℘ ℘Chapter 26: The Thousand Year Antique Shop Within an Alley
"We're late!" Xuanyuan Ying raised his brows, and walked even slower, "This senior suddenly thought that pulling you closer wasn't such a bad decision. You already count as one of us anyway… he he…"
"Us?" Gu Yunlan didn't understand.
"Don't you feel something different about yourself yet? Like not being hungry even if you haven't eaten? We've combined our blood, you're already becoming more and more like me, becoming an undying body…" Xuanyuan Ying halted his steps, looking at her mysteriously.
Gu Yunlan's hair stood on the end. She felt like she was in an evil lair, that she really didn't feel hungry, making Xin'er think that she had no appetite. Furthermore, that feeling was very fleeting, it's just that, no way! She raised her head abruptly to look at him, "You tricked me! How can it be so simple? If someone can become an undying body just by combining blood, then if you bit everyone once, wouldn't everyone become an undying body?"
"How many times have I told you! This senior doesn't suck blood, unlike a lower life form like a Jiangshi!" Xuanyuan Ying tapped her forehead, and looked at her appraisingly, "Not bad! You're not dumb anymore, you know how to think now…"
"You haven't explained it yet, how you are a General?" Gu Yunlan asked while rubbing her forehead, she was still interested in this. She didn't mind knowing a bit more anyway.
"Must you know?" Xuanyuan Ying is very tall. Even though Gu Yunlan doesn't count as short among women, she still only reaches up to his chin. Of the two people, one person has a lowered head, and the other a raised head. The position seemed a bit weird.
Gu Yunlan massaged her aching neck, and nodded her head, "I really am curious. Even though there is a quote that goes 'curiosity killed the cat', I still don't understand."
Xuanyuan Ying reached out his hand to massage her neck for her, leading her to continue on their way. It could be because the two had combined their blood, but he suddenly thought that the two of them seemed inseparable, such an odd feeling.
He shook his head, shaking away that thought, saying, "Oh? What do you want to know?"
"Didn't you remain unconscious? How could you be a General? Or have you been tricking my Father all along?" Gu Yunlan was somewhat puzzled.
"Who told you that I was fast asleep the entire time? Not even leaving your ancestral room?" Xuanyuan Ying suddenly thought it was laughable, how come she's still so simple even after dying once?
"Isn’t that what you said? That you were watching me for twenty years…" Amazingly, Xuanyuan Ying's skill is very precise. So Gu Yunlan asked this comfortably as he massaged the right spot.
"That was to trick you, I received an injury twenty years ago. Then I found that your ancestral room's well is suitable for recovery. So I went there every summer as a result, and saved a child-in-law."
Child-in-law? Her? That's not right, he hasn't said anything about his life's experience. Gu Yunlan was about ask more questions, but was abruptly cut short by him.
"I am a Drought Demon, this fact wasn't a trick. Who's fault is it that you are so easy to trick…" Xuanyuan Ying shrugged his shoulders, who's fault is it that she has such a pure face. He retracted his hand and continued, "Of course, combining blood with you saves the effort by half, however, I still need the qi of slaughter. That's enough, knowing too much isn't good for you, we're here!"
Gu Yunlan halted her footsteps and took a look. Four signs, with simple and unadorned words, decorated the space above the door. It is written in seal script, and she blurted out, "Thousand Year Antique Shop!"
"You know seal script?" Xuanyuan Ying looked at her in astonishment.
"I studied it a few times when I was bored…" Gu Yunlan nodded her head. She had lived in Gu City for eighteen years…that's not right, she had lived here for more than twenty years in the previous life, and didn't even know about this little alleyway. This little alleyway actually has a Thousand Year Antique Shop, "Thousand Year Antique Shop, has it been passed down for a thousand years? Or what?"
"Won't you know when you go in to take a look?" Xuanyuan Ying lifted his brows and looked at her with a smile, "You memorized it after studying for a bit? Are you gifted with a retentive memory?"
