Chapter 14: To Rack One’s Brain
The hide man was already crippled. His state of mind was wavering and his spirit was unstable. Even more so, his insufficiency was forced out by Xu Xingzhi’s dagger. He had become a ruined dike stretching thousands of miles. In this crazy despair in the face of a blemish, his heart was only filled with wishes for a quick death so that he could be freed.
He said, “I carry the fragment around with me. It’s on me.”
After Xu Xingzhi and Zhou Wang looked at each other, Xu Xingzhi parted the locks of oily hair of the hide man. Zhou Wang raised her foot and tucked the dagger back to her boots.
Xu Xingzhi unhurriedly asked, “Where did you hide the fragment?”
The hide man answered, “Buried in my body, near the stomach and abdomen.”
Xu Xingzhi’s eyebrows wrinkled in a frown. “… You sure put quite a lot of hard work into this.”
It wasn’t known if it was the tone of the sentence but the hide man’s smile seemed a little treacherous as he said, “In this wilderness if I don’t put my everything in, I’m afraid I’ll die so terribly that my bones wouldn’t even be found. With this key fragment alone, I can solicit a group of sacrificial men who want to escape from the wilderness for my own use. How can I not hide it properly?”
Without waiting for the words of Xu Xingzhi, Zhou Wang pulled out the cold iron dagger she had just put back.
Xu Xingzhi reached out his hand to stop her, “What are you doing?”
“Digging the key out.” Zhou Wang went near the hide man as she said, “My uncle and godfather have been looking for it for thirteen years.”
Xu Xingzhi said, “Didn’t you hear him say he buried the key in his body? He is a man. You’re a girl. You shouldn’t see such dirty things.”
Zhou Wang was surprised. “My uncle taught me from an early age…”
Xu Xingzhi took the dagger from her hand: “Then your uncle can’t teach… Close your eyes and stand by the wall. Turn back when I tell you to.”
Zhou Wang rolled her eyes slightly, but she still obediently paced over to the wall.
Xu Xingzhi pulled up the hide man’s lapel. Sure enough, he saw rough skin that had been polished by sandstorms and scars on flesh that were twisted around like a snake. It was around two fingers long and it was exceedingly frightening.
Xu Xingzhi had been selecting a spot in his body for a long time before he suddenly turned to Zhou Wang and asked her, “How long has Meng Chongguang been out?”
Looking at the wall, Zhou Wang answered, “About half an hour.”
Xu Xingzhi: “Ah” and then said, “That means he should be coming back soon.”
Zhou Wang was very smart, and she soon realized. “Senior Brother Xu is unable to lay his hands on this man right now.”
Xu Xingzhi: “…”
To speak of the truth, Xu Xingzhi had always acted unrestrainedly in the real world. His ideas of good and evil were not clear and he often acted out of line. If his life were to encounter trouble, he would certainly be as merciless as that time when he beheaded the razor monster. However, the hide man was sprawled out on his back in front of him like he was a pig waiting to be slaughtered. Xu Xingzhi unexpectedly was somewhat unable to swing the knife down.
Zhou Wang started to turn around: “…Just let me do it.”
“Don’t.” Xu Xingzhi immediately flashed over and blocked the bare body of the hide man. “Don’t look, turn around.”
He looked at the hide man again and suddenly blurted out an idea, “Can you close your eyes and do it?”
Zhou Wang: “…”
The hide wearing man: “…”
As soon as the words were delivered, Xu Xingzhi himself knew how ridiculous his remark was. He took a long breath and exhaled lengthily. “Forget it, the key won’t run away any time sooner. Let’s wait for Meng Chongguang to come back before we decide.”
As he was about to turn around, the hide man called out, “I still know one more thing. Want to hear it?”
Xu Xingzhi nodded: “Speak.”
The hide man’s smile was increasingly nefarious: “Come closer and hear my words.”
Xu Xingzhi suddenly felt that something was amiss.
Zhou Wang no longer was able to contain her temper. She turned around and grabbed the dagger in Xu Xingzhi’s hand.
She could wield those two giant sabres, naturally, she should not be underestimated. Xu Xingzhi’s hands were empty, and when he looked up again, he was shocked to find that Zhou Wang’s face had already lost its plain indifference. She was just like a hungry wolf that had finally seen a living animal, wishing to open up the hide man’s belly immediately.
Xu Xingzhi had to press his shoulder against her. “Don’t go forward anymore. There is something wrong with this ma…”
Zhou Wang, however, allowed no more explanation and pushed Xu Xingzhi away with her arm.
