Note: I decided to translate V4 on a whim. Unfortunately, I am not officially picking up the series, as it is not something I can currently commit to with my current time and resources. I would be willing to share the Glossary I have to anyone that would like to pick up the series. For more details about why the series was dropped, read my previous post here.
Edit: I have gone back to C4-C6 to revise some terminology to match GiraffeCorps. In addition, I noticed there were some missing lines in C5 (translated using unofficial raws), and I have now added them back in. I would highly recommend rereading them (or maybe even the entire volume, now that it’s complete :P).
This is the end of V4! There’s just the usual Character Profiles left, which I will translate later as I have time. In any case, I can’t believe I managed to actually complete the second half of this volume in a week, but I’m glad it’s finally done! Many thanks to the people that have been showing support this whole time :)
Honestly, this volume has probably one of the most dramatic endings I have ever seen for a book. I can’t imagine how the original novel readers must have felt after reading this and waiting for V5 to get published afterwards…hopefully you guys won’t have to wait too long for V5 either?
I sincerely hope that this series gets picked up. If possible, please promote this series as much as you can (NUF is a great place to start), to show translators out there that this series has great potential and a dedicated fanbase. Feel free to join my Discord server, email me, or message me on NU if you want to talk about KSM! I finished season 1 a while back, though I haven’t yet started season 2. After translating V4, I’m seriously considering rereading season 1 lol. As a reminder, there is also an extensive Spoilers thread on NUF for those interested.
You can read all the older chapters on GiraffeCorps (linked below).
Disclaimer: I do not own 沉月之鑰 nor do I make profit off of it. All rights for this novel belong to the original author, 水泉. The only thing that I own are my translations. Please do not re-post this content anywhere, and if possible, support the author by buying her books!
Translated by: TaffyGirl13
Chapter 7 – Black and white vision
“Every person in this world has a chance of breaking.” – Fan Tong
“Ah, how scary.” – Yin Shi
“You’re an idiot that has been broken from the beginning, what is there to be scared of?” – Ling Shi
The dorms resuming their supply of water was a beautiful event. Yue Tui felt that having a private bathing space was truly amazing. Fan Tong also thought that having a place next to him to wash his face when blots of ink splashed onto him was truly amazing as well. As for whether Zhu Sha felt the same or not was something they were not too sure about.
“Fan Tong, is what you’re saying true?”
In this period of time, Yue Tui had made significant progress in his [knowledge] of Eastern City’s text due to Fan Tong’s urging. The characters written using the brush were starting to gain some semblance as well. However, Fan Tong himself had not improved in various aspects, so Yue Tui seemed to want to use their spare time to teach him a bit of Wu Shu.
Then, in accordance with Yue Tui’s improvement in learning the language, Fan Tong wanted to use writing to explain his speaking issue. Hence the current scene of Yue Tui’s shocked questioning.
“What would you trick me for?”
The proper translation of this sentence was “What would I trick you for”. Yue Tui clearly did not catch on after hearing this.
“Oh, so that sentence is…”
“Yue Tui, you have to doubt me! After Zhu Sha looked at my explanation, he actually completely believed me, thinking that I was just a person that liked being honest. My lung’s self-esteem has suffered a tiny blow. If even you believe me, I seriously won’t know what to do!”
It’s been so long since I had the chance to freely speak for so long. How refreshing, my body and mind feel so unrestrained. That depressing feeling of not being able to say what I want has been vented slightly too. It’s just a pity that after carefully examining my own words after speaking, it’s still unbearable to listen to. Lung’s self-esteem…sigh, only the curse could come up with that. (TL/N: The proper term should have been 自尊心 = self-esteem (heart), which is just the psychological term for self-esteem/ego. His curse instead changed it to 自尊肺 = self-esteem (lung). I just twisted the words a bit so that it made more sense in English.)
“Wait a minute, what exactly are you saying…”
Yue Tui’s brain seemed to already be tied into knots. Trying to get used to translating Fan Tong’s words was a truly painful task, especially since it contained a mix of truths and falsehoods that were hard to distinguish. If one could completely understand, they would probably already be at the level of telepathy.
“Anyways, everything is that uncle’s fault! I only called her auntie once, was there really a need to be so happy?”
I called a young miss ‘auntie’, not an uncle ‘auntie’, thank you very much. I do still have eyes. Also, she wasn’t happy, she should have been furious. If she heard this sentence, she might curse my son and grandson to never be able to reincarnate.
Yue Tui’s beautiful eyes were already starting to look unfocused. His brain probably hasn’t caught up and might soon be declared as having died.
“Luo Shi was also very kind. From the first day I met him, I didn’t explain to him. Then he didn’t even help me tell you, just watching from the sidelines as my foolish words turned into misunderstandings. After much difficulty, you’re finally unable to read now. If not, I was afraid I’d be unable to make you understand even by the time I lived!”
“…Wait, Fan Tong, wait a minute…”
Yue Tui covered his face with one hand as he raised his other hand in front of him to stop Fan Tong from speaking further. In this circumstance where Yue Tui was unable to decode the speech entering his brain into proper sentences, Fan Tong continuing to talk would just be throwing attacks at his mind.