"Humph! People should have some kind of special trait, right?" Gu Yunlan humphed lightly. She looked haughtily, and she should, since she has a special ability from her past lifetime!
This room has an ancient style and taste, with a classical setup, and plain colors. The gateway opened. Inside the shop it was dark and devoid of anyone, the space in front of the shelves and store counter is cold and desolated.
"Let's go!" Xuanyuan Ying led the way in.
Gu Yunlan hurriedly followed him in, just to see him knock on the store counter heavily three times, and lightly two times. He knocked five times in total.
"Who is it?" A person crawled out from under the store counter. He wore a Chinese skullcap hat on his head that is pulled down far on his head, covering his eyebrows and revealing a tender little face. A black sock puppet hung from his entirely grey gown. His voice was very clear and melodious. He sounded a bit annoyed, as if he had been disturbed.
Xuanyuan Ying didn't get mad, merely taking out a sheet of white paper.
The youngster took that sheet of paper and read out loud, "Vinegar, eggs, a three inch needle, salt, anti-pest powder, Venomous Worm… I'll have to ask the shopkeeper about the Venomous Worm!"
"Give it to him for free!" An old voice came from behind the room.
"Yes!" The youngster responded agreeably, and turning around, to start gathering the things on the list.
"Xuanyuan, what do you need chicken eggs and vinegar for?" Gu Yunlan asked as she tugged on his sleeves.
"Little girl, shall Old Xiu tell you?" Just as Gu Yunlan spoke, an ancient face appeared in front of her. Gu Yunlan was startled, automatically backing up.
Xuanyuan Ying furrowed his brows a bit, and grabbing her by the hand, he pulled her away. He said softly, "Zhou Bo, she's timid, don't scare her!"
"You would bring her even though she's timid? This is the first time you've brought someone here, and it's a woman too!" Zhou Bo turned around expressionlessly and walked towards the chair, sitting down as he asked, "How come you want those things? You want to go to Miao Territory? What is there for you to fear in Miao Territory? The things there definitely wouldn’t dare touch you!"
"Right! Being prepared is always good though!" Xuanyuan Ying nodded his head. He brought her to sit in the chair on the other side. The two people sat side-by-side, even though there was plenty of room on the long chair.
"Why must you protect her so tightly? Old Xiu isn't going to do anything to her!" Zhou Bo looked at Xuanyuan Ying through slanted eyes. He looked at Gu Yunlan judgmentally, "Yi? Corpse Qi? You've found a companion? That's not right! It's corpse poison! How did a normal mortal get corpse poison?"
"We bumped into a White Boned Demon, Bai Linliang, at the Zi Family, and she was clawed by her…" Xuanyuan Ying let out a slightly bitter laugh. If he had his full strength back, how could he be pressured by some mere corpse poison?
"The Zi Family actually has something like that? The Zi Family were once…right! That place was once a graveyard!" Zhou Bo's brows furrowed, the wrinkles stacking up.
"This girl was harmed by it, it wasn't noticed back then. So the corpse poison has entered her tendons and blood vessels!" Xuanyuan Ying said coldly.
"Yi?" Zhou Bo sniffed softly with a pleased expression, "No wonder you protect her so carefully. She actually has a Pure Yin Physique, if you were to directly take it in, your strength would definitely…"
"Zhou Bo! Don't scare her!" Xuanyuan Ying interrupted his sentence. He had once thought like that, to harvest her after she grows up.
Who knew that after seeing her tragic death, he felt angered. She is his, and without his agreement, someone had actually dared to put her to death! Even if he had to fight against the Heavenly Dao with just his broken cultivation, he still had to let her redo it once more.
"Haha! Too bad!" Zhou Bo laughed out loud, yet he suddenly cut off his laughter, "However, because your strength has weakened quite a bit, you can only suppress the thousand year-old White Bone Demon's corpse poison for two months. If you can't find a way to cure her in two months, then this girl can only await death!"
