What Kind Magical Ideology is This?

The autumn breeze was blowing through the poplar trees standing on both sides of the main road.

The golden-yellow leaves rolled down from the branches. As they were about to land, they were lifted back up by the powerful wind caused by the three galloping horses. Once the three travellers passed, the leaves spun and swayed to the ground.

The setting sun shone on the fallen leaves, creating a golden shimmer around them.

The three steeds eased up their pace, made a detour off the main road, and strolled down a path leading to a hamlet.

The town was tiny. It had only two streets with a two-storey small courtyard towering above other buildings. 

This small courtyard was the only inn in the town. There was a row of sheds outside the door with tables and benches under it. Many chivalrous travellers gathered together in twos and threes to chat, brag, drink and play finger-guessing games, where both players extend and reveal any number of fingers on one or both hands. Just before the revelation, one player must guess the number verbally. If guessed correctly, the player was safe; if not, they must drink a shot.

At first sight of the three horses, these wild boors all stopped talking and turned their heads, squinting and observing the newcomers.

Su Yang raised his hand to fiddle with the semi-transparent veil attached to his straw hat. He dismounted, handed Mei Shisan the reins, and walked into the inn side by side with Gu Feidi.

They took a room upstairs and requested warm water to be brought to their room. Once they entered the room, Su Yang removed his hat and sat down on the room’s couch, complaining, “I’m so tired! How long till we reach the Tengyun Pavilion?”

Gu Feidi chuckled. “We just left the wasteland and have arrived at the border of the Central Plains. My Pavilion is in the south. We still have a distance to go.”

On their journey to the Tengyun Pavilion, they decided to hide their identities for obvious reasons. Not only did they disguise themselves, they even left Fei Lian in the Evil Sect and rode on ordinary horses. In public, Gu Feidi and Su Yang would address each other as Shixiong and Shidi, to avoid being exposed.

Su Yang seemed very pleased with this. Even continued to call Gu Feidi his ‘Shidi’ in private. 

“My dearest Shidi, I’m so tired that I don’t have the strength to go downstairs for dinner…” Su Yang said in a stuffy voice. “Let Shisan bring the food up here and we’ll eat in the room.”

Gu Feidi pulled him to sit up from the not-so-comfy couch and vetoed, “No, you have to join me and eat downstairs. The other travellers will gossip about the recent rumours flooding the Jianghu. The more we listen, the better, as we will have more of a grasp of the current situation.”

Su Yang gave Gu Feidi a glare.

Gu Feidi came closer and gently caressed the dark spots under Su Yang’s eyes. He teased with a smile, “You don’t want to go downstairs because you are afraid to show your unsightly face?”

“Ha, even if this Young Master grows a birthmark on his face, he is still a peerless beauty!” Su Yang mocked with an eyebrow raised. 

Because this world didn’t have photographic technology, most of the paintings were freehand brushwork. In fact, many of the appearances of so-called ‘famous people in the Jianghu’ were spread by word of mouth. The Evil Sect’s Young Master was known for his red mole. It was not good for Su Yang to flamboyantly travel around the Central Plains with his beauty mark, so they used the umber-black dye for painting eyebrows and covered the corner of his eye to the cheekbone in black, pretending it was a birthmark.

After that, he reshaped his eyebrow and added brown pollen between his eyebrows and at his jaw corner. The disguise changed his whole temperament completely.

His make-up technique was picked up during his time livestreaming. When he touched upon his make-up for the first time, Gu Feidi and Mei Shisan were shocked beyond belief.

The only additional transformations on Gu Feidi and Mei Shisan were unshaved beards.

Su Yang raised his hand to pull on Gu Feidi’s short beard and laughed, “If we go out like this. No one would believe that I am the Shixiong and you are the Shidi.”

Gu Feidi grabbed Su Yang’s hand and replied, “You are indeed not acting like a Shixiong with your mischievous temper.” After that, he leaned closer to Su Yang’s ear and murmured, “Besides, you are only half a year older than me. I refuse to accept our position.”

Su Yang smirked, “Half a year older is still older!”

In his head, If I recalculated using my true age, I would be more than half a year older. However, most of the people of ancient times were more mentally mature, so he couldn't really refute.