For a while, Fan Tong was a bit worried that Yue Tui would say, “I can pretend I never heard your explanation today. From now on, why don’t we just continue interacting as we did before,” or something similar. If that happened, Fan Tong would probably freeze and crumble on the spot.
“I really cannot understand what you’re saying. Can you write…”
We can’t always use writing to communicate from now on, right? Besides, you don’t understand everything I write either!
Though since Yue Tui had requested it, Fan Tong still obeyed. Since there were too many things he wanted to say and he had no patience, his words ended up getting somewhat sloppy. When Yue Tui saw it, he instantly felt more pained.
“Fan Tong…don’t write in cursive…”
This is just semi-cursive script! It’s not cursive!
Thus, Fan Tong could only recopy everything using proper standard script. With this, Yue Tui just barely managed to understand about 75% of its meaning.
“So, your speech really does have this kind of problem?”
Fan Tong nodded.
“From the beginning…it’s always been like this?”
Fan Tong nodded.
Yue Tui stopped speaking. He was likely recalling all the strange things Fan Tong had previously said.
“Fan Tong, give me a day…no, give me a few days’ time to clarify and sort out my thoughts. I feel like my brain is about to explode.”
What, does this bother you that much? Just let the past stay in the past, what does it matter?
“Before then…could you not speak to me for now?”
After Yue Tui said this, Fan Tong was completely stunned.
A breakup! A breakup—
No, this should be…a cold war? That’s not right, what exactly is this? The line “We should each calm down and properly consider the matter” seems to be pretty common? Which TV dramas have used this line before?
Don’t be like this! It’s fine even if you don’t believe me like Zhu Sha! Or you can even play around with me like Luo Shi, I don’t mind! Really!
“I’m truly sorry for often misunderstanding you in the past, but I think…I might still be unable to understand you from now on. I don’t know what the best thing to do is…”
Are you the one whose world is crumbling right now, or me? Even though Luo Shi misunderstood me and used Driven Fire to burn me, he never apologized. What are you being so courteous for?
“So, Fan Tong, that day…”
Yue Tui’s expression suddenly changed strangely.
“That day…you were actually saying that you wouldn’t return with me?”
Um, which day?
Fan Tong admitted that he wasn’t someone with an amazing memory. Having him remember what instance this was using such vague clues with those common lines was too difficult for him.
Yue Tui could tell from Fan Tong’s expression that the latter did not understand the question. Yue Tui’s expression fell a bit further.
Don’t be like this, okay? You’re making me feel like I forgot some heinous thing. I’m not that rotten of a person, am I?
“It’s fine, just forget it if you cannot remember. It doesn’t matter anyways.”
Yue Tui gave a dull smile, the type of smile that didn’t really contain much happiness.
Don’t just give up in despair! Can’t you give more clarification?
“Anyways, just let me think by myself in the next few days…just a few days.”
What exactly do you want to think about by yourself? You wouldn’t turn your back on me because my mouth has issues and stop being my friend, right?
Fan Tong could not figure out what Yue Tui meant. However, Yue Tui saying that he wanted some time for self-reflection was not something he would have said casually.
The next morning, Yue Tui did not wait for him and went to school alone. It was during moments like these when Fan Tong wished Yue Tui would not keep his promises.
Since Fan Tong usually always went to school together with Yue Tui, suddenly asking him to go by himself felt truly hard to adjust to.
He quietly walked without someone to speak with. There were no lively duels to watch either. And of course, there were no scenes of girls confessing with gifts. Fan Tong seriously believed that when he was alone without Yue Tui by his side, he became an object that everyone overlooked, buried in the masses.
Obviously, he did not wish for himself to get involved with any duels as a result of Yue Tui not being present. If someone really had the interest of seeking him for a fight, he would feel like his head would explode.
Under typical circumstances, he naturally would not win in a fight. If he wanted to rely on Puhahaha’s help, it would not be too optimistic [of a situation] either, since he could not control the firepower and might accidentally kill the other person. Dueling someone on the road wouldn’t earn him money either, and there were no benefits from it at all. Fan Tong felt like this type of thing was best to avoid if possible.
I’m a civilized and educated person, alright? As if I’d do something like fight or kill when there isn’t a need to. Although one would get used to it soon enough, I don’t think getting accustomed to something like that is good. I might even end up having to resolve any karmic consequences too. Why go through the trouble?
As Fan Tong’s thoughts wandered all over the place, he entered the campus. While Yue Tui had not gone to school together with him, they were still in the same class, and their seats were next to each other. So would they not speak even after meeting?
The class this morning was the one for Fu Zhou Xuan. The contents of the class today were about some advanced Fu Zhou. They had to continuously practice copying how to write this Fu Zhou throughout the lesson until they could successfully create an effective Fu Zhou. This was a task that Fan Tong excelled in, handwriting the Fu Zhou characters while knowing where the strokes should hook or turn. With his nimble writing, none of this was an issue. However, Yue Tui next to him was flustered as usual.