"It's actually a thousand year-old White Bone Demon?" Xuanyuan Ying glanced at Gu Yunlan who sat next to him with a completely lost expression, and asked, "How does Zhou Bo know?"
"Because the time Zhou Bo spent here is even longer!" Zhou Bo grinned at Gu Yunlan, revealing his dark teeth, "A foolish woman murdered her husband one thousand years ago, surely you've heard of this before?! This story probably isn't being told around the city anymore!"
"En!" Gu Yunlan nodded her head, "A few years ago, I saw this in the scriptures of a temple. It was said that it's because her husband was taking in concubines. She couldn't stop the anger in her heart. Whenever she killed a concubine, her husband would take in another. She flared up in the anger at the end and it resulted in her killing her husband. Who knew that it would end up as such, that her resentment was so deep that she started a massacre. With an undispersed soul and unchanging body, she absorbed anger from everywhere, and in the end was suppressed by a temple priest. Could all of this been true?"
"That's right, this girl's memory is good." Zhou Bo nodded his head appreciatively, "She was suppressed. It's just that, who let her out?"
The two shook their heads at the same time. She was suppressed under the Zi Family's place, so she was also released there, the Zi family… The two looked at each other, maybe it was Zi Luolan who let it out…
"It doesn't matter who released it, she must have found out that this girl has a Pure Yin Physique! You guys must be careful! She will be frequently searching for the girl!" Zhou Bo clacked his teeth, smiling eerily.
"It can't be! Zhou Bo, don't scare me!" Gu Yunlan shivered, just as she thought of the white-colored bones, she felt like vomiting. Heaven knows if it was just a night's dream.
"Shopkeeper, the two customers' goods are ready!" The youngster suddenly appeared next to Zhou Bo, carrying a tray of things.
Gu Yunlan paused in surprise, then reacted. She sat a bit closer to Xuanyuan Ying, how come all the people here appear and disappear so unpredictably?
"Because they're not human…" Xuanyuan Ying's voice appeared in her thoughts.
"Eh…" Gu Yunlan stared blankly, not human… then what are they? They can't be as disgusting as the White Bone Demon right? Going to Miao Territory would probably be even more terrifying…
"So, you must accustom yourself to this different world!" Xuanyuan Ying's voice appeared again.
"Alright! You guys should leave quickly after packing your things, don't interrupt Old Xiu's afternoon nap, otherwise Old Xiu will also be going after you, he he!" Zhou Bo stood up unhurriedly, smiling mysteriously at the two.
Those dark teeth and eerie smile made Gu Yunlan's heart skip a beat. She felt like her heart could no longer stand this anymore.
As if he sensed something wrong with Gu Yunlan, Xuanyuan Ying stood up while holding her in his arm. He reached out one hand to the younger, and snatched at the air. The tray in the youth's hands appeared in Xuanyuan Ying's hands. With another shake, his hand became empty of anything. He nodded towards Zhou Bo and the youngster, "Great thanks! Goodbye!"
Just when the two turned around, Zhou Bo and the youngster’s figure immediately disappeared from sight.
Telekinesis? Gu Yunlan hadn't yet snapped back to consciousness, when Xuanyuan Ying brought her outside the store. The sunlight dazzled her eyes, and snapping back to consciousness, she looked behind her. Where is that ancient shop, there's clearly only an old wall, nothing else at all.
"Let's go!" Xuanyuan Ying didn't look back, but merely took her with him as they walked on the same path back.
"This…" Gu Yunlan was very shocked, how come the store disappeared? Could she have been dreaming just now?
"Don't mix it all up, you thought of it as a deam?? En?" Xuanyuan Ying waved his hands at her. Gu Yunlan's eyes closed as she fell into his embrace. He hooked up the corners of his mouth, and picked her up to carry her like a princess. The two people's figures walked towards the alleyway entrance…