Zhou Wang was small, she didn’t even reach Xu Xingzhi’s shoulders in height. While Xu Xingzhi expected her strength to not be weak, he never thought she would be so strong.
When Xu Xingzhi was thrown aside and tumbled down, Zhou Wang lifted up the dagger. In the blink of an eye, the dagger sunk into the belly of the hide man.
The iron pierced the abdomen of the hide man, but there was no pain on the face of this man. His weird smile enlarged to the most exaggerated level, almost splitting his mouth into two.
Zhou Wang hadn’t responded yet, Xu Xingzhi had already rushed forward and pushed Zhou Wang back.
Near the wound of the hide man was a light mass buried in the flesh of the hide man’s broken abdomen. Xu Xingzhi saw it flashed suddenly. The white light dazzled his eyes to the point where he felt a burning pain in them.
—— When the hide man buried the key in his body, he also stored a pinch of spiritual power in his belly. If someone wanted to open his abdomen to get the key, he would rather stimulate the spiritual power and blow up the key fragment. He refused to let go of the key at any cost, even if he was destroyed together with it!
Seeing that avoidance was inevitable, Xu Xingzhi was already ready to suffer the moment he lifted up his hand to block.
But a warm embrace came pressing before the pain could hit him, locking Xu Xingzhi firmly in his shadow.
That pair of arms dared not exert strength, but they merely loosely enclosed Xu Xingzhi’s shoulders. So cautious as if they were protecting a dream that would shatter when touched.
A heady plant fragrance emanated from this person and Xu Xingzhi almost instantaneously identified this person.
He opened his eyes and met Meng Chongguang’s gaze.
Xu Xingzhi had never seen such an expression akin to the sea in his lifetime. Abstruse, gentle, never reaching the bottom. But beneath this still sea, there seemed to be a whirlpool hidden at all times, ready to swallow the person before his eyes. To desperately entangle and be released only by death.
Xu Xingzhi felt like he was getting weak and numbed at his spine from his stare. For a moment, he felt an indescribable dry heat come over him such that he had forgotten to speak.
Meng Chongguang embraced him. He looked like he had suffered grievance from the way he spoke so softly, and he very much resembled a puppy. “Senior Brother, you are running around again. Why didn’t you wait for me to go back to the room?”
His graceful lips with a beautiful lip line were just right at the nose wing area of Xu Xingzhi’s face. The hot breath from his mouth immediately steamed Xu Xingzhi’s face red.
The inadvertent touch of their lips last night, the “rabbit grandpa” mentioned by the hide man, and Xu Xingzhi’s ear which was being tickled by his breath at the moment, threw Xu Xingzhi’s mind into a chaotic state. He barely muttered this one word of “You”, before his throat burst into tightness.
Meng Chongguang smiled.
If his smile was put on the face of any mediocre-looking person, it would inevitably be suspected of being fake, but when it was on his face, it was just charming and stunning: “…Senior Brother is so cute.”
Just as the mood between the two men was slowly heating up, Zhou Wang, who had just recovered from the shock hurried up, “Senior Brother Xu, are you all right?”
Xu Xingzhi was somewhat guilty and he pushed Meng Chongguang aside.
Meng Chongguang was caught off guard. He fell two back steps and instantly showed a hurt face.
When Zhou Wang saw that Xu Xingzhi was in good condition, such that even his hair crown was not disordered, she felt relieved. Then she remembered the key fragments and pointed to the hide man and shouted, “The key!”
Xu Xingzhi was then reminded of it and pulled himself out of Meng Chongguang’s arms to see the situation of the hide man.
Meng Chongguang, who was abandoned by his senior brother so resolutely, turned green and stamped his feet twice in anger when nobody noticed him.
Xu Xingzhi almost vomited from taking a look.
The arrogant appearance of the hide man’s face had been acutely distorted by the intense pain that it no longer resembled a human face. A wound half an inch deep was created from the explosion of his spiritual power, but the spiritual power did not spread, instead, it was wrapped in a more powerful vermillion spiritual light. The exploded flesh was condensed into a lump and therein boiling vigorously.
As far as this boiling power was concerned, if Meng Chongguang hadn’t stepped in, this chamber would have been razed to the ground.
In the depths of the bloody wound, one could see something similar to a piece of broken jade, which was shining.
Despite the dirt, Zhou Wang immediately picked up the broken jade in her hand.
The hide man exhausted all means only to receive a single strike of nothingness. He begged for mercy, it was unachievable; he asked for death, it was not doable. He could not even flip himself over because his body was crippled.