Just ask me if you can’t do it. If you’re having trouble, you can just come to me for help…
Yue Tui was clearly hesitating, stealing a few glances over at Fan Tong. However, he did not open his mouth to speak. Fan Tong also had no way of comprehending what exactly was gnawing at Yue Tui’s mind or why it could not be resolved. This kind of strange atmosphere made him feel moody.
With this environment, it was only natural for them to end up gloomy, with the urge to run their heads into a wall. After class ended, Yue Tui once again did not walk together with him, seemingly falling deep into serious contemplation as he left by himself.
When they returned to the dorm, even Zhu Sha noticed that something was wrong.
“Did you two fight?”
Yue Tui immediately denied this. Actually, Fan Tong didn’t think it was a fight either. It was clearly Yue Tui one-sidedly taking things too seriously and causing distress.
“Then why are you two ignoring each other?”
“I’m just recalling the past and thinking of some future matters…”
Too profound. Yue Tui, that answer of yours is too profound—
“Future matters? Then you should think of me too.”
Zhu Sha immediately tossed the unusual concern about Fan Tong and Yue Tui’s relationship and began to bother Yue Tui about adding him into these “future plans”.
It seems like there’s no use in putting my hopes on Zhu Sha to resolve friendship-related issues. Fan Tong did not hold any kind of expectations.
“Oh…Yue Tui is ignoring you? What horrible thing did you do?”
Luo Shi did not even ask anything before directly judging Fan Tong as being in the wrong. What a truly biased display.
“I only told him in writing about my mouth’s advantage! How was I supposed to know it would be such a big blow to him!”
Fan Tong emotionally complained through the Fu Zhou communication device. It was only because he couldn’t tell anyone else about his depressed feelings that he had been forced to go look for Luo Shi.
“Then just deal with the grief. You really are unlucky. Who asked for your mouth to have this kind of ‘advantage’?”
“I’m going to tell Yue Tui that you clearly knew, yet purposely didn’t tell him, causing him to misunderstand this up until now.”
Since Luo Shi seemed to enjoy Fan Tong’s misfortune so much, Fan Tong couldn’t help but threaten him. It just so happened that the threat was not reversed at all as well. It was truly favorable timing.
Although, in reality, he had already told Yue Tui about the matter of Luo Shi knowing.
“…! Fan Tong! You lowly commoner! How could you plot against me like this!”
Hmph, now you know to feel panicked? Don’t think I have no way of handling a young boy like you. I know exactly where your weakness is.
“I wouldn’t dare. In terms of plotting against others, how could I compare you, commoner Luo Shi?” (TL/N: In Chinese, the “Lord” form of address for the Shis is 大人, a generic title of respect for higher positions which literally comprises of the words “big” and “person”. His curse reverses it here to 小人, a generic term for lowly people of lower position that literally comprises the words “small” and “person”, so it is a direct “opposite” in Chinese. This 小人 is also what Luo Shi just insulted Fan Tong with earlier.)
See, I told you I couldn’t say Lord Luo Shi’s name because it’s very likely it’ll end up changing into ‘commoner’. Though reversing in an instance like this could only be called perfect timing.
“You…anyways, you’re not allowed to say that! If you tell him, I-I won’t treat you to meals for three months!”
Tch, why are everyone’s weaknesses easy for others to see through?! In the end, you knew exactly where mine was too!
But I’ve already said it, what do I do?
This is a disaster, Yue Tui’s side is hard to put into words, and now Luo Shi’s side is at risk too? Does this count as suffering the consequences of one’s own actions? If I beg for Yue Tui to fabricate a story with me, will he agree?
“Does not treating me to meals mean not treating Yue Tui either?”
I don’t believe someone as thin-skinned as you would dare to eat with Yue Tui alone without me there.
“I just…I’m not talking to you anymore!”
In a burst of fury, Luo Shi angrily hung up Fan Tong’s call. In the end, after all that talking, it had been no help.
Sigh, Luo Shi, good children shouldn’t be like that. That’s the behavior of someone with poor upbringing. But you probably wouldn’t act like that to others, right? As expected, friends are there to be bossed around.
Fan Tong felt a sense of helplessness as he noticed it was almost time for his part-time job. He could only prepare his things and head out.
Despite being a lazy person, Fan Tong actually did not particularly reject doing a part-time job. Earning money in exchange for labor was a very logical matter. The illogical part was that he could not receive this money, since all his earnings from the part-time job were used to settle a debt. And this debt was extremely unreasonable in his opinion.
Working without receiving money made it feel like volunteer work. Fan Tong had no interest in things like volunteer work. Unfortunately, it was not his choice. He did not even have the right to choose his work partner, let alone decide if he wanted to do the job or not.
“Fan Tong, long time no see. You guys really sailed smoothly through the competition. Don’t you think that it’s great I helped you register?
Mi Zhong beamed wholeheartedly as soon as he saw Fan Tong. Back then, Mi Zhong seemed to have said that since he had brought Fan Tong in, he should be rewarded if Fan Tong won. Now that they had won so many rounds, Mi Zhong might have turned a profit.
However, Mi Zhong still came to the part-time job. Did he owe an astronomical debt, or did he actually not earn much money at all?
