CBUaWS Chpt: 36

Chapter 36: Matters on the Mountains



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Although the Xiliang Mountains road was treacherous, there was a major mountain road that could take carriages and carts. By following this mountain road, one could go over the mountains and reach the Central Plains on the other side. However, because of the complicated situation in the mountains, there are occasionally some unexpected accidents on the mountain road. Especially in the Summer rainy season, when the road was often blocked by loose rocks washed by rainwater and floods. Encountering such a situation was more troublesome and the caravans could only organize their own manpower to clear the road.

Fortunately, at this time, it was only early Summer so there wasn’t much rain. The carriage followed the mountain road and entered the Xiliang Mountains. The surrounding scenery slowly became desolate and finally, only dense forests were visible.

Because of Mo Zhaocai, the journey was not lonely. Every day he would be able to listen to him talk about some strange and exotic things. This journey could be considered interesting. 

But what worried Lin Rufei was that, the deeper they went into the Xiliang Mountains, Gu Xuandu’s state seemed to have become even poorer. He almost rarely appears nowadays and only once in a while would he talk. At first, Lin Rufei thought he was reluctant to talk, until one day when he suddenly appeared in front of him. He was shocked to find that Gu Xuandu’s figure was actually a lot lighter, he could almost see the scene behind him through his body, it was like………..like he was about to disappear. 

“Senior, are you all right?” Lin Rufei looked for an opportunity to ask.

Gu Xuandu said, “Nothing major.”

Lin Rufei still didn’t dare release his breath. So he added breathlessly, “Just that I’m about to die.” 

Lin Rufei: “……”

Gu Xuandu said, “Just joking.”

Lin Rufei seriously believed that this statement was “the joke.” 

Gu Xuandu saw Lin Rufei’s serious expression and did not continue to tease him, “There is something on this Xiliang Mountains that is suppressing me. The closer I am to that thing, the weaker I will be.”

When Lin Rufei heard this, he remembered what Gu Xuandu had said to him before they left the mountain. He hesitated for a moment and whispered, “This thing, does senior want it?” 

Gu Xuandu turned his head to look at him and did not speak for a long time. Just when Lin Rufei thought he would not answer, he said indifferently, “Not yet. Your body can’t handle it.”

This was a very clear statement. He indeed wanted the thing hidden in the Xiliang Mountains, but with Lin Rufei’s current state, there was no way to get his hands on them.

“After that, I will get weaker and weaker, to the point that I won’t be able to show up. However, it doesn’t matter, your maids’ fifth-level cultivation is enough. Ordinary people won’t be able to touch you.” Gu Xuandu said lazily, “It will be fine once we leave the mountains.” 

Lin Rufei wanted to say something else, but Gu Xuandu’s figure instantly faded away. It seemed that he was unable to continue to maintain it. Lin Rufei was a little worried, but this matter of Gu Xuandu, he doesn’t seem to be of much help. As he was thinking, footsteps came from behind Lin Rufei. He turned to look and saw a bewildered Mo Zhaocai, who said, “Lin gongzi, who are you talking to?”

Lin Rufei said, “No one. Is something wrong?”

“Sister Fu Hua has made fresh food and asked me to come and call you.” Mo Zhaocai said, “Shall we go back?”

Lin Rufei said, “Okay.”

It was already dark, so Fu Hua lit a campfire. She took out the cooking utensils and made hot food. Mo Zhaocai liked it very much and ate it with great relish, but Lin Rufei had something on his mind and ate it with some worry.

“It’s getting dark, so be careful.” Mo Zhaocai’s mouth bulged as he ate and said vaguely, “Beasts and bandits are prone to come out at night, so at least one person should keep watch …… The campfire must not go out.”

The maids arranged the vigil while Lin Rufei simply washed up and then went into the carriage.

He was a little sleepless. Sitting up in the carriage, he casually selected a miscellany and read it by the candlelight. The wind was strong at night and it blew the trees in the mountains making the forests rustle. The sound of the wind was like a mournful ghostly cry. Mo Zhaocai had fallen asleep in the corner. With his bottom sticking out, he issued a slight snoring sound. His sleeping posture didn’t look great and this was the first time Lin Rufei saw someone sleeping in this position …… but to be able to sleep so soundly, it was very enviable.

