Two years later, the Capital City.
Two years’ time can change many things, for example, the title of the greatest restaurant has already been taken over by another now, placed on the plaque of a restaurant called “Ten Thousand Buddhas Pavilion”. However, even though the place has changed, the dishes have changed, the people’s pastime still remains the same, listening to storytelling is still the favourite entertainment of Wu Lin figures during their leisure time.
“It is said that the Bai Yue Demoness Sang, reined in dozens of beautiful women to form an assassin group in less than a year, constantly going against the righteous sects, now, there has already been nine disciples of the sects that fell victim to cold blooded murder……”
Through the sky well, the storyteller’s voice resoundingly rings out, and in the private room on the second floor, a pair of man and woman was intimately talking with their heads huddled together.
“How’s that, I said she would be more suited for that position than you right?” The young man casts a glance at the lady beside him.
“Demoness Sang……Demoness Sang……” The lady beside him, whose looks can barely pass as pure elegance and of upright features, is currently bitterly grumbling, “The renowned Fairy from back then actually became Demoness Sang……”
“I have already told you this before, since she was willing to spend a lot of gold to have me create a face of peerless beauty for Mei Wu back then, and later made a special trip to have Hu An request me to make another one, it already proves that what she cares for isn’t beauty or fame, what she wants is power, to be under one person but above thousands, so why should you find it regretful?” The young man taps the lady’s forehead, as if he is angry that this “iron” would not turn into “steel”.
“Ay~, looks like Father choosing her as his successor, can be considered to a correct move with a risky chess piece.” The lady rubs her nose.
“Shush.” The young man makes a silencing gesture at her, “Don’t forget our current identity.”
“You still dare mention it?!” The lady glares at him, stroking her huge belly, gritting her teeth as she says, “Could have disguised me as anything else, yet you just had to disguise me as a pregnant woman?”
The young man lowly chuckles: “If not disguising you as a pregnant woman, where would we keep the travelling expenses that we snuck out with?”
These two people are precisely He Qing Lu and Pang Wan in disguise. Having spent their time in the western region for two years, Pang Wan really misses how it is in the Central Plains, hence coaxed and pestered He Qing Lu unceasingly, to have him take her to visit the Capital. He Qing Lu was unable to dissuade her, and after listing a bunch of rules and restrictions, in the end, he still quietly brought her along in leaving the clan, for him, it can also be considered enjoying the pleasures of eloping for once.
As the two of them bicker back and forth, the restaurant’s worker opens the doors as he brings in food and wine.
“Xiao’er Brother (what people would call the workers), has the Wu Lin been peaceful these past two years?” Pang Wan takes the opportunity to start inquiring a passer-by.
The worker sees that these two people with ordinary face yet dressed exotically, and could only see the two as travellers passing by the Capital, hence understandingly smiles as he says: “Are both guests from outside the borders? Looks like you are unaware of the situation, how could there be any peace in the Jiang Hu? It has never been peaceful.”
Pang Wan curiously blinks: “Was it not known that heavy losses were inflicted on the unorthodox sect two years ago, leading to the Supreme Chief of Wu Lin dominating the world?”
The worker bursts out laughing: “Looks like Madam does not know, even if one Bai Yue Sect (Moon Worshipping Sect) is completely annihilated, in future, there will definitely still be further appearances of Bai Ri Sect (Sun Worshipping Sect) or Bai Xing Sect (Star Worshipping Sect), no matter how formidable the Supreme Chief of Wu Lin is, he too isn’t bone-dissolving water ah! As if by simply pouring it down onto them can make this place completely cleaned out (at peace).”
Pang Wan bursts out laughing, amused by the worker’s humour: “Well the storytellers are always saying how formidable that Supreme Chief of Wu Lin is!”
The worker’s eyes circles the area, only after seeing no one around, does he mysteriously lowers his voice: “Madam, you really don’t understand, that Supreme Chief of Wu Lin may be very formidable, but a pair of fists is no match against enemies coming from all four sides ah! Two years ago, an additional deputy chief suddenly came out of nowhere, that renowned Fairy Sang Chan had also fallen into the unorthodox sect, constantly going against him, from what I see ah, he too has enough of a headache.” The worker exaggeratingly shakes his head.
