Chapter 6 : To Steal a Rafter and Replace it with a Column
A night had passed and Xu Xingzhi had recovered some of his vitality. Even though his kneecaps were trembling slightly, he could at least stand stably.
The gold chain on his wrist had disappeared after a wave from Meng Chongguang. The strange thing was there were no red marks left by the tied-up area nor was there much pain when he moved his hand.
Xu Xingzhi got out of bed and found out that the bathtub was filled with hot water.
He wasn’t courteous either and took a bath without a moment’s hesitation. After a slight grooming and tidying, he touched the folding fan at the bedhead and went out for a walk.
Outside the tower, a patter of fine rain was drifting slowly. As soon as he left the tower gate, Xu Xingzhi saw a head that was exposed above the ground. A Zhou Beinan that was overflowing with resentment.
Zhou Beinan’s face turned green when he saw him yet he couldn’t move his line of sight. He could only fiercely glance upward from the ground.
Somehow, Xu Xingzhi felt like teasing him when he saw Zhou Beinan’s gnashing his teeth.
He squatted down and said with concern, “ What is this?”
Lu Yujiu who was using a banana leaf to shield Zhou Beinan from the rain obediently told Xu Xingzhi, “Because he played with Senior Brother yesterday, he was punished by Meng Chongguang.”
Hearing the whole story, Xu Xingzhi then used the fan to fan Zhou Beinan and rejoiced in his misfortune. “That’s really hard on you.”
Zhou Beinan had “scram” written on his face.
And Xu Xingzhi felt like bullying him more because of it.
He reached out, intending to touch Zhou Beinan’s head but felt nothing instead. This reminded him that Zhou Beinan was already dead and what he saw right now was only a soul. A mortal man simply could not touch him at all.
Xu Xingzhi felt some sympathy rising in him but Zhou Beinan stared at him and said, “…Xu Xingzhi, just you wait, wait until I come out and strangle you to death.”
Xu Xingzhi’s sympathy vanished in an instant.
He conveniently picked up a bunch of hairs that were hanging from his sideburns and laughed at Zhou Beinan.“Official, why don’t you come?”
Zhou Beinan was so disgusted that he wanted to climb out and lay his hand on this scourge immediately.
He was having fun teasing at Zhou Beinan when he suddenly heard a girl’s voice singing in the forest vaguely. The voice was wonderful, silky and like an oriole. Occasionally, there were the sounds of bamboo echoing as if it was accompanied by the sounds of a drum.
He slowly walked over and saw a bamboo forest, he turned between the bamboo stalks until he found the skeleton girl who was proficient at medicinal treatment.
Her eyes met Xu Xingzhi’s gaze and her singing immediately stopped. Her bone joints trembled all over.
She stared at him for a long time before she seemed to realize something, causing her to turn and flee into the bamboo forest.
Xu Xingzhi remembered that he had written about a woman in his book who specialized in unusual medicinal treatment. She did indeed have a body of bones.
If someone was injured, she had the capability to transfer those injuries to herself as long as the injuries do not reach the bones. The injured would then be able to recover using this method. Yesterday, she removed the burns injuries from Meng Chongguang using this technique.
But Xu Xingzhi wasn’t clear as to how she and the original owner were associated. As long as she saw him, she seemed to invariably avoid him, and was unwilling to see him.
Lu Yujiu gazed at the back of the skeleton girl and looked at Xu Xingzhi again. He asked softly, “Senior Brother, don’t you recognize her?”
Half of Lu Yujiu’s face was covered by the terrifying ghost mask so Xu Xingzhi could not see his expression but he could hear an unspeakable regret in his tone.
“Who is she?” Xu Xingzhi asked.
Zhou Beinan clicked his tongue, signaling Lu Yujiu to keep quiet.
Lu Yujiu pursed his lips. “Last night, she told us not to tell you.”
…But what was so hard to guess?
The long green ribbon on the skeleton girl was just like the one on Meng Chongguang. That must be a special relic of Fengling Mountain.
Her body of bones was washed cleanly and was as white as jade. Even if she only had a head of long hair left, she would still comb it before going out. She must be someone who treasured her appearance.
In Xu Xingzhi’s fragmented memory, that was indeed such a beautiful woman, surnamed Yuan called Yuan Ruzhou. She was the youngest junior sister in Fengling Mountain that triumphed over beauty like a flower. Her appearance was bright as clouds, with an equally good temperament. She was a lively and joyful woman.
But all that was left of her was a body of bones as she sang in the woods.
Xu Xingzhi had an inkling, but he pretended to be ignorant. He shook his fan and smiled. “That’s strange, I can’t guess who she is. But by just looking at her bones, she must be an excellent beauty.”
Zhou Beinan who was buried in the ground disdainfully said, “…Which woman in the world is not a beauty in your eyes?”
Xu Xingzhi folded the fan back and said, “Every woman in the world has their own beauty. Some beauty lies in the skin and some beauty lies in the bone, and you naturally do not understand this principle.”
The skeleton girl who was hiding in the woods heard all of Xu Xingzhi’s words.
