On the Way to Mount Tao Yuan
Even though Xue Suan Ni is unwilling, she is still forced to carry the burden that is Hu Sha on the journey to Mount Tao Yuan. It carries her through the clouds while the rest of the people flies around them.
The visit this time is a private one, and not an official exchange between the two sects, so the disciples they are bringing are mostly young. Fang Zhun is bringing three disciples along with one Xue Suan Ni. Senior Uncle Fang Ye on the other hand, is taking a group of noisy young disciples, the ones that he is fond of. From the crowd, Hu Sha only recognized Bai Ru and Man Qing. Unfortunately, Man Qing only cares for Feng Di. She goes after him and chats with him. As for Bai Ru, she turns red the moment she sees Fang Zhun. Both of them are clearly too preoccupied to be exchanging pleasantries with her.
Hu Sha can only stay on top of the Xue Suan Ni on her own, lonely and deserted. She tries to catch some clouds to entertain herself.
“Why is Junior Sister looking so soulless? Are you hungry?” Feng Yi’s voice can suddenly be heard. She looks up, ecstatic and hopeful. She can see him smiling while riding a cloud.
“I am not hungry. I am not ‘soulless’ either,” she retorts back. It has been a few days since she abstain from food, she has now reached the point where she can skip eating for two days and can still walk. “What about you, Senior Brother? No one wanted to play with you?” She actually saw her Second Senior Brother being surrounded by three female disciples just now. They were chatting and giggling. Everyone from Zhi Yan House are very popular, from the shifu to the senior brothers. They are very well-received by everyone, particularly the females. Only she they didn’t bother with.
“What will they look for me for?” he laughs, sounding nonchalant yet disdainful at the same time, “I am not as famous as shifu and Senior Brother. If they look for me, they only did it out of formality.”
Hu Sha suddenly remembers those people’s conversation back in Sheng Long Platform. “Don’t pay any attention to what they said, Senior Brother! If they won’t play with you, I will!” she hastily says.
Feng Yi grins, looking like he is up to no good, “Sure! What do you want to play with me, Junior Sister?”
Uh, what should they play? She has no idea what they should play. Hu Sha rack her brain for a long time before finally saying, “Where is your hometown, Senior Brother?”
Feng Yi tilts his head earnestly for a while. In the end, he rub his chin before saying, “Speaking of that, I don’t quite remember that myself. It has been too long. I suppose, it was a completely different place from here. I had everything there, but at the same time nothing. This place, on the other hand, has nothing, but gives me everything.”
What does he mean by that? Hu Sha cannot understand what he is trying to say.
Feng Yi laughs, “No matter what, that is my hometown. I haven’t been there for so long, I suddenly yearns to give that place a visit.”
Hu Sha nods, “Turns out even Second Senior Brother will yearn for his hometown. I miss my hometown too. Although we had nothing there and although this place is better than that place in every terms, I still want to go back to my hometown.”
Feng Yi pats her in the head. The people that are around them immediately whisper to one another when they see that.
Feng Yi lowers his voice as he asks, “Hu Sha, you once told me that you came from Jia Xing, were you telling the truth?”
“Of course, why would I lie to you? Ah, have you heard of Jia Xing, Second Senior Brother?” Hu Sha curiously asks back.
The look in Feng Yi’s eyes turns complicated. After a while, he finally speaks up again, “Who brought you here?”
Listening to that question makes Hu Sha’s heart bitter. She grievously told him everything from the moment she ate the offering to how she arrived here. “I really thought I was dead. When I woke up, I was here. I was told to search for Qing Ling Zhen Jun if I want to go back. As for why, I don’t know. Perhaps, I need to admit fault in front of him.”
Feng Yi’s mind seems to wander away for a moment; when he hears her saying that, he smiles. “Admit fault? Maybe….. Perhaps, if you sincerely apologize, he will send you back. It all comes down to whether you are sincere enough or not.”
“Sincere?” Hu Sha asks. “How is something considered sincere? Will it be enough if I kowtow in front of him?”
Feng Yi absentmindedly shakes his head, not speaking. At this moment, Man Qing who has been plastering herself to Feng Di flies over while giggling happily, “Man Qing greets Senior Uncle Feng Yi, Senior Uncle Hu Sha!”
(TN: Women are also called Senior Uncle.)
She place her hands on Hu Sha’s shoulders before speaking in a familiar, coquettish manner, “Let’s share a room in Tao Yuan Mountain tonight, Senior Uncle! My Senior and Junior Sisters are all so noisy, I will not be able to stand them!”