In the end, Su Yang could only follow Gu Feidi down for dinner obediently. 

Now being the standard dinner time, many people gathered in the inn’s hall and under the sheds outside. They were boasting and talking while eating and drinking.

Suddenly, a large man with broad arms, round belly and a beard slammed his hand on the table and shouted, “Hoax! What a hoax! How could this poor excuse of a sword technique be from Bai Jinghong the Sword Sage?”

Then he raised a manual in his hand and announced to everyone in the hall, “The Evil Sect is truly a tyrant! They would actually deceive everyone to this degree by spreading this trash to play with us! Are we people of the Central Plains Wulin so easily deceived?”

Someone nearby immediately echoed, “This friend is right! It was rumoured on that day the Evil Sect’s demon spawn had a lucky encounter under the cliff and obtained the Sword Sage’s inheritance. I didn't believe it at first, but now he pulled out this garbage sword technique to fool us, it was obvious that he got the real inheritance!” 

As Su Yang was about to pick up the chopsticks on the table, he paused and frowned.

It took him some time to recall his order on spreading the Sword Sage’s inheritance. But at that time, according to the Orchid Hall’s elder, the Central Plains Wulin had already determined that the Evil Sect found the inheritance. Then where did this argument come from?

Gu Feidi glanced at Su Yang and whispered, “Pay no mind to them. These people didn’t necessarily believe in your lucky encounter before. They are only using it as an excuse to push the blame on the Evil Sect.”

“But, I didn’t think that spreading the sword technique would have such a counterproductive effect.” Su Yang’s eyebrows still furrowed. “I shouldn’t have given that order…Tsk, I made a mistake. I should have known that the more moves I make, the more suspicious my Sect becomes…”

However, Gu Feidi shook his head with a smile and comforted, “Since the E’Luo Gui Faction wanted to stir up conflict between the Central Plains and the Evil Sect, you’ll never suppress the argument as you wish. No matter what you do or don’t do, they always have a way to incite these men. Fortunately, the Tengyun Pavilion is sitting as the leader. As long as my Pavilion and the Village of Mount Qianfeng don’t take the initiative, there won’t be war.”

He silently put some delicious-looking morsels into Su Yang’s bowl. “Lingyun will deliver my message. I believe my father has also started to investigate the E’Luo Gui Faction. You only need to worry about your Blood Gu now, don’t worry about the rumours in the Jianghu.”

As he spoke, the strong man that caused the commotion from the start tore the manual to pieces, sat upon the table and bellowed, “Speaking of that day, the Young Lord of the Tengyun Pavilion fell off the cliff with the Evil Sect’s demon spawn. We still have not heard a trace from him even now. I wonder if the Evil Sect harmed him!”

The man beside him said, “Oh! Aren’t they fellow disciples of the House of Jade? Wasn’t there a rumour that their relationship was unusual? How could he be harmed? Didn’t the rumour say that the Young Lord was captured by the demon spawn? Which I think is very possible! I still remembered what that demon spawn did in the Central Plains years ago.”

Another person chimed in, “Speaking of this, it reminded me of the young master from the Zhou Family who was lost to them a few years ago. He suddenly returned home! I asked around and learned that the demon spawn actually abducted him! It’s a pity that such a good lad was stolen away into the Evil Sect for years…”

Then, he lowered his voice, continued with narrowed eyes to add some mysterious air, “...He was tortured to the point that he could no longer be with a woman. He even chased after their family’s guard and offered services! As the only son in the Zhou Family’s main branch, his old man went into a blind rage and threatened to break every bone in the demon spawn’s body and burn him into nothing but ashes! At this moment, everyone that suffered the same misfortune has united to force the Tengyun Pavilion to take action!”

Su Yang almost didn’t swallow a mouthful of porridge and almost sprayed it on Gu Feidi’s face.

It was a closed call. He managed to hold it in. But he choked and started to cough loudly. His cheeks and ears turned crimson.

Inside: What kind of magical ideology is this? How did the Chrysanthemum Hall torture those children? Can you even torture straight men to the point of bending them? Such madness...

His cough was earth-shaking, and those men immediately cast a curious eye toward them and were taken aback by Su Yang’s appearance. 

