Translator: Amber.es | Editor: Bubbles | Proofreader: musk
At Haishi19-11pm, the evening class ended.
Among the bustling crowd walking out of the classroom was Qi Xuan, who turned his head and whispered something to the disciple beside him. Suddenly, a bright glare crossed before the crowd, heading straight towards his direction.
Qi Xuan perceived a plain white robe beaming in front of him before being strongly slammed by something— his back collided against an ancient pine tree. He barely raised his head when a thin and slender hand strangled his throat in an instant. “Where is my item?”
It was Ji Chaoyun.
Ji Chaoyun always looked cold and indifferent when dealing with others, but he had never made things difficult for anyone. But now, his pitch black, glittering eyes flashed with a luminous demonic radiance. Hints of blood gathered within their depths, looking terrifying.
The hand that strangled Qi Xuan’s throat tightened. Ji Chaoyun stared at him, and repeated in a cold voice, “Where is my item?”
“I… I…” Qi Xuan had difficulty breathing, and could not say a word due to the suffocating force.
They were presently just outside the classroom, and the people walking along the forest path were all startled by the incident.
Ji Chaoyun didn’t realize it. His voice that clung to Qi Xuan’s ear was piercingly cold. “It’s only you who touched me today. Did you steal my purse?”
Qi Xuan’s face flushed. He vigorously shook his head. Ji Chaoyun’s eyes flashed with a cold light, his fingers slowly tightening.
Everyone woke up as if in a dream.
“Ji, Ji Chaoyun! What are you doing?”
“What’s the matter, why are you suddenly fighting?”
“If you have something to say, just say it. Let him go!”
More and more people gathered around, trying to separate the two.
Ji Chaoyun’s eyes swept around quickly, releasing the hand that clamped Qi Xuan’s neck. He grabbed the other by the shoulders instead, and the two bodies rose into the air, turning into a white glow and disappearing into the night sky.
In the middle of the night, Hongmeng Mountain was surrounded by clouds and mist; snow had begun to fall in the mountains. A dragon-like light fell from the sky, and from that radiance, Ji Chaoyun appeared. With a push, the young man in his hand fell onto the floating stone bridge.
He leaned down and grabbed Qi Xuan’s collar.
All the while, the frost on the surface of the stone bridge swirled and fluttered into the bottomless gorge one after another.
Ji Chaoyun whispered, “Here is the abyss below us. Even if it is an immortal body, the bones and muscles will nonetheless fracture into pieces, thus becoming a torn body with its bones crushed. Guess if I dare to push you down?”
Qi Xuan’s face was as pale as paper. He weakly grasped Ji Chaoyun’s wrist, shivering as he said, “I, I don’t know what you are talking about, I really don’t know…”
A sneer full of mockery appeared in Ji Chaoyun’s eyes. Without hesitation, he raised his hand and pushed Qi Xuan directly off the stone bridge!
Qi Xuan’s body fell rapidly. In extreme fear, he couldn’t even make any sound.
But at this moment, a rope quickly leaped out of Ji Chaoyun’s sleeve and, like a snake, wrapped around Qi Xuan’s ankle. The other end of the rope was tied to the branch of the ancient pine tree at one end of the floating stone bridge. Qi Xuan’s fast-falling body finally halted, and his whole person hung upside down between the cliffs
He tried his best to look up, and saw Ji Chaoyun standing on the top of the cliff, covered in the heavy snow behind him. With the night sky melting together like dense ink, his face looked like frost solidified, his head lowered with an indifferent gaze.
After which, he raised his hand, and the silver-white light transformed into his sword. The blade, bearing the sharp cold, reflected the image of the rope.
Moving even a little bit would cause the rope to be severed.
Ji Chaoyun: “Do you still not know?”
“No, no… don’t!” Qi Xuan cried out in panic. “I‘ll speak. I’ll tell you everything! …It was Xu shixiong. It was Xu shixiong who asked me to steal your purse, it was he who got me to do it!”
Ji Chaoyun moved. “Where is my purse now?”
“…I don’t know.”
Ji Chaoyun narrowed his eyes dangerously. Qi Xuan pleaded, “Xu shixiong really didn’t tell me where it went. I just stole it for him. But! But Immortal Lord Kaiyang sent him out today and he left with that purse. He said, he said…”
“What did he say?”
Qi Xuan: “He said that he would throw that thing into the lower realm so that you can never find it again to teach you a lesson…”
The lower realm…
Ji Chaoyun’s lips moved almost imperceptibly, as if in disbelief, and a surge of anger replaced his sadness.