He shouted shrillingly, “Let me die! Just let me die! Kill me!”
In between his screech, Meng Chongguang pushed Xu Xingzhi and Zhou Wang away from the horrible screams of the hide man: “Senior Brother, Zhou Wang, both of you get out. Be careful, because he might go rampant and hurt everyone again…” His eyes could not be any more sincere. “…I’ll take care of everything.”
Zhou Wang finally got the treasure she had been thinking of, so she was not willing to spend more time with this hide man. As the smell of blood here was terrible, Xu Xingzhi also did not want to stay here any longer.
After waiting for the two to go out, Meng Chongguang’s smiling eyes completely vanished. There was a sharp glint in his gaze. He leisurely cut off every limb of the hide man’s body.
Soon after, he squatted down and activated his spiritual power. He helped the hide man unblock his meridians.
“Don’t worry, I’ll save your life.” Meng Chongguang had already dropped the childlike manner he had just now. His tone was extremely light. “You’ll regret not blowing yourself up to death this time.”
The hide man gave him an indignant stare and his throat was gulping, but not even the slightest scream sounded out.
When she stepped out of the room, Zhou Wang’s bloody palm was clutching a piece of broken jade. She could not help wiping it on her clothes, looking like a child who had gotten candies and a rare expression of joy flashed on her face.
After going out, she saw a person in front of her and took the initiative to welcome them. She shouted, “Godmother, where is godfather? We have obtained a good thing!”
When Xu Xingzhi first heard Zhou Wang called for “godmother”, he who came out of the door of the chamber, thought that there were actually other women living in the tower, he just had not seen them yet.
But when he looked closely, he did not know to laugh or cry.
The person that Zhou Wang called her “Godmother” was a man. He was wearing the clothes worn by the disciples of Danyang Peak according to Xu Xingzhi’s memory. He looked so weak that it didn’t seem like he could bear the weight of his clothes. His complexion was pale like he had just recovered from a serious illness, but even so, there were still some color to his face.
He and Meng Chongguang were of different aesthetics. If he were to compare them, the temperament of the person in front of him was more similar to that of the female role on the stage of the Chinese opera.
…He really deserved the word “Mother” in Godmother.
The man’s voice was very soft and delicate, and it was difficult for one to distinguish if the owner of the voice was a man or a woman “What is it?”
Zhou Wang was about to tell us what happened in the room. The man said, “Let’s talk about it at Lu Yujiu’s room. He got an arrow on his shoulder and was badly injured. Senior Sister Yuan is treating him right now.”
Hearing the name Lu Yujiu, the image of the ghost cultivation teenager with a baby face immediately appeared in front of Xu Xingzhi.
He fell into a trance for a moment.
At that time, in order to save other disciples who were not even familiar with one another, he was willing to go back to the rear and almost became the dish of Fei Yi.
Why did such a person commit the crime of stealing the magical artifacts and get banished into the wilderness?
After years of living together in the wilderness, they could understand each other’s thoughts clearly. When she heard that Lu Yujiu was injured, how could Zhou Wang sit still? She clasped the fragment and hurried to the room.
The beautiful man saw Xu Xingzhi who was behind Zhou Wang, and he did not avoid him. Instead, he took the initiative to welcome him: “I heard from Senior Brother Qu that Senior Brother Xu is back. But ever since I came back from the Southern Mountain in search of spirit stones, I’ve been sick. I couldn’t get off the ground, and I couldn’t see you either. Does Senior Brother Xu remember me?”
Xu Xingzhi: “…”
While Xu Xingzhi was searching for traces of the person in front of him in the original owner’s memory, the person smiled, “It’s normal for Senior Brother Xu not to remember. The last time I saw Senior Brother Xu, I was a little boy who likes to weep.”
Xu Xingzhi frowned slightly: “… Are you Tao Xian?
When Xu Xingzhi talked to Qu Chi, he’d heard Qu Chi mentioning a person called Tao Xian.
At that time, his face did not show anything, but his heart was already concerned.
…This “Tao Xian” was very strange.
Of course, his speech and behavior were not very unusual, but Tao Xian’s own existence was a special case.
——He did not exist in the memory of the original owner, nor did he appear in the words written by Xu Xingzhi himself.
He appeared out of thin air, but he was accepted as a trusted man by Meng Chongguang and was taken in by this seven-member team.
Was there anything special about this sissy voice?
The author has something to say: Note that the book’s clear CP is only Senior Brother and Little Sister Meng Chongguang.~