“The money you gained from us shouldn’t be split with me, right?”
“Ah, so you also know that I naturally don’t have an intention of splitting with you.”
I was saying that you should split with me…Forget it, why did I think I could talk about money with Mi Zhong?
“It’s rare for you not to be with Yue Tui. Doesn’t he work together with you?”
When Mi Zhong mentioned this, Fan Tong’s mood worsened.
“Though if he’s not here, there’s less pressure when chatting. How about it, is there anything else you want to ask me about? Considering the recent benefits, I can offer [the information] for free.”
Fan Tong believed that Mi Zhong’s ability to speak by himself was getting stronger and stronger. It was possible that Mi Zhong could continue talking alone even without Fan Tong saying a single word.
“If there isn’t any information you want to ask about, I can also tell stories. This job is pretty idle anyways, not talking is quite boring.”
Basically, you just want someone to listen to you talk…I really can’t stand you.
He currently had 170 strings of debt. Hopefully he could quickly return it so that he would not be forced to work part-time any longer.
“Why not talk about the martial arts competition then?”
“The martial arts competition? What do you want to hear? Its origin? How many years of history it has? The groups that have the highest hopes of winning this competition?”
I just mentioned the martial arts competition, yet there are so many details? Why is something like the groups with the highest hopes of winning in there too? Could it be that you’re privately betting?
“You can talk about whatever you know. Say whatever you want, I’ll listen seriously.”
Not listen sincerely, it’s listen casually. How could I possibly listen seriously to something a person like you says…
“With a listener as boring as you, I’m not that interested in talking either.”
Do you want to talk or not? Why so picky?!
“Actually, the martial arts competition doesn’t have any extraordinary story. It’s definitely been held for a very long time, but it seems that there isn’t any special story about its beginning. They just suddenly wanted to hold one. It doesn’t have any awesome legends.”
Like his starting words, there wasn’t anything worthy to note in the things he began to dully talk about. If there’s nothing special, then you actually don’t need to speak about it at all, right?
“The rules and rewards are changed somewhat each time. Having the Eastern City’s Five Lords of Shi first do a demonstration round was a new event they only started this year. This was also why I got an extra chance to see Lord Ling Shi! The beautiful Lord Ling Shi! How could Lord Yin Shi not know to hold back, even slicing off a few strands of Lord Ling Shi’s hair? What if he had injured Lord Ling Shi’s face?! My blood was racing while watching, and my heart nearly stopped—”
Could you not spend three sentences talking about Lord Ling Shi? I feel like it should be Lord Ling Shi that didn’t know to hold back. Lord Yin Shi only matched it with the proper behaviour. Although who knows which shrine that proper behaviour was abandoned in when he went against Lord Wei Shi.
“Speaking of which, the demonstration match also had betting rounds. The results were pretty much what everyone guessed, since it’s obvious just from looking at the tassel colors. The people betting weren’t very friendly; even if the odds for Lord Yin Shi against Lord Wei Shi were 1:400, there still wouldn’t be anyone betting for Lord Wei Shi to win.”
There really were bets? Is that okay? If you betted according to your passion towards Lord Ling Shi, how much did you lose?
“The privilege of the top five winners of the martial arts competition being able to challenge a Lord of Shi to a fight has already been going on for many years though. Maybe since around five years ago? Though, challenging the Lords of Shi doesn’t include Lord Luo Shi. After all, his ability is still too different from the other Lords and is not yet at the level where he can accept challenges. It should count as a way to protect him, probably.”
Oh…is that so? Luo Shi must be unhappy about this special treatment. He’s always very conscious of his strength not being sufficient, and then ends up feeling unreconciled yet also powerless.
“Who do most people not challenge?”
After listening up until here, Fan Tong finally interjected with a question to prevent Mi Zhong from continuing speaking. It was really starting to look like a monologue.
“Hm…there are plenty of reasons to do the challenge. Some like challenges where it seems they have a chance to win. Some like challenging their idols. Some like challenging out of private grudges. If you sum up the past five years, the one challenged the most is Lord Wei Shi, then Lord Ling Shi, and finally Lord Yin Shi. Lord Hui Shi isn’t counted, since there’s been no record of him for two years.”
Oh…as expected, Lord Wei Shi is quite resented. I’m guessing that despite knowing they will lose, they will challenge him with the hopes that they can hit him once?
Then what about Lord Ling Shi? [Is it] like Mi Zhong’s type, perverts that would feel good from being killed by Lord Ling Shi? Or is it budding girls that challenge him out of malicious intent because of Lord Yin Shi?
As for Lord Yin Shi…I feel like only blind people would challenge him. There’s no way of winning, and they can probably get killed by a single slip of his hand. They probably would die without even gaining any useful experience. The people that duel him are probably the very experimental type.
“And then, the people that hate Lord Wei Shi hate him even more when they’re defeated by him, hahaha….”
That’s a given. I also really want to know what color tassel the strongest among the New Residents has.
“Currently, the ones being looked favorably upon are probably the red tassel ranks. Their fights have been super intense. The fact that you guys have fought up to this point can be counted as pretty good too. Don’t feel bad if you lose.”