The buff man and several people around him sneered at the ‘ugly person causing a scene’ as they turned away from Su Yang and continued with their conversation.

“Ah, let alone the group united by their misfortune, even the frustration caused by the Sword Sage’s inheritance made so many leaders visit Alliance Leader Gu, begging for him to take action,” The muscle man sighed. “But Alliance Leader Gu refused to see them on the pretext of his concern for the Young Lord. I don’t know how long this matter will drag on.”

“Then do you think that the Tengyun Pavilion would dispose of the Evil Sect?”

“From what I see, the Tengyun Pavilion will have to take action, eventually. I don’t believe that they won’t do anything, if not for those wronged families, then for the chaos caused by the Sword Sage’s inheritance! They are only on standby without taking any action because of their concern for the Young Lord, but once they learn any news of the Young Lord, it would then be the time for them to act!”

“Oh, you two brothers just arrived from the wilderness, correct?” A man suddenly moved closer and asked Gu Feidi. “Looking at your travel-worn appearance, you must have travelled a long way.”

Su Yang didn’t dare to talk, so he glanced at Gu Feidi nervously.

Gu Feidi naturally clicked his tongue exaggeratedly and rebuked, “Absolutely! We heard that the Sword Sage’s inheritance was located in the wasteland. Thinking that we have the opportunity to make a name for ourselves we went there! Who knew that we went in circles around the damned place and ended up finding nothing.”

The other man sneered, “Ha, not finding it was expected! At least you two have the luck to not find the real direction. I heard that the Tengyun Pavilion led the Wujiang Sect, the Tongyun Monastery and the Xuanji Temple in the correct direction, but fell into a trap set by the Evil Sect and the E’Luo Gui Faction. There were countless deaths and injuries…in the end, the Evil Sect’s demon spawn actually obtained the inheritance. Heaven is really discriminating against us!”

Gu Feidi asked, “I heard just now that the Tengyun Pavilion is not taking action on the Evil Sect for the time being. But I didn’t hear what the Wujiang Sect, the Tongyun Monastery and the Xuanji Temple planned to do?”

The man cleared his throat and shared, “I just got here at noon, but I heard that all the Tongyun Monastery and the Xuanji Temple’s forces had withdrawn to the Central Plains over ten days ago, but there are still people from the Wujiang Sect in the wasteland. They said that they wanted to dig out the evidence of the Evil Sect finding the Sword Sage’s inheritance.”

At this time, a man with a sharp chin and thin cheeks interrupted, “Huh! What evidence do they need? When did the Evil Sect have the good conscience to make what they stole public? If you ask me, the trash sword technique they spread is the evidence!”

Su Yang flattened his lips secretly.

But it was spotted by that thin cheeked man who spoke indignantly, “What? What is this little one so unsatisfied with?”

Su Yang replied with a fake smile, “No, it was nothing at all.”

“If you ask me, since the Wujiang Sect’s speciality in gathering intelligence, staying in the wilderness is to be expected,” Gu Feidi changed the topic. “Aren't the rumours swirling around Wulin from the Wujiang Sect? For example…the story that the Young Lord of the Tengyun Pavilion was taken by the Evil Sect?”

The thin cheeked guy frowned and mumbled, “It must be. If it wasn’t for the Sect Leader of the Wujiang Sect, we wouldn't have received the news so quickly.”

After a few more conversational exchanges, Su Yang and Gu Feidi finished their meal and got up from their table and returned to their room.

“What’s wrong? You think that there is something wrong with the Wujiang Sect?” Su Yang asked in a whisper.

Gu Feidi nodded. “At the beginning, when the news came out that you and I met at Willow Leaf Lake that night, I began to suspect that something was wrong. But at that time, because of the interference of the E’Luo Gui Faction, I didn’t want to doubt the Wujiang Sect. But knowing the direction that the rumours are moving, I have no choice but to doubt them.”

After a pause, he added, “At first, I planned to go through the Qian Province to the southeast. Now it seems that we should be more cautious and change our route to Liao Province. Best to avoid the Wujiang Sect’s territory.”

Authors Corner

The author has something to say:

The start of their honeymoon trip (kidding)


Click to Open

1 Comment

Submit a Comment