That was the only thing he’d left for him.
Ji Chaoyun’s grip on his sword tightened. If one looked closely, one could see the uncontrollable shivering. Blood surged within his heart without warning; he staggered back a step, barely stabilizing himself.
When he looked up again, the inky black within his eyes had completely faded away.
There was a strong wind on the cliff, and Ji Chaoyun stood on top of it. His whole body temperament completely changed.
Cultivating into an immortal body, there would always be a faint celestial aura lingering in his body. But at this time, his immortal aura quickly faded, replaced by another more sinister aura.
At a speed visible to the naked eye, his blue silk clothes turned into a silvery white color. A pair of dragon horns grew on his forehead, and a pair of crystalline vertical pupils emerged, shining with a cold demonic glow amongst the wind and snow.
Qi Xuan watched this change in astonishment. He was so frightened he choked as he asked for mercy.
Ji Chaoyun condescendingly stared at the person hanging upside down the cliff, his eyes chilly. “I have never done anything to wrong you.”
Qi Xuan: “Chao, Chaoyun! Forgive me this once, Xu shixiong threatened me with the assessment, and I was desperate! Forgive me, please…”
“If you are desperate, then you must block another person’s way? Based on what?”
Qi Xuan’s voice stopped abruptly. At that moment, he clearly sensed the cold killing intent radiating from the other’s half-demonic vertical pupils, as though a basin of cold water poured down his head, freezing him till the depths of his core.
The next second, Ji Chaoyun raised his sword and slashed straight at the rope!
It was then that a golden light pierced through the night from across the sky, tightly strangling the blade of Ji Chaoyun’s sword.
Ji Chaoyun raised his head and met a pair of familiar eyes.
Feng Qi held his whip as he stood in front of Ji Chaoyun. Seeing his current appearance, he was startled. “Why are you…”
“Get lost!” Ji Chaoyun shouted hoarsely. He drew out his sword with a backhand move, condensed his power into his palm and slammed it towards him.
Ji Chaoyun’s demonic cultivation was much stronger than before. Feng Qi did not expect that he would be so ruthless. He was forced to move a few steps back and shouted, “Ji Chaoyun! Calm down, you really want to commit murder inside Hongmeng Academy? Who do you think you are right now? How is this any different from those demons in the mortal realm?!”
“Demons…” Ji Chaoyun raised his head, and within those eyes shining with a demonic glow, a sorrowful self-deprecating expression appeared. “Am I not originally a demon?”
Feng Qi stuttered. Before he could speak, Ji Chaoyun had already swung his sword again and tried to stab him.
Feng Qi let out an imperceptible sigh.
He leaned sideways to avoid Ji Chaoyun’s attack. With his body inches from the sword’s edge, his fingertips tapped the back of Ji Chaoyun’s neck. The latter’s movements suddenly stopped, and the demonic glow which had condensed on his sword dissipated instantly.
Ji Chaoyun tilted his head to look at Feng Qi, regaining his clarity, albeit his eyes still appeared a little dazed. “Why are you…”
Before he finished speaking, his feet suddenly wavered. He was clearly about to fall.
Feng Qi’s instinct reacted faster than his brain. He tightly hugged the person in front of him. In that moment of contact, a ridiculous sense of familiarity expanded from the bottom of his heart.
It was like… He had held someone like this before.
But this feeling was fleeting. Feng Qi leaned over and embraced the thin and cool body in his arms, holding the back of that person’s head with one hand and pressing it into his shoulder.
They maintained this stance amidst the vast snow. After a while, feeling the latter’s rapid breathing finally calming down, Feng Qi raised his hand and stroked Ji Chaoyun’s long silvery hair.
“It’s okay. Sleep a little.”
His voice fell. The long sword rolled to the ground with a soft sound as Ji Chaoyun’s tense body finally relaxed, his consciousness sinking into the darkness.
Seeing that the person in his arms finally felt comforted, Feng Qi raised his eyes and swept his gaze towards the rope on the edge of the cliff. A burst of bluish smoke lifted the person hanging upside down, settling him firmly in front of them.
Qi Xuan’s feet felt like jelly, and he plopped down with a thud.
Feng Qi maintained his one-arm holding posture of Ji Chaoyun and coldly stared at him. “Do you want to explain it yourself, or should I take you to the immortal elder himself?”
When Ji Chaoyun woke up, he had no idea how long had passed.