What are you saying, our goal is the top five. This is just because you don’t understand Yue Tui, you don’t understand Yue Tui at all.
Does this mean that, since there are bets, should I actually bet for myself and win a round?
But my luck with money is horrible. We might end up losing even though we could have won originally just because I bet that we would win. The gains definitely would not make up for the losses.
“Oh yeah, Fan Tong, who was the hot beauty that appeared on stage next to you guys that day?”
As Mi Zhong spoke, he suddenly began asking for information.
Hot beauty…who? Do I know this person? It couldn’t have been someone that just happened to be standing nearby, right?
“Was she really Zhu Sha? Although she seemed to have passed the ID confirmation, isn’t that too big of a difference? Why did she look like a male before? How did she bind that chest of hers, was it difficult?”
After all that, it turns out you were talking about Zhu Sha. She was indeed a male when you saw her before. In the end, your eyes were interested in her chest?
Wait a minute, I thought your heart only had Lord Ling Shi? Aren’t you gay? Why are you asking about a hot woman?
“Do you have any secrets you can tell me? A lot of people are asking about her information.”
So she’s just trade-worthy?
There’s no point in asking about her, she only has Yue Tui in her heart. Besides, I still can’t simply see Zhu Sha as a hot woman. It’s really too complicated for me, seriously.
“There’s nothing that I can’t tell you. Go ahead and ask.”
That’s all wrong!
Not that it’s any information between friends that can’t be sold, it’s just that Zhu Sha is too shrewdish…too serious. If a fierce character like him finds out I sold his information, I’ll definitely need to beg Yue Tui to sell his sexual appeal and save me.
“Didn’t I already ask? Hurry up and tell me. Oh, don’t tell me you still want to ask for a price? I don’t have any money these days. Just treat it as sponsoring me—”
I really have no intention of telling you. Stop nagging like this—
Fan Tong felt Mi Zhong had to be the only reason a part-time job that should have been easy seemed exhausting instead.
Hopefully, my next job won’t end up with him again. Don’t force someone like me with a speech impediment to chat anymore!
The days of work were depressing. He had to go to the part-time job even on competition days, which made it even more depressing.
The afternoon class was Shu Fa. He didn’t need to attend, so he arranged to work. Yue Tui was in class, Zhu Sha was in the dorms, so he could only request for work alone…Fan Tong was starting to feel his mood drop the more he thought about it.
While internally praying he wouldn’t bump into Mi Zhong again, he began to head towards his workplace.
However, as he walked, he couldn’t help but stop in his tracks because there were people in front of him blocking his way.
Huh, now it’s…?
Fan Tong acutely sensed these people’s malicious intent. Then, he realized that this alley seemed to be a bit remote. When he noticed that the situation was far from favorable and wanted to retreat, he was surrounded by people from behind too.
“Do you guys not need anything?”
…Could the curse stop fooling around with me at this kind of time? They naturally came looking for me because they needed something.
But I’m afraid the one they need something from has to be me. Could it-could it be that I need to pay another hundred strings? I don’t want to die!
Puhahaha! You aren’t sleeping again, are you?! Ah, damn it, we don’t have a spiritual connection yet so I need to speak. But it isn’t an appropriate situation for me to talk either…
“We would like you to take a walk with us. You won’t oppose it, right?”
The male leader carrying a red tassel smiled with ill intent. The fact that they had purposely blocked him here meant that had likely followed him for a while.
I oppose it! Of course I oppose it! No matter how I look at it, going with you guys can’t be a good thing! Moreover, I still need to go to work! Skipping the job for no reason will leave a bad record! Ah, you guys actually found the wrong person, right? Why would you look for me? I’m only a commoner with a grass-green tassel!
Fan Tong only wanted to escape. He did not know what the objective of these people was, and suddenly being surrounded by so many people made him feel frightened and powerless. If they refused to let him go, he really had no way of running away.
“It’s better if you cooperate. Do you see what this is?”
One of the people in front of him flashed out a blade covered with a thin sheen of light, instantly making Fan Tong’s pupils contract.
A soul-purging weapon.
Only now did he notice that there was a Natural Resident with them. For them to have found a Natural Resident likely meant it had been for the sake of using a soul-purging weapon to threaten him.
“If you resist, we can’t ensure you won’t accidentally get injured during the fight, you know?”
Accidentally get injured? What kind of joke are you trying to pull? I already have a speech impediment. If I’m injured by a soul-purging weapon too, heaven knows what kind of conduct I’ll have?
Fan Tong’s complexion was unsightly. In this kind of circumstance, it seemed like he really could only obediently follow them no matter how unwilling he was.
“Bring him away.”
With the leader’s command, several youths with lower-ranked tassels walked towards him. One of them chopped down on his neck, and his vision went black as he lost consciousness.
After the Shu Fa Xuan class ended, Yue Tui gathered his things and left the classroom, preparing to return to the dorms.
After all, they still had a competition in the evening, so he would have to head out again after resting a bit. There was not much time to rest, so it should not be wasted.