Lin Rufei really couldn’t sleep. He stayed up for half the night and was barely able to get some sleep. He closed his eyes for a moment but then he heard a strange sound from outside the carriage. He was immediately able to tell that this sound was wailing and screaming and apparently, it was more than one person. It was intermittent and listening to it gave people chills down their back. 

Lin Rufei was awakened by this sound. He raised his hand and lifted the carriage curtain. He saw Fu Hua and Yu Rui donning an expression like they had met a great enemy.  

“Young master, why aren’t you asleep?” Fu Hua asked in a low voice.

“I just fell asleep and was woken up.” When they reached the outside of the carriage, the miserable cries for help and screams of humans became clearer and clearer. It was accompanied by the whistling mountain wind which felt particularly horrible at this time. Lin Rufei said, “Where did the sound come from?”

“It’s nearby.” Fu Hua said, “Want to go over and take a look?”

Lin Rufei thought for a moment. Before he was able to speak, the originally sleeping Mo Zhaocai suddenly leaped out. His face was full of panic, “You can’t go, you can’t go, ah! If you go you won’t be able to come back!”  

“What, you know what’s going on?” Fu Hua frowned at him.

“It’s either bandits or beasts, and with so many people screaming, it must be a big merchant group. If they can’t even resist, then something big must have happened.” Mo Zhaocai seemed to be feeling a little cold, he hugged his chest and shivered, “Besides, in this Xiliang Mountains, there is something else ……”

Lin Rufei said, “What else?”

“I don’t know.” Mo Zhaocai said, “Most of those who have seen it are dead. Those that survive become crazy. I’ve seen one of those lunatics, he is already not normal anymore…..” 

Fu Hua looked at Lin Rufei, indicating that she still obeyed Lin Rufei’s orders.

“Go check it out.” Lin Rufei hesitated for a moment, “If it’s just ordinary bandits, maybe we can still help, but safety first. If you really see something that you can’t deal with, don’t scare the snake[1], come back immediately.”

When Fu Hua heard this she said yes. She turned around and rode her sword towards the place where the sound came from. 

Mo Zhaocai’s face was white and was nervously muttering to himself. He looked simply so afraid that he wanted to dig a hole and bury himself. 

Yu Rui was also anxious. She was biting her lower lips harshly and in the end, Lin Rufei became the calmest one among them. He walked towards the campfire, raised his hand, and added some more firewood to the fire. The wet firewood that was added issued a slight crackling sound and the fire became even bigger.

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Fu Hua went quickly and came back quickly. However, when she came back, her expression was very ugly. Her lips were a little bloodless and when she saw Lin Rufei, she called out a gongzi in a shaky voice.  

It was rare to see the steady Fu Hua reveal this kind of expression and Lin Rufei immediately understood that the situation over there was certainly not ordinary: “Don’t rush, speak slowly.”

“There are many dead people over there.” Fu Hua said, “It seems to be a large caravan that was killed …… but …… but ……” She heavily swallowed the saliva in her mouth and continued in a trembling voice, “When I went, the people were almost all dead. However, I saw neither bandits, nor beasts…..” 

Mountain bandits sought money. When they kill, they certainly won’t leave immediately. Beasts ate meat and the bones will certainly also be gnawed on. However, according to Fu Hua’s statement, the team of suffering merchants encountered neither bandits nor beasts, but…….something else. 

“There was nothing?” Lin Rufei frowned and asked.

“None.” Fu Hua trembled, “And …… and ……”

Lin Rufei said, “And what?”

Fu Hua said, “And all the people’s eyes have been gouged out, both the living and the dead.”

Everyone fell into silence. Mo Zhaocai had the least courage. He was already crying and wiping his tears. He muttered to himself, “I told you not to go, now look at what happened, you saw something you shouldn’t have, now what should we do?”

According to Fu Hua’s description, when she arrived there, the massacre had practically ended. There were dead caravan members everywhere and there were still a few that were alive. However, their eyes had turned into bloody holes as they laid on the ground breathing weakly and wailing. They probably didn’t have long to live. 

This scene was too bizarre and strange. Fu Hua also didn’t dare to stay more so she turned to leave and hurriedly rushed back. 

“I also didn’t detect other suspicious people around the area. Either that person’s cultivation is far above me, or …… it is something else.” Fu Hua whispered, “Gongzi, what do we do next, ah?”

Lin Rufei pondered for a moment: “Let’s wait until dawn and see.”

It was already the middle of the night and there was still about one or two hours until dawn.