With hot tears rolling down, she turned and left.
Her white soles stepped on the dry leaves, creating a rustling sound.
Xu Xingzhi was done teasing Zhou Beinan and decided to take a walk around the tower. There were still loads on his mind.
Everything here was different from what he imagined, there was no grand scene of unending disciples nor ghosts everywhere. It was just a lonely tower.
Meng Chongguang had been in the wilderness for more than ten years yet he never trained any of his underlings. This was really a mystery.
In Xu Xingzhi’s view, this was not like a chasm for a dragon to hide or a cave for tigers to have their lair, but more like a place to rest and dwell comfortably, and it was only for Meng Chongguang and several of his good friends to stay.
Nevertheless, from those barbarians who harassed them yesterday, their lives were not particularly clean.
It wasn’t known where Meng Chongguang had gone to but Zhou Beinan was still planted in the ground with Lu Yujiu next to him. Zhou Wang was also missing and even the ghost servants controlled by Lu Yujiu were hidden away, truly accomplishing this phrase, ‘not even a soul’.
Xu Xingzhi tucked his fan inside his sleeve and wandered like a young master strolling in the opera house with some boredom.
It’s annoying, he didn’t want to play anymore, he wished to go home.
After walking around, Xu Xingzhi picked a dry place and sat down with his legs stretched out. He said loudly, “…Come out.”
Xu Xingzhi was aware that someone was following him since he left the tower.
But the man who was following him was like a gentleman, silent and kept a distance. In fact, he was rather patient.
After being revealed, someone came behind the tower.
Xu Xingzhi made an exclamation of surprise.
This person was not Meng Chongguang who he had imagined but an unfamiliar face. He was even dressed like a young scholar.
He was wearing a brown robe that had been washed white but it was extremely clean. In his hand was a white horsetail whisk.
His facial feature was so beautiful as if he was born for these three words “gentle as jade”.
The person walked to Xu Xingzhi’s side with slightly curved eyebrows and greeted, “…Xingzhi.”
Xu Xingzhi concentrated, he flashed all the characters he wrote in his story in his mind until he could roughly determine his identity. His eyebrows had creased slightly in the process.
He patted his side to indicate for the person to sit, and the person did as he was told. His sitting appearance was also disciplined; he had a straight line of sight with his back relaxed. Xu Xingzhi felt that compared to his manner, his was no different to a puddle of mud.
But he didn’t have any intention to correct his posture.
Xu Xingzhi recalled the name he heard from Meng Chongguang yesterday and tried to put the name in the right place. “Qu Chi?”
Obviously, Xu Xingzhi’s luck wasn’t that bad as he was able to guess in one stroke.
The person gave a warm and pleasant smile. “…En.”
Xu Xingzhi sighed again.
…It was really him.
Qu Chi was very gentle and his tone was also very warm, similar to water filtered from a clear and light rippled stream. “…Chongguang told me to follow and protect you.”
Xu Xingzhi couldn’t play any tricks in front of him. “Thank you.”
Qu Chi good-heartedly reminded me: “Your sitting position is not very appropriate.”
Xu Xingzhi continued to have no qualms about it and lazily said, “This is comfortable.”
He spoke with ease but his gaze was still on Qu Chi.
Qu Chi naturally wouldn’t know what Xu Xingzhi was thinking about. He touched his pockets twice and politely invited him. “…Candies for you.”
With this, he showed his opened palm to Xu Xingzhi.
There lay two pieces of colorful glazed paper wrapped on something.
Xu Xingzhi took a piece and unfolded the glazed paper. He found a small stone as big as a nail cap lying inside.
Qu Chi eagerly recommended. “It’s very delicious.”
Xu Xingzhi poured the stone into his palm and weighted it. He asked, “…Is this candy?”
Qu Zhi nodded and swore, “Yes, I want to eat candies. This is what Ah-wang found for me, she said this is called candy.”
Xu Xingzhi fiddled with the small stone and realized that this stone was washed cleanly.
He confirmed with Qu Chi again, “…You won’t swallow the candy, will you?”
Qu Chi obediently answered, “No swallowing, Ah-wang and Tao Xiu doesn’t allow me to swallow them. They say it’s not good.”
Xu Xingzhi affirmed, “That’s right, don’t swallow when you are eating candies.”
He no longer hesitated and tossed the candy into his mouth which made Qu Chi elated.
Qu Chi took the remaining small stone and sucked in his mouth, his blissful expression was unlike a mature adult but more of a young kid.
The stone naturally did not have any taste but Xu Xingzhi pretended to eat in relish.
Speaking of it, Xu Xingzhi’s perception of Qu Zhi was really different from the rest.
When he saw Zhou Beinan, as he was too eager to kill himself, Xu Xingzhi did not have many strong emotional fluctuations for him.
When he saw Meng Chongguang, as his head was filled with thoughts of the “knowledge of the three realms” who tasked him to kill the villains, he was too nervous to produce any additional thoughts.
However, when he saw Qu Chi, Xu Xingzhi’s mood was not so stable.
Because Qu Chi was the only person in the story that Xu Xingzhi set a history.
