzun back with him, but instead the Devil Realm’s new Devil Lord, Wenren Ye had taken advantage of the situation. Therefore, he came to discuss a treaty with me. He wants to draw up a treaty to unite under the names of the four great righteous Immortal Sects of the Cultivation World to make an agreement with the Devil Realm to retrieve Xianzun for his protection.”
Yu Jinnian raised an eyebrow, “If Wenren Ye doesn’t agree?”
“If he doesn’t agree.” Wang Wenyuan seemed to have anticipated this, “It just so happens that Jin Yujie said that Vermilion Bird Zhenjun of the Demon Realm had also witnessed this matter. The Cultivation World and the Demon Realm were only able to live in harmony for the last thousand years due to Jiang Xianzun, so they will not stand by and do nothing.”
Yu Jinnian understood completely, this group of vile characters probably had the intention of”Holding the Emperor hostage to command the Feudal Princes”4挟天子以令诸侯 – taking advantage and bending others to your will but using their leader, and Jiang Zheliu’s prestige was so great that there was not one disciple from the Immortal Sects who were not in awe of him, Jiang Xianzun who no longer had any cultivation whatsoever but had expended every speck of his cultivation for this Cultivation World. It seemed that his sickly condition now was an even better bargaining chip than when Jiang Zheliu was invincible and unyielding.
Eighty percent of it was for profit, and the remaining twenty percent was probably for the nasty lustfulness of Jin Yujie and Lie Zhen, themselves.
Although Yu Jinnian didn’t often go out, he could still see through those people clearly. He looked at Wang Wenyuan with a smirk and said, “Why are you telling me all this? You scum and immoral degenerates can just go on plotting together, but don’t come here and dirty my place.”
Wang Wenyuan unfolded his fan, he was still not angry, and instead still had a smile on his face, “I have been calculating this day for a long time, Xianyou Yu’s home is a variable and will take a turn for the better, so I have come to pay a special visit.”
“So you’re just visiting?” Yu Jinnian stared at him.
“There is another matter that I wish to ask of the Divine Sage of Medicine.” Wang Wenyuan said, “I want to buy your Five Power Passion Pill.”
The pill is not a poison, but it can make people lose their senses and bring out the deepest love in their hearts, but it is also not an aphrodisiac. It is merely used as an emotional stimulant.
Yu Jinnian smacked the table: “Pavilion Lord Wang, you have to tell me what this is about. Although I can’t be counted as a particularly righteous person, I will absolutely not participate in anything that is immoral.”
Wang Wenyuan looked at him for a while and finally decided that this Divine Sage of Medicine was too far from the centre of authority and power to be able to affect his plans, “Jin Yujie and Lie Zhen, are both just using this situation as they are worried about their close friend, but both of them are too obedient when it comes to Jiang Zheliu. If Xianzun were to stand up and block the war by clarifying his relationship with Wenren Ye, those two in front of that person’s face would be the first to be merciful.”
“Then what does Pavilion Lord Wang mean to do?”
“Since we can’t control the stormy waves.” Wang Wenyuan said, “Then why should we try to control it? I heard that Zhu Wuxin visited Zhongnan Mountain a few days ago and returned with injuries, I thought …… if Zhu Wuxin uses the Five Power Passion Pill, he would probably finally be able to see everything that he has been hiding inside him, right?”
Yu Jinnian rubbed his chin and looked at the fake prophet before him, “Oh? Well, do you want Zhu Wuxin to stop them or help them?”
“Naturally, it’s to stop them.” Wang Wenyuan laughed, “With Wushuang Jian Pavilion and Ling Xiao Sect at odds, there will be constant internal conflict. Only then do I have a chance to become the Head of the Immortal Alliance.”
“I have never made a mistake in my calculations of others. Zhu Wuxin is someone who once his mind is finally clear will not allow anyone to get his hands on his shixiong. Whether it is Wenren Ye, or Jin Yujie or even Lie Zhen, he will use all means to snatch Jiang Zheliu back, both physically and mentally. Even with those who he is working with …… Zhu Wuxin is a paranoid madman, it’s just that he’s hidden it well. ”
You look like a lunatic to me too. Yu Jinnian cursed inwardly.
He rubbed his hands together and handed Wang Wenyuan the Five Power Passion Pill and a piece of paper listed with a bunch of medicines, saying, “That b*stard Zhu Wuxin, I’ve long disapproved of him. I naturally applaud Xianyou Wang for making a play …… Although Lan Re Temple is one of the Four great Immortal Sects, it has never partaken in matters regarding the sects. As for the position of the Head of the Immortal Alliance, I wish you success in your endeavours.”
Wang Wenyuan took the pill bottle and the piece of paper knowing that the paper contained the items that were needed to exchange for this medicine. He quickly scanned it, “Tianji Pavilion will deliver the medicinal herbs here, Xianyou Yu ……”
He spoke with a slight pause, “Let your immortal friends know in advance, that no matter which one of them is injured in the internal fighting and wishes to come here, you cannot not help them, after this matter is dealt with I will personally thank you again.”
Yu Jinnian was already numb to his dark evil heart, raising his hand and waving it, impatiently saying, “Get lost.”
Wang Wenyuan got what he wanted and didn’t mind the other’s attitude, so he headed back to the canoe and left Monastery.
When the canoe drifted away, Yu Jinnian dusted off his clothes and extinguished the poisonous smoke from Cylindrical Heart Powder that was floating in the medicine stove. Then he saw the little taoist boy, who was only the height of his stomach watching him with a serious face at the bamboo curtain: “Even if Monastery Master is invulnerable to all poisons, he shouldn’t burn such poisonous smoke in the presence of guests. The beauty …… Jiang Qianbei is still living here. that’s so dangerous!”
Yu Jinnian changed his robe as he walked across Dan Xin Monastery, he lazily said, “It’s alright, I’m not trying to target him…… Actually, I happen to have an interesting story to share with Jiang Xianzun.”
“What is it, I want to hear it too ……”
“Well ……,” Yu Jinnian thought for a moment, “This story, it’s called – a bed of snakes and rats5蛇鼠一窝 – lit translation – idiom to describe a situation where two or more people collude together to do something evil.”
Thanks for your comments, ko-fi’s and of course for reading (◕‿◕)♡
15/07/21 – Re-edited all previous chapters to standardise the terms, changed some of the phrasing, added some more footnotes.
Names of the Four Immortal Sects now reverted back to Pinyin for consistency sake and some of them just sound lame translated into English.
- Ling Xiao Sect
- Tianji Pavilion
- Wushuang Jian Pavilion
- Lan Re Temple
01/09/21 – Re-edit
29/01/22 – Head of the Immortal Sects → Head of the Immortal Alliance
23/05/22 – Re-edit + 天不假年