After such an incident, no one could sleep, so they chatted around the campfire.

Mo Zhaocai said that the bizarre legends of these things on the Xiliang Mountains have been going on for a hundred years, and every year there was news. However, whether it was true or false, no one could say clearly. But it was better to believe it than not to believe it, so he was always very reverent about these things on the mountain.

“I see this journey won’t be smooth. Why don’t we go back first and leave again some other day.” Mo Zhaocai whispered, “Otherwise, in case of any accidents ……”

Lin Rufei said, “But isn’t it said that the mountains are more difficult to travel in the rainy season.”

Mo Zhaocai smiled embarrassingly: “It definitely will be hard to travel, however, it’s better…….than losing your life.”

At the height of Summer, it would be the rainy season of the Xiliang Mountains. When that time comes, not only was the mountain hot but there would be frequent flash floods which made it even more dangerous.  

Lin Rufei said, “Let’s talk about it at dawn.” He wanted to ask Gu Xuandu for his opinion. But even after such an incident, Gu Xuandu didn’t show up. His situation was probably not good either.

So they waited until dawn.

After dawn, those people’s voices had completely disappeared.

Fu Hua summoned her courage and went to check again. This time, when she came back, her panicked expression turned into one of bewilderment, “Gongzi …… it’s all gone.”

Lin Rufei: “Hmm? Gone?”

“Yes, everything is gone.” Fu Hua was puzzled, “Not only were there no bodies, not even blood can be seen ……” She even started to question herself, “I, I couldn’t have seen wrong, right?”

Everyone speechlessly looked at her. Mo Zhaocai touched his nose and said, “You definitely didn’t see wrong, I estimate that someone has already dealt with the bodies…..” 

Fu Hua said: “Why should it be dealt with?”

Mo Zhaocai said, “In order to let people continue to travel that road?”

Lin Rufei sat aside in silence and waited until they were almost done discussing before he spoke out, “Let’s go and take a look.”

Then they followed carefully to the place where the accident happened last night, and indeed, as Fu Hua said, there was no trace of anything in the mountains and forests. It was as if all those horrible wails from last night were just their hallucinations. Lin Rufei walked around the roadside and didn’t see a body, nor blood. However, in the end, he still found some clues. He bent down and gently picked up a smear of dirt with his finger and said, “There was once a campfire here.” Although the campfire had been removed, in the mud, there were still some traces of burnt wood.

“So I didn’t see wrong?” Fu Hua said.

“No. Something must have happened here last night.” Lin Rufei looked around. The dense forest blocked most of the sunlight. Although the weather was clear at this time, it wasn’t dry or hot, rather it was slightly cool. This kind of coolness would be very comfortable on a normal day, but at this moment, it carried an eerie ghostly aura.

“Gongzi, what should we do?” Yu Rui whispered and asked.

Mo Zhaocai started rambling: “Let’s go back, let’s go back. If we don’t go back then at least we can’t use this road……..” He seemed to have thought of something and suddenly became high-spirited again. He said to Lin Rufei, “Young master Lin, let’s not take the main road. Going around the side is safer.” 

Lin Rufei said, “Do you know another way?”

“Of course. I am familiar with the Xiliang Mountains, I know all the roads. However, that road is a bit narrow, carriages can’t pass, so the caravans don’t usually use it.” Mo Zhaocai said, “Although not many people use it, it also has its advantages, which is that there aren’t many people who know that road. So an accident is less likely to occur.” He said, “Those things did not attack us, their targets are large caravans. If we take the big road, it will be easy to get implicated ……”

Lin Rufei mused, “Do you use that road often?” 

“Not often, but last month I happened to take a trip.” Mo Zhaocai said, “It’s a little off, but a horse can definitely pass. It’s certainly safer than the main road.”  

The biggest reason why the Xiliang Mountains were prone to accidents was because it only had one main road. The caravans simply had no other choice and if people wanted to attack the caravan, they just had to block the main road. They were only a few people, their goal wasn’t obvious, and they were not afraid of unusual beasts. Taking the small road was a pretty good choice. 

“Sounds good.” Lin Rufei agreed to Mo Zhaocai’s proposal. If he were to leave the mountains now, he was afraid that he would have to wait until the rainy season was over and the Autumn was high to reach the Central Plains.

And seeing that Mo Zhaocai was so afraid of death, he probably wouldn’t joke with his own life, so Lin Rufei agreed to his proposal and said to take the small path.