Combined with the scarce memory of the original owner, Xu Xingzhi learned that he was originally the eldest senior brother of Danyang Peak. He had been attacked by devil cultivators and was beaten until he suffered a mental illness.
In other words, Qu Chi’s mentality was at most five to six years old, he couldn’t even differentiate between a candy or a stone.
Xu Xingzhi guessed that 13 years ago, due to his mental disability, he assisted Meng Chongguang in stealing the magic artifacts and hence, was exiled into the wilderness.
Seeing Qu Chi, Xu Xingzhi couldn’t help but thought that if only he had written a positive and interesting story, maybe this group of people would be much happier now instead of being trapped in this huge prison where those who were crazy went crazy, those who were paranoid went paranoid and those who were foolish went foolish.
As Xu Xingzhi was entertaining all sorts of ideas in his head, Qu Chi who was sharing the candies with him suddenly changed his expression. He shook away the dust in his hand and stood in front of Xu Xingzhi.
Xu Xingzhi had yet to respond when numerous plum blossom blades came rushing from the right side and attacked like a flowing fire. They were like a torrential shower, hitting Qu Chi’s whisk loudly.
Qu Chi’s wrist flew up and down with ease as he slashed and shook. He used the whisk to shoot back the blades that came so sneakily.
Immediately, there were several screams echoing from the forest. It sounded like they had been penetrated into a sieve by their own blades.
With one hand brushing the whisk and the other hand pulling out a Yuchang Sword at his waist, he was on guard. Qu Chi faced the forest where the blades came from and ordered Xu Xingzhi, “Go back to the tower now. Meng Chongguang said that if anything happens to you, he will take all my candies away.”
…What a really severe punishment.
Xu Xingzhi suspected that in Qu Chi’s eyes, he was a big walking candy.
Unspoken criticism might be unspoken criticism, Xu Xingzhi still knew his own weight. Naturally, he would not stay here and be a hindrance. However, when he was about to run away, his arms were caught by a figure that flashed from the middle of the road.
Xu Xingzhi could not help panicking.
Qu Chi immediately turned his head back and saw who the person was. His nervous expression became calmer. “Chongguang, bring Xingzhi back to the tower.”
“Meng Chongguang” showed a cold smile when he heard this.
The hand that held his arm was so hard that Xu Xingzhi felt something was wrong.
He raised his eyes and saw “Meng Chongguang” eyes shone with a wolf-like yellow.
The person grinned at himself with his two sharp canine teeth protruding like a carnivorous monster. He confronted the newly captured muntjac under his paw and wondered where he should start first.
Xu Xingzhi was shocked and told Qu Chi, “Wait, He’s not…”
Qu Chi did not notice anything, he pushed Xu Xingzhi to “Meng Chongguang”. “Quickly go back to the tower.”
Xu Xingzhi’s heart went cold but this chill had yet to penetrate into the pit of his heart when the arrogant smile of the person in front of him froze.
His body uncontrollably fell forward and Xu Xingzhi nimbly dodged it. He watched him fall and convulsed.
-——The connection between his fourth vertebra and his fifth vertebra was clearly broken, and there was a finger-deep hole deep in it.
The real Meng Chongguang stood behind him and slowly wiped his hands with a handkerchief before he gently pulled Xu Xingzhi back to his side. “Senior Brother, do you have any injuries?”
Xu Xingzhi shook his head with undecided fright and looked at the fake Meng Chongguang on the ground.
The struggling “Meng Chongguang” on the floor facial features twisted for a while before it regained its original appearance. It went back to the man with a sallow complexion and a messy bread.
The hide wearing man’s back had been broken and the pain was unbearable. He gritted his teeth and muttered, “Meng Chongguang, why are you here…”
Meng Chongguang squatted and grabbed his hair. There was a smile on his face. “If I always stay in the tower, how can I know who will lay hands on my Senior Brother when I am not around?”
The hide wearing man’s throat was soaked in blood and sounded horribly hoarse. “Just now… The scout said that you were on the Blue Bridge Slope that was a hundred miles away.”
Meng Chongguang’s reply was too casual as if he was making a trivial joke. “It’s just a hundred miles. I ran very fast.”
The hide wearing man knew he was going to die, he used all his strength and roared, “Meng Chongguang, you demon-”
Meng Chongguang’s face remained unchanged and bent his fingers. There was a faint smile on his face as he sliced onto the hide man’s spine. The yet to be spoken curses turned into a terrible scream.
“You used my face to hug my Senior Brother.” Meng Chongguang said, “Are you wishing for death? No, that’s too good for you.”
In front of Xu Xingzhi, he struck the hide man’s spine into debris like he was cracking a walnut.
The hide wearing man had lost consciousness a while ago. Meng Chongguang who had kneaded the hide man into a mass of mud then ordered the slightly lost Qu Chi. “Qu Chi, bring back all those people in the mountain to me. Make sure that they are still alive. I’ll send them to death myself.”
The author has something to say:
Angel Qu Chi has come online.
Qu Chi(angel smile): Please eat my candies~