But when he reached the campus gates, he was called out by a student he did not recognise. Because it was not a girl this time, he was somewhat suspicious.
“Do you need something?”
“Your friend said he had an urgent matter and wanted you to meet him somewhere. I came to help him pass on the message.”
Yue Tui froze at the other person’s words.
His first thought at the mention of a friend was Fan Tong. Although he could not imagine why Fan Tong would entrust someone else to arrange a meeting, as he thought about his recent attitude, he suddenly felt that it was understandable if Fan Tong did not come looking for him personally.
“Yeah! That place is a bit far, how about I bring you there?”
Yue Tui considered this and ultimately nodded.
“Then I’ll have to trouble you.”
As Yue Tui followed the student leading the way to wander around a small alley, he realized for the first time that Eastern City actually had alleys this complex and remote.
Eastern City was very large, after all, and there were many places he had never been to before. After numerous turns in the alley, Yue Tui began to suspect that he would have no idea how to walk back by himself.
“Is there still a long way to go? Are you sure we aren’t in the wrong place?”
Despite feeling like randomly questioning this person was not very polite, this place gave him a strange feeling. He also did not think that Fan Tong would have come here alone for no reason; they had previously always moved together after all.
“Almost there, almost there. It should be right around here.”
The leading student smiled back in reply. Thus, even though Yue Tui was puzzled, he continued walking forwards.
As he advanced, he began to ponder what to say when he saw Fan Tong later.
He had asked Fan Tong to give him a few days’ time, and summing it up not, three days had already passed. It was about time to reach a conclusion.
Wanting to recall all their somewhat questionable conversations to confirm with Fan Tong and then apologize was truly a huge project. Yue Tui was not confident that he could remember everything. He was terrified of having missed a bunch of things from Fan Tong that he had misunderstood without being told so. If these problems were left unresolved, he would mind it very much.
He had been thinking about these things non-stop during these past three days, making it hard to focus in classes as well. He repeatedly suffered lapses in concentration, was absent-minded, and was lost in thought. Fortunately, he was naturally skilled in separating his body from his mind to multi-task, so classes still were not a problem.
However, he really could not come up with what to do in the future.
How exactly was he supposed to deal with being unable to understand a friend’s words? No matter how he thought about it, it was a terrible situation.
“See, haven’t we arrived? This is the place.”
Yue Tui’s train of thought was derailed by the guiding student’s voice. He raised his head to see the slight mess inside the alley…
Then, he saw Fan Tong.
Fan Tong had never experienced being knocked unconscious before in this life, nor his previous life. Typically speaking, an average person should not have this kind of experience, and he had always hoped to be like an average person. If not, becoming someone the Heavens cared for would be great too. It was a pity that his wish could not be fulfilled.
Perhaps the Heavens really did care for him, but this care might have declined.
When he woke from his coma, his vision was still a bit blurry. When he tried to move his body, he found that he had been tied up. He still remembered what had happened before being knocked unconscious and assumed that anything that happened to him would not be a good thing. However, he still had to figure out the situation.
“Awake? You woke at just the right time. Your friend has arrived.”
Hearing the voice next to his ear, Fan Tong opened his eyes with much difficulty, finally spotting Yue Tui a distance away.
When Yue Tui saw him wake up, he anxiously tried to come close. However, he was obstructed by the abductors, and he could only stand in place while looking at Fan Tong in worry.
Fan Tong could not understand why Yue Tui had appeared here. He decided he had to first understand his own status.
He was currently sitting on the ground, his hands tied together with something behind his back. As a result, he could not move freely, nor could he stand up. Aside from the slight pain from where he had been struck on the neck, there wasn’t anything wrong with his body.
However, if they had gone through the trouble of tying him up, the situation was obviously nothing simple. Even though he did not sense any issues with his body, he did not dare to move recklessly. This was simply because the person next to him was pressing the edge of the very lethal soul-purging weapon against his face.
A single cut would instantly change his condition from being fine to being not fine.
“What is your intention?”
Yue Tui finally spoke, his tone carrying an unconcealed anger. However, he did not dare to act rashly either.
While his speed was very fast, it might not surpass that deadly blade’s.
Despite there being a possibility that he could seize that blade before the person grasping it could slash it, it was only a possibility, and not for certain. That’s why he could not gamble on it.
When Yue Tui saw the characteristic glow of the soul-purging weapon, he truly did not know what to do in that moment.
“Nothing, really. We just want you to cooperate without resisting.”
When Fan Tong heard these words, he realized that they had been aiming for Yue Tui, not him.
He had to say, it was an extremely despicable method. Wasn’t the reason for seizing a hostage simply because they could not win in a direct fight?
But what exactly do they want to do?
“You should understand what to do, right?”
They had likely anticipated that Yue Tui would not make light of Fan Tong’s safety. Seeing Yue Tue remain silent, they believed he had surrendered.
That male with a red tassel gave a meaningful glance towards another student, who walked up to Yue Tui and directly threw a punch at Yue Tui’s abdomen.
Fan Tong’s eyes widened. He saw Yue Tui stumble back with a muffled groan before people grabbed him from both sides, greeting him with punches and kicks.