Fu Hua and Yu Rui also stabilized their emotions and were no longer frightened. Although the maids cultivated, in the end, they still grew up on Kunlun Mountain and have not seen such bloody scenes, which was why they were so frightened yesterday. But they adjusted quite quickly, and when they were on the road again, they were no longer too scared.

The carriage could not be used, so they had to ride horses.

Considering that the maids were little girls, Lin Rufei let Mo Zhaocai ride on his horse, Mo Zhaocai was small, so he sat in the front and Lin Rufei held the reins behind him.

Mo Zhaocai was small, but he was carrying a large backpack. Lin Rufei casually asked what was in his backpack.

“Oh, it’s just some stuff I need for my usual tricks.” Mo Zhaocai said, “I do not have a place to live so I always carry these little guys[2] that help me with my meals.”

Lin Rufei blinked and said, “Such as the wooden shield that can withstand all sharp swords?”

Mo Zhaocai’s expression froze.

Lin Rufei said, “Are there any more? I’ll take two more.”

“No, no more.” Mo Zhaocai smiled awkwardly, “It’s a family heirloom ……” When he said the words “family heirloom,” he was glared at by Fu Hua, who was next to him, so he had to lower his voice and said weakly, “Of course, if gongzi really still wants one, I can still look for one again.”

Lin Rufei said, “Then can you give me a cheaper price this time?”

Mo Zhaocai smiled embarrassingly: “You are my regular customer, I don’t dare take your money.” 

Lin Rufei faintly smiled.

They followed the path Mo Zhaocai said all the way forward and did not encounter any more strange things. But this Mo Zhaocai was indeed powerful, the trail was almost covered by the weeds growing on the side and he was still able to accurately find it. It was also worthy of his claim to have grown up in the Xiliang Mountains.

The mountains were high and the road was far, and after a day of traveling, the surroundings didn’t seem to have changed much. Except that the forest was a little denser and it was like entering a huge maze.

Normal people would always feel a little uneasy. However, Fu Hua and Yu Rui were both sword cultivators so they didn’t feel it. 

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Lin Rufei was worried about Gu Xuandu’s state all the way until nightfall. He found another corner and called Gu Xuandu out.

At this time, Gu Xuandu’s condition had become more serious. He was almost close to being transparent. He looked sickly and drowsy, but when he saw Lin Rufei, he did not forget to tease: “Were you scared last night?”

Lin Rufei said, “Did what happened last night have something to do with the thing that you want?”

“It’s somewhat related.” Gu Xuandu said, “But you don’t have to worry too much, that thing won’t hurt you. What’s more troublesome is the other people who want to get that thing.”

Lin Rufei mused, “Can I be of any help?”

Gu Xuandu slowly shook his head.

Lin Rufei: “I can’t be of any help?” 

Gu Xuandu said, “You won’t be able to help.”

“You’re lying again.” Lin Rufei said, “You said that thing will not hurt me so how can I not be of help at all?”

Gu Xuandu was speechless, and then shook his head uncontrollably: “It’s too dangerous for you now.”

Lin Rufei pondered for a moment: “I want to try.”

Gu Xuandu frowned: “You should not be so stubborn, there are still many days ahead ……”

Lin Rufei said, “That thing is very important to you, right?”

Gu Xuandu did not speak. He looked at Lin Rufei in some distress and he didn’t seem to understand. The usual young master of the Lin family was very easy to coax, however, he became so difficult at this time. Unfortunately, his state was very bad and he was very reluctant to appear. He didn’t have the time to listen to Lin Rufei go into a detailed reasoning so he was torn for a long time before finally squeezing out a sentence: “You’re not allowed to go.” 

Lin Rufei said: “I just want to try, if the situation isn’t right I will immediately give up.” Somehow, he had a feeling that that thing was very important to Gu Xuandu.

Gu Xuandu had a helpless expression. He still wanted to say something but his body was starting to fade and even his voice was blurred. He said something that was very vague and indistinct before he disappeared. Vaguely, Lin Rufei seems to have heard a “Mo” in those words. Mo, Mo family? Mo Zhaocai? Or not to do anything[3]? Lin Rufei thought for a long time, but could not come up with an exact answer.

Gu Xuandu disappeared completely. Lin Rufei was a little unaccustomed to not having his constant companion.