Pang Wan’s lips still wanted to move in further questioning, when a few silver coins had already been handed to the worker.
“You’ve worked hard, head off for now.” He Qing Lu indifferently glances at the worker.
The worker withdraws enthusiastically thanking him, Pang Wan had just wanted to speak up in protest, but her nose was pinched onto by someone.
“Did you not promise me to never ask about the matters of Jiang Hu again?” Although masked behind a fake face, Pang Wan can still see that He Qing Lu is mad.
“I was only curious……” Blatant arrogance instantly disappears into thin air, as she piteously buries her head.
“Without evil, how could good be highlighted? The disputes within the Jiang Hu will never cease, so how could there possibly be peace one day?” He Qing Lu stares at her, inwardly thinking, this brat’s mind still hasn’t opened up yet.
“Be it Gu Xi Ju, Sang Chan, or even your father, they all understand this principle, but they still have enough fun with engaging in this game, because there, they can gain what they want.”
Power, honour, status, wealth, beauty, dignity.
“Really? But there isn’t anything I want there.” Pang Wan looks up at him, gently leaning her head onto his chest, “I’d rather reside in the mountains with you, feeding horses and herding sheep every day, as if I would desire what they want.”
He Qing Lu does not say anything, and only strokes her hair, the corners of his lips quietly hooking up.
At Misty Wave Manor.
“Will Supreme Chief still be personally going to hit the bell tonight?” The maid holds the cloak in hand, asking this in a somewhat frightened manner.
“Yes, why wouldn’t I?” Gu Xi Ju turns and smiles, seeing the blush on the maid’s face spread to the tip of her ears, before leisurely saying, “Relay the orders, should there be any area that had forgotten to light the fireworks tonight, I will want the person in charge to lose their life.”
“Yes.” Due to his warm like spring tone, the maid is frightened into a state of dripping sweat, quickly bowing as she withdraws.
Up at the clock tower, Gu Xi Ju in a body of purple robe, slowly caresses the ancient wood in hand.
Two years, in a blink of an eye, two years have already passed, last year he hit it seventeen times, today it shall be eighteen times.
“I want to see fireworks. I also want you to go to the clock tower and hit the bell sixteen times for me.”
On this very day two years ago, there was once a young lady who had made such a request to him, at that time he did not do it, because after that, he had personally driven an ice cold sword into her chest.
Now, the one who said that has long ceased to exist, yet he just could not possibly forget her words, so every year on the tenth of the sixth month, he would always come here.
Following the first shot of signal flare lighting the sky, the entire Capital’s sky is lit with colourful fireworks.
Gu Xi Ji channels his internal energy at the same time, sounding the first bell ring.
Dong, dong, dong.
The sound of the thousand-year ancient bell is richly sonorous and lingering, piercing through the endless solitude, seeming like it can spread to a very, very faraway place.
——can you hear it?
He looks into the sky of smoke and fireworks, quietly thinking this.
——should you be able to hear it, you will definitely come find me for revenge right? You cannot possibly forget the seed I had planted in your heart, you will never be able to discard it.
——I’m waiting for you, still waiting ah.
His eyes containing unshakeable determination.
Somewhere in the Capital, inside Ten Thousand Buddhas Pavilion, a certain young lady is currently nestled against her husband, curiously watching this gorgeous scene.
“So fortunate, actually able to catch the entire city setting off fireworks on my birthday!” She excitedly grabs the lapel of the person behind her.
The proud husband lowers his head and kisses her: “You’ve already married me, how could there by anything more fortunate than that?”
The lady grins but does not answer, she raises her rosy little face to look up at the colourful lights in the night sky, indulging in this pleasant surprise.
From afar, there seems to be the melodious sound of a bell ringing, yet it had long been neglected by her.
More and more fireworks are set off, growing more and more luxuriant, so much that those bright and beautiful flames gradually turn into the vast grassland in her eyes, with majestically towering mountains, a flock of sheep stretching across, also horses galloping around.
That is the future home she will continue to live on in, with no deceptive paradise to disturb her, it is the land of idyllic beauty she had always longed for.
“Wan Wan, how about giving birth to a child for me when we get back?”
In her hazy state, there seems to be someone stroking her belly stuffed full with paper money, sounding slightly nervous.
She slyly lifts the corners of her lips, gently reply: “Sure.”