“Stop! What are you guys doing? If there’s something you’re unhappy with, just say it. Why must you…”
The person responsible for watching Fan Tong ruthlessly kicked him, the pain rendering him unable to continue speaking.
“If you don’t want to suffer more, then shut up. It has nothing to do with you. He’s clearly a person from Western City, what right does he have to act so arrogant in Eastern City?
“Today, we’re going to make sure he recognizes exactly what situation he should be in. People should be doing what matches their status. Eastern City shouldn’t have Western faces at all, yet are [held] equal in competition? On what basis?”
Fan Tong had no idea Eastern City rejected and discriminated against Weatern faces to this extent. Among the people gathered here, there seemed to be a few guys that had lost to them in the martial arts competition too. This was clearly a revenge from a jealous grudge.
Why? Even if they’re people that were killed in the martial arts competition, they weren’t killed by Yue Tui!
What does doing this type of thing prove? There’s clearly no meaning at all!
All the people here seemed to feel excitement from being able to get revenge and bully someone stronger than them. Their only regret was likely that their target of violence did not utter a single sound, greatly reducing their pleasure.
As they continued this group beating, they naturally held no apprehensions. Even weapons like iron clubs were smashed down at Yue Tui without hesitation. When he collapsed on the ground, someone would lift him back up, as if this level wasn’t anywhere close enough to satisfy them. Then they would continue assaulting him.
Whenever Fan Tong shouted, he would get beaten. However, he could not keep his mouth shut and just obediently watch on the sidelines in silence.
For whom did Yue Tui fall into this kind of situation?
He could have beaten every single person here in a few minutes. For whom is he letting himself be treated this way?
When Fan Tong looked at these people again, he only felt that they were all crazy, a group of lunatics.
Should New Residents be like this? Among those that have arrived while holding onto regret and obsession, are there many like them, resentful spirits from twisted hearts?
Yet they even found a Natural Resident to join them in doing such a thing. I guess this just shows that evil doesn’t distinguish between the dead and the living. No matter whether the heart was twisted because of the resentment from death or not, the result is all the same…
“It’s already time. Your teammates still haven’t arrived? In that case, I’ll have to pronounce a forfeit.”
Up on the martial competition stage, the time for waiting on the contestants had been used up. The reason the person in charge had informed Zhu Sha of this was because, per regulations, the entire group had to arrive on time to start the competition, even if only one was sent onto the stage.
“What are they doing…”
Zhu Sha’s eyebrows furrowed together as he repeatedly glanced in both directions. Yet no matter how much he looked, he did not see any trace of Fan Tong or Yue Tui.
They knew the time, Zhu Sha was certain of this. It had even been specifically mentioned as a reminder last night. Their memory couldn’t be that bad, could it?
There was no reason to purposely not show up either. In that case, why had they not appeared now that it was time?
Yue Tui could no longer stand by himself.
Even with others’ support, his arms hung limply by his side, as if unable to muster any strength. Fan Tong did not even know if Yue Tui was still conscious, if he had long since fainted. However, these people still had no intentions of stopping.
“That’s right, we should exploit our resources! Tassel!”
One of the people clapped his hands together, and then forcibly took Yue Tui’s tassel. Then the students with light green tassels and white tassels began to challenge Yue Tui to duels in succession.
“We want to challenge you to a duel. You can still hear, can’t you?”
Yue Tui seemed unable to respond at this point. In his severely injured condition, it was practically equivalent to losing without a fight. It was for certain that the dark green tassel that he had painstakingly risen up would drop back down to white.
“Seems like he’s fainted. How dull. What next?”
They had already made him into such a state, so they naturally no longer possessed the initial fear and caution they had initially held. The person with the soul-purging weapon that had originally been watching Fan Tong also went over to join in on the fun where the unconscious Yue Tui was as they each suggested how to deal with him.
“Obviously, we should kill him, right?”
“Oh, using this? Who wants to do it?”
As they giggled among themselves, the soul-purging weapon was passed around Seeing this, Fan Tong couldn’t help but shout out again.
“You’d better not go overboard! How could you use something like that?!”
“It’s good enough that we didn’t use it on you. Or do you want to die too? If this guy with a Western face is gone, then he’s gone. Nobody would look into his death.”
“It’s best if you let him do it still. Lord Wei Shi is very protective of Natural Residents, so there definitely won’t be any consequences if he makes the kill.”
As they spoke, the blade was returned back to the Natural Resident. Fan Tong twisted his arms with as much force as possible in an attempt to loosen the knots. But despite how much pain he felt from his yanks, with the speed at which he could free himself, there did not seem to be enough time to go and stop them.
“You can’t! You…”
“So noisy! Stay out of it!”
One of the youths tossed a nearby iron club at him, striking his head. The pain from his skull caused his mind to completely blank out for a while. At this moment, that Natural Resident slashed the blade down towards Yue Tui’s body.
In that instant, the air around the area suddenly seemed to warp.
In the few seconds the space distorted abnormally, everyone’s movements seemed to pause. By the time they regained awareness, they discovered that the person that should have been unconscious was now gripping the wrist of the one about to cut him with a blade.