He returned to the maids and saw Mo Zhaocai gnawing on a big bone, roasted by Fu Hua, with great interest. The bones were bought from the mountain and they were marinated for a long time and kept in the ring. Now it was taken out, sprinkled with some spice, and roasted for dinner.  Lin Rufei hasn’t been very interested in meat so he only ate a little and gave the rest to Mo Zhaocai.

Mo Zhaocai happily gnawed on the bones and his face was dirtied. He didn’t know how he did it, but he gnawed the bone clean and even licked the oil clean before reluctantly putting it down. After putting it down, he noticed the dumbfounded looks from next to him and he immediately became somewhat embarrassed. He whispered: “Sorry, sorry[4], sister Fu Hua’s cooking is really great, I have not eaten such delicious meat for a long time so I couldn’t hold back ……”

Fu Hua laughed: “I still have some, let’s roast it tomorrow at noon. The weather is hot so it can not be left for too long.”

“That’s really great.” Mo Zhaocai said while digging a hole to bury his beloved big bone stick. Lin Rufei looked at his appearance and thought that this child was quite cute, just as if his identity didn’t seem to be as simple as he showed. If Gu Xuandu’s “Mo” referred to him, then it was definitely worth noting. 

After eating, while Mo Zhaocai went to the forest to go “number one[5],” Lin Rufei urged Fu Hua and Yu Rui to pay more attention to this little guy.

Fu Hua nodded, but she still had some doubts about his words. She said that Mo Zhaocai had no trace of sword Qi, could he actually still pull tricks?  

Although Lin Rufei didn’t know what secrets this Mo Zhaocai had, it was always good to pay more attention.

Mo Zhaocai solved his problem and came back. He squatted next to the campfire and poked the dirt with a stick.

The day was getting late. Yesterday, no one slept and they have developed some tiredness but they could only sleep on the ground since they were without a carriage. Fu Hua seemed to have expected this situation so she pulled out ropes. Borrowing the trees on the side, she tied three hammocks and laid soft mats on them. 

This was Lin Rufei’s first time sleeping in such a hammock and he felt very excited. He laid in the bed and saw the dark sky floating with a bright full moon and light-colored clouds scattered around the full moon.

Sleepiness rushed to Lin Rufei’s mind and he slowly closed his eyes before soon falling into a long-lost dream.

In the dream world, it seems that someone was shouting and screaming and the color of blood gradually covered his entire field of vision. Lin Rufei woke up with a jolt, his ears ranged with Fu Hua’s sharp cry: “Gongzi——gongzi, run—— “

Lin Rufei sat up from the hammock and saw Fu Hua and Yu Rui, who were fighting with their swords, as well as blood-colored orbs flying all over the sky.

He looked carefully and realized that those bloody round objects were actually bloody eyes.  They stared at the diffused black pupils and attacked the two maids frantically. And Mo Zhaocai, who was sleeping next to him, was now nestled in the corner shivering. Seeing him awake, he cried out: “Young master Lin——come with me quickly——they can’t last much longer!”

Before Lin Rufei could react, Mo Zhaocai ran to his side and grabbed him: “Quickly, run!”

Lin Rufei said, “Fu Hua—”

“Gongzi, go first! We will come afterward!” Fu Hua answered.

Lin Rufei knew that he would be a drag if he stayed here at this time, so he could only move his legs and run wildly with Mo Zhaocai.

********

The author has something to say:  

Gu Xuandu: I think I’m at my limit……. 

Lin Rufei: What should I do so that you won’t disappear?

Gu Xuandu: I’ll be fine if you marry me

Lin Rufei: Before you disappear, leave me a piece of your clothing and I will make you a cenotaph. 

Gu Xuandu: ? ? ? ?

Thank you to the little angels that voted for me[6] or irrigated the nutrient solution[7]~

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[1] Inadvertently alert the enemy.

[2] Not actually little people, referring to items.

[3] The “don’t” in this sentences uses the character Mo (莫), the phrase is (莫要).

[4] So the phrase here was 见笑 which directly translates to “I’m making you guys laugh” or like showing embarrassment. It’s really hard to describe properly into words and there really isn’t a good English equivalent for it so I went with sorry. 

[5] Pee break uwu.

[6] It’s a voting system that encourages authors and the revenues generated from these votes becomes their incomes.

[7] I think this refers to people who buy the VIP chapters to support the authors 🙂



Please support the Author by buying the Raws

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