A sharp tingling sensation in his brain made him groan out loud. When he opened his eyes, before him was a familiar face that had been magnified many times over.
“!” Ji Chaoyun instantly regained consciousness. He broke free from the other’s arms2Bubbles: So all this time FQ was eating tofu??? Ahhh he couldn’t let go of JCY lmao and stood up, subconsciously reaching out for his sword but he could only feel empty space. “What are you doing?!”
His series of actions were too fast to deal with. Feng Qi raised his hands and said helplessly, “Calm down, I’m not taking advantage of you.”
Ji Chaoyun did not trust him. “Where is this?”
He was not in any place he was familiar with.
The sound of dripping water echoing in his ears was continuous. In the faint light, all he saw was the rugged stone wall, extending all the way to the top. The two of them were surrounded by pools of water on all sides, seemingly surrounding the clearing they were at.
—This was a stone cave.
“This cave is called Jingxin Cave3静心洞 aka Meditation cave.. This pond is called Siguo Tan4思过潭 Reflection (on past deed’s) Pond.. As for this place…” His Second Highness Feng sat cross-legged on the floor, smiling nonchalantly. “The disciples all call it ‘Jinlao’5禁牢 Forbidden Jail..”
“Forbidden Jail? How am I—”
Feng Qi ignored him and continued on, “You and I have disliked each other for a long time. You finally couldn’t help but start a fight in Hongmeng Mountain; you grabbed Qi Xuan, causing us to be the witnesses. If I didn’t have extra moves in my hands, I would have been beaten until I fainted. Immortal Lord Tianshu was furious, so he had us come here to calm down.”
Ji Chaoyun silently glared at him.
The demonic body he had previously shown was yet to fade away. His long silvery hair was scattered behind him, and his crystalline eyes looked colder than before. “Why help me?”
Feng Qi was confused. “I helped you? Everyone saw you catching Qi Xuan when the class was over. Isn’t that the case?”
Ji Chaoyun retracted his gaze. “These are actions done by myself. I do not need to implicate others. I will go to Immortal Lord Tianshu…”
“Ji Chaoyun,” Feng Qi stopped him, his voice still somewhat lazy. “Do you know how the Academy deals with one rushing to murder a fellow classmate?”
“…Cripple the immortal bones and expel them from the academy.”
Ji Chaoyun’s eyes wavered slightly, and the atmosphere in the cave suddenly became sluggish.
After a while, Feng Qi smiled lightly and broke the silence. “Well, since I’ve explained clearly to Tianshu, you and I will stay here obediently until tomorrow morning when we can leave by ourselves.”
Ji Chaoyun: “…I can’t wait for tomorrow.”
He lowered his head and clenched his hands hanging by his sides. “Qi Xuan stole something from me, something… important to me. I must find it. Thank you for your help. After I have found my item, I will tell the Immortal Lord everything and clear your innocence.”
After he finished speaking, his legs began to walk. Feng Qi suddenly said, “Do you know where to search for it?”
Ji Chaoyun’s footsteps stopped.
Feng Qi looked at his back and slowly said, “Qi Xuan only said that the thing was thrown into the lower realm by Xu Zixing, but he doesn’t know where it is. You’re more familiar with the lower realm than I am. Every direction has rivers and mountains winding across thousands of miles. Like finding a needle in a haystack, where do you plan to find it?”
Ji Chaoyun lowered his head without answering.
The other party didn’t move for a long time. Feng Qi lifted his eyes and looked over. Ji Chaoyun stood not far away with his back to him, his shoulders silently shaking uncontrollably.
“Hey, you’re not crying, are you?” His Second Highness Feng had never been afraid of anything, but he really couldn’t handle this kind of thing. He hurriedly walked to Ji Chaoyun, wanting to lift his head up.
Ji Chaoyun tilted his head away and avoided his hand. “You stay away from me.”
His voice was low and hoarse, his crystalline eyes red and misty, but bearing it in, tears did not fall.
Feng Qi quietly swallowed. He didn’t know why but he felt that this picture was more terrible than Ji Chaoyun crying in front of him.
Feng Qi coughed lightly and slowly stated, “I won’t tease you. I’ve asked someone to find out whether Xu Zixing did leave the academy with your pouch today. However, according to reliable sources, someone saw him go to the Nameless Sea6无名海 Wuming Hai..”
“…Nameless Sea?” Ji Chaoyun questioned. “Where is that place?”