“I won’t…give you another chance…”
The only sound in the silent space was Yue Tui’s low words.
His voice was very soft, his tone not carrying any particular emotion. It was as if he was talking in a monotone, exceptionally clear in this sort of atmosphere.
As he spoke, the space twisted more fiercely and began to spread outwards as if something terrifying was in the center. The feeling of it was difficult to describe, but every single person undoubtedly sensed the abnormality of the scene.
The color of their surroundings peeled away into white under the distortion.
For a moment, they suspected that there was something wrong with their vision because they could see the world, yet it had suddenly turned into an overlap of black and white only. All color had disappeared.
“I won’t…let you kill me again…”
Actually, they should have run.
From the instant the situation had changed, they should have escaped.
Even now, fleeing would be the correct action. Nobody would have mocked them for their instinct urging them to do so, as it was what they had ought to do.
However, they were unable to.
Since the moment that warped space had started to spread—when the world they saw lost its color for unknown reasons—up until now, the upright scenery had started deforming. It felt as if they were in a hallucination as a strong pressure caused the ground to drift, the structures to collapse…
Since the ominous signs had started, they had been unable to control the chills that shook them down to their bones. Even after mustering all their strength, they could only retreat backwards as if their limbs were not theirs, the power to control their bodies no longer listening to their commands.
At this time, they still did not know that their limbs, their bodies, would indeed no longer be theirs soon.
When Yue Tui spoke these words, the monotone voice instantly changed into a matchless hatred that immediately caused the pressure inside the black and white space to increase.
Fan Tong struggled to open his eyes when he heard the first agonized scream. And when he looked over towards its direction, he saw the scene of Yue Tui pulling out the sword at his waist to slice a youth in half with a single swing.
They had assumed Yue Tui would not be able to stand again. For him to simply move an arm was unimaginable, something that he should have been unable to do with such severe wounds. Yet, the reality had surpassed all expectations. He had not only awoken, but had adopted a beyond terrifying stance as he mercilessly began to strike back.
Fan Tong only shouted once, but then felt a wave of dizziness as a result of the blow earlier, making it impossible for him to continue keeping his head raised.
Yue Tui! You can’t!
You can’t kill a Natural Resident!
After fighting with the knots for so long, his right hand was finally freed, making it possible to use one hand. Actually, there wasn’t much he could do with it. The first thing that came to his mind was to stretch that hand into his pocket to pull out his Fu Zhou communication device.
His sole intention was to seek help. After opening the group chat and hoarsely asking if anyone was there, he heard Yin Shi’s completely relaxed voice.
“Ah, yep, yep, I’m here. What’s up?”
“Lord Yin Shi, help…”
“Huh? What? What happened? Where are you? …”
After pouring all his effort into shouting this, Fan Tong could no longer endure the pressure from the abnormal space and his grip loosened, dropping the Fu Zhou communication device. It tumbled away to a place he could not reach, so he naturally could not continue the conversation.
Under the oppression of the environment, those people’s tragic screams could not be heard very clearly either. The dizziness from his head injury, the remaining discomfort from the black and white vision, and the addition of sharp, piercing noises that periodically flashed past his ears made Fan Tong start to believe that losing consciousness would not be unexpected.
It was so difficult to think about anything else, yet the foreboding distortion of the surroundings made it impossible to cut off his senses even if he wanted to. The feelings of despair that filled the space stimulated his mental state. For once, he felt as if death would be better than living. And this feeling was caused by a situation that Yue Tui had created.
A period of time passed. He actually had no idea what the exact amount was, as it seemed endless to him though it was likely just a moment. Those people’s screams disappeared, the ground covered with the arrays of blood that had spurted out from where the blade had swept across. That soul-purging weapon rolled off to a side, its owner having already lost his precious life. There was no way of telling which one he was in that pile of corpses.
The warped space brought on pain that nearly made Fan Tong cry out and beg for everything to stop. But amidst the torture, the unfathomable thing was that he realized he could still hear Yue Tui stepping across the bloodstains, the footsteps crossing the ground, the footsteps nearing him, one step, then another step…
Everyone had already died, but the murderous intent overflowing in the air had not dispersed.
When Fan Tong forced himself to raise his head, Yue Tui had nearly reached him at that slow pace.
Amidst the twisted and deformed environment, Yue Tui’s silhouette was exceptionally clear. His upright and handsome face held no expression, empty and uncaring. That pair of eyes did not seem to be looking at anything and were the colors of this world, black and white.
The eyes that had taken the contrasting appearance of black and white seemed so pure that they emitted a bizarre sense of beauty despite also carrying a shattering destructiveness. It made one hold their breath without even knowing why.
The youth’s face that had once carried that gentle smile was now dead, like a puppet’s.
The youth’s sky-blue eyes that had previously looked at him with warmth now seemed to be gazing at something that held no significance to him.
Fan Tong blankly stared at the practically unrecognizable Yue Tui, blankly stared at Yue Tui walking up to him.
Blankly stared at the arm that raised the blade glowing with a bright white light before swinging it down towards his head in execution.