Hu Sha is a little wary of this little miss after remembering how some of the girls twisted her relationship with the Second Senior Brother back in Sheng Long platform. She forces herself to smile, “W-Why do you want to room up with me? I am noisy too, actually.”
Man Qing pouts, “I lost my manners in front of Senior Uncle a while ago, I really want to apologize to you right now. Senior Uncle, if you don’t forgive me, my heart will not be in peace.”
Hu Sha is pretty innocent. She was touched and was just about to say yes when Feng Yi laughs, “Male and female disciples will stay at different places. Senior Brother and I will not be close to our Junior Sister. Rather than begging Junior Sister, you should be begging me. Maybe I will consider giving you the long couch next to Senior Brother’s bed.”
Hu Sha finally understands that she is only here to make use of her to get close to Feng Di.
Man Qing’s face turns really red as she stomps her feet shamefully, “I didn’t mean it that way. Senior Uncle, you…. You……”
He laughs loudly, “What? Isn’t that your main purpose? I am willing to give you a helping hand!”
Man Qing bites her lips before hastily leaving them. A couple of disciples behind them whisper to each other, “Senior Uncle Feng Yi has always been said to be unreliable and crooked, turns out they are right.”
Hu Sha turns around to glare at them. The people who said that are the same people from Sheng Long Platform. When they see her, they are so shocked that they try to hide behind one another.
“Don’t be angry, Second Senior Brother! I will scold them for you!” Hu Sha roll up her sleeves and prepares to stride over to them. She completely forgets that she is in midair. She steps away from the Xue Suan Ni and almost falls to her death.
Feng Yi immediately catches her before laughing in surprise, “Our Junior Sister almost turned to meat patties.”
Still muddle-headed and dizzy from the sudden fall, Hu Sha is placed back on the back of the Xue Suan Ni. “N-No, Senior Brother. I am not hungry. I don’t want to eat meat patties.”
Feng Yi cannot stop himself from laughing out loud. Hu Sha looks at him; there is no trace of his usual frivolousness in his laughter, he seems completely himself. This is the first time she is seeing him laughing so genuinely. She cannot stop herself from smiling along.
“Second Senior Brother, we both know that you are a good person. Do not listen to them, I will not believe them,” Hu Sha says earnestly.
Feng Yi nods indulgently, patting her in the head before smiling, “Such a good kid.”
The Art of Teng Yun is nothing to the Art of Suo Di. Feng Lin Prefecture is separated from Sheng Prefecture by a huge sea, so it took them around half a day to reach Tao Yuan Mountain.
(TN: The Art of Teng Yun is the art of riding cloud and the Art of Suo Di is the art of shrinking land. I’ve realized that using the romanized version is a lot easier.)
Senior Uncle Fang Ye who is dressed in green looks at the shadow of Mount Tao Yuan in wonder, “Something is not right. Fang Zhun, your eyesight is better than mine, is that green layer from Mount Tao Yuan some kind of enchantment?”
Fang Zhun looks over, “You are right. From the look of it, it looks like a spell from the Demon race.”
Everyone are shocked when they hear that. Mount Tao Yuan is just like Mount Qing Yuan, they have divine spirit protecting their land. It is hard for demon to even approach their place. To be able to cast a spell on the entire mountain, the demon must have been really powerful.
Bai Ru frowns, looking at Fang Zhun in worry. Then, she turns to Fang Ye before speaking lowly, “Shifu, going to Mount Tao Yuan will be dangerous. The people from Tao Yuan are probably busy dealing with demons, if we go over and add their burden…. Why don’t we return to Mount Qing Yuan? Let’s report this to Senior Ancestor and let him deal with this.”
Fang Ye stroke his beard before hesitantly shaking his head, “Perhaps it is only a beast. We should wait and clarify the situation first.”
Bai Ru anxiously says, “But Senior Uncle’s health is not good, how can he….”
Fang Ye is quiet for a moment before nodding, “You are right. Fang Zhun, why don’t you take a couple of disciples with you and return to Qing Yuan. Report everything to shifu. I will take the rest to Mount Tao Yuan to investigate further.”
Fang Zhun turns to him in a daze, “Ah? Are you speaking to me, Senior Brother?”
Everyone is dead quiet.
He laughs warmly, “No need to be so tense. Let’s give it a look, if it is really dangerous, it will not be too late for us to make a run for it.”
Everyone are stumped.
Feng Di: Hides his face in embarrassment. He quickly flies on, fearing that anyone would speak to him.
Hu Sha: Looks at shifu in admiration. “He is indeed my shifu! Everything he says are reasonable!”
Feng Yi: Only smiles outwardly. Looks in front stiffly.
Under that peculiar atmosphere, everyone flies to Mount Tao Yuan without saying a word.