Feng Qi: “The Nameless Sea runs through the four realms of immortals, demons, gods, and devils. It’s a place outside the boundaries. As time goes on, it attracts many illegal traders living together in groups, relying on the four realms to resell all kinds of rare treasures for their livelihoods. Therefore, many people there call it the Sea Marketplace7海市 Hai Shi..”
“He sold my purse?”
“Yes.” Feng Qi nodded. “Anyway, it’s good to know the whereabouts of your item now. You can be at ease while you wait. When the restraint is lifted tomorrow, I’ll find a reason to take you out of the academy and take it back.”
Ji Chaoyun lowered his head without answering.
Feng Qi thought he was still worried, and continued to persuade him, “Don’t worry, there is nothing in the sky and the earth that I can’t find. As for those two idiots, wait until we find the item, then we’ll deal with them separately. Hey, are you listening to me? Ji Chaoyun? Little crying bag?8 Literally little crying bag: 小哭包.”
“Shut up,” Ji Chaoyun hoarsely chided. He fell silent for a moment, before whispering, “You… Why are you helping me?”
Feng Qi looked down at the young man who was very near to him. Suddenly, there was an inexplicably sour yet soft feeling in his heart.
Ji Chaoyun’s personality was stubborn and obstinate— like a hedgehog who never let go of his vigilance, hiding behind the crowd and scrutinizing everyone, refusing to let anyone get close. But this time, he who put away all the thorns, looked so fragile and helpless that people could not help but want to take him back into the nest in order to keep him hidden and protected.
And Feng Qi felt that what was presently being revealed in front of him was what this person truly was like.
Feng Qi stared at him for a long while, then abruptly turned his gaze away. “You are now my Dengyun Tower’s person and my attendant. Ought I not help you?”
“When did I…”
“Alright. This lord is willing to do it. What else do you want to say?” Feng Qi interrupted him impatiently. “I’m going to rest now. You are not to make any more noise. If you make any movement, I will throw you into the water…”
Ji Chaoyun originally wanted to say something, but Feng Qi had already turned around and laid down, as if he didn’t want to talk to him any longer. He could only say “oh”, resentfully walking to the side of the reef and sat down with his back to Feng Qi.
Silence was restored in the cave. Only the sound of shallowly dripping water echoed in the silence.
After a while, Ji Chaoyun whispered out loud, “Thank you.”
He didn’t expect to get an answer, but after a while, Feng Qi’s voice suddenly came from behind him. “You dragon clansmen can only say thank you?”
Ji Chaoyun turned his head. Feng Qi walked towards him and sat down beside him very naturally.
“…Weren’t you sleeping?”
Feng Qi rubbed his shoulders and neck uncomfortably and spat out, “This shabby place is musty and damp. Who could possibly fall asleep?”
Feng Qi squinted at him. “Did you just laugh at me?”
“You did laugh at me.”
Feng Qi continued, “Rewarding help with evil. Are you dragons so immoral?”
Ji Chaoyun held back a smile. “Your Highness does not have to worry whether the Dragon Clan has a conscience or not. However, the Dragon Clan has never been so… coquettish like Your Highness.”
“…” Be it heavens or earth, no one dared to say that His Second Highness Feng was coquettish. Feng Qi was speechless for a long time. He couldn’t find words to refute, so instead, he angrily stated, “You are really annoying to talk to.”
The two sat side by side and didn’t speak any more. After a while, Ji Chaoyun suddenly said aloud, “When this ends, I will properly thank you. What kind of thank you gift would you like?”
Feng Qi tilted his head to look at him.
Ji Chaoyun hadn’t recovered from his half-demon form. His silvery hair was draped behind him, so beautiful that one couldn’t look away.
A pair of dragon horns curved quietly on his forehead, and the water waves glowed with a soft luster.
Feng Qi subconsciously wanted to reply that he didn’t want any thank you gift. But then, his eyes fell on that pair of dragon horns. His heart was itchy; so were his hands. Quite intolerable.
”Let me touch your dragon horns,” he blurted out.
The author has something to say:
Yunyun: …Not giving. Scram.
The progress until the Highness touches the dragon’s horns: 20% [A qualitative leap, my friends!]
- 2Bubbles: So all this time FQ was eating tofu??? Ahhh he couldn’t let go of JCY lmao
- 3静心洞 aka Meditation cave.
- 4思过潭 Reflection (on past deed’s) Pond.
- 5禁牢 Forbidden Jail.
- 6无名海 Wuming Hai.
- 7海市 Hai Shi.
- 8Literally little crying bag: 小哭包.