Chapter 692: Huang’er’s Affection
The explosion caused by a sage realm cultivator’s self detonation was fairly threatening. The young geniuses of Thunder Note Hall and Great Roc Sect standing beside Jiang Chen all suffered moderate to serious injuries and were quite bedraggled by the blast. One of them had even suffered heavy injuries and looked to be on the verge of death. This unforeseen accident caused Gong Wuji’s mood to worsen further. He waved his hand and yelled, “After them!”
Jiang Chen and Huang’er used multiple escape glyphs in succession as they made their escape. It was only after they had run for roughly fifteen hundred kilometers that they finally came to a stop at a secluded place.
They stopped not because Jiang Chen didn’t have enough escape glyphs on him, but because he could sense something wrong with Miss Huang’er. Jiang Chen’s consciousness was extremely sensitive. He noticed that Huang’er was apparently losing control over the Generation Binding Curse. He hastily came to a stop and summoned the Bewitching Lotus of Fire and Ice, tunneling several hundred feet underground. He found a suitable corner and opened up a space that could fit the both of them. Then, he supported Huang’er to a sitting position on the ground.
“Miss Huang’er, please sit quietly for a moment while I chant the ‘Sacred Deliverance Mantra’ a few times for you.” Jiang Chen knew that Miss Huang’er must have triggered the Generation Binding Curse because she used too much mental power. He had given Huang’er some treatment in the past, but unfortunately it had only soothed the symptoms, not the cause. If they were only looking to suppress the Generation Binding Curse, it could be suppressed for tens or even hundreds of years. But the cursed patient had to refrain from using too much of their consciousness. The moment they did, they would awaken the Generation Binding Curse inside their mind. If that happened, it would grow even more difficult to suppress.
Seeing Huang’er trembling uncontrollably and in a near faint, he recognized them as signs that the Generation Binding Curse was flaring up. He hastily calmed down and chanted the mantra over and over again. The minute trembling that racked Huang’er’s body slowly subsided as the ‘Sacred Deliverance Mantra’ was repeated. Jiang Chen didn’t dare stop. He didn’t stop chanting even though his mouth was dry. He chanted for twenty four hours straight before Huang’er finally shook slightly once and regained a bit of consciousness.
“Sir Jiang, Huang’er has caused you trouble once more.” Huang’er’s soft voice sounded a little apologetic.
Jiang Chen smiled wryly and said, “It’s I who’s caused you trouble.”
Huang’er summoned a difficult smile and said, “In that case, let us not bother each other with pleasantries.”
Jiang Chen nodded repeatedly, “You’re right. Why don’t you rest first while I chant the ‘Sacred Deliverance Mantra’ a couple more times for you.”
“You must be tired after chanting for such a long time. Please rest. I am feeling slightly better right now.”
Jiang Chen inspected her condition with his consciousness, and he knew that the curse had been suppressed again for now. However, it was only a temporary thing. It was obvious that Miss Huang’er’s excessive usage of her mental abilities had awakened the rancor of the Generation Binding Curse once more. “Miss Huang’er, the ‘Sacred Deliverance Mantra’ is not as effective as the ‘Ethereal Soothing Melody’. If you still have some strength with you, why don’t you play it a couple of times?”
Huang’er struggled slightly in an attempt to sit upright. Jiang Chen hastily lend her a hand and supported her. This wasn’t the time to care about societal niceties between men and women. When he held Huang’er, he felt as if he was touching a goddess’ body. She would’ve been too thin if she’d been a tad bit thinner, and too fat if a tad bit fatter.
Huang’er gently took out her zither. Even though she was feeling weak all over, she still tried her hardest to play the melody properly. Jiang Chen felt a pinprick in his heart at her current state. He knew that Huang’er wouldn’t be suffering this torment if it hadn’t been for his sake. For a time, Jiang Chen’s heart was assaulted with complex feelings.
“Sir Jiang, do you know anything about music?” Huang’er spoke up to console Jiang Chen, as if she could read Jiang Chen’s remorse.
Jiang Chen’s mind went blank as he recalled his past life. He had been an expert at almost everything except martial dao. Naturally, he’d been extremely proficient in music as well. It was just that he hadn’t had the time nor inclination to delve deeper into the art of music in this life. He didn’t know why, but there were some things that Jiang Chen found difficult to say to most people.
But when he was before Huang’er, he always felt an indescribable sense of honesty and frankness. When he looked at Huang’er’s sincere eyes, he felt like her eyes wouldn’t tolerate any of the filth or lies in this world. Moreover, Huang’er was a sincere person. Her clean temperament made Jiang Chen feel like the mere act of lying to her was no different than committing a sin. Therefore, he scratched his head and answered honestly, “I do know a little about music, but I doubt that my skills are comparable to yours, Miss Huang’er.”
Huang’er smiled slightly and stared at Jiang Chen with pure eyes. Then, a vertical bamboo flute suddenly appeared between her hands like magic. “Sir Jiang, may I have the fortune of hearing you play?”
At that moment, Huang’er’s intelligent eyes had a naughty spark in them. She was showing Jiang Chen her playful and carefree side. Jiang Chen laughed wryly and forced himself to accept the flute. Surprisingly, the flute looked no different from what he used to play in his past life. After playing around with it for a bit and testing its sound a few times, he roughly found the feeling he usually experienced when he played during his past life. “I hope you enjoy my performance then.”
Jiang Chen was not a person to be hobbled by embarrassment. He immediately started to play a rendition of the ‘Ethereal Soothing Melody’. His performance was a little shaky at first, but he didn’t take long to enter the artistic mood of the ‘Ethereal Soothing Melody’ and displayed the purity and spiritual quality of a flute to its full. When he reached the second half of the melody, Huang’er’s expression had changed from surprise to solemnity. When the song was finally over, the great surprise in Huang’er’s pure eyes stayed for a very, very long time.
A long time later, Huang’er finally smiled softly and said, “Sir Jiang, you truly are a man of many hidden talents. Huang’er actually feels a lot more clear-headed after listening to your flute version of the ‘Ethereal Soothing Melody’.”
“Oh no, you praise me too highly.” Jiang Chen usually accepted other people’s praises as gladly as one would sweets, but he couldn’t help but blush with embarrassment when he was praised by Miss Huang’er. However, he quickly said, “Miss Huang’er, maybe we can try and play this tune together. The ‘Ethereal Soothing Melody’ may be even more effective against the Generation Binding Curse if we play it together.”
Shyness flashed in Huang’er’s eyes. Thankfully, Jiang Chen hadn’t been looking directly at her. Even so, her heart couldn’t help but thump wildly. She never imagined that Jiang Chen would offer to play together. Of course, there was nothing wrong about performing music together, but… memories of times long past flashed through Huang’er’s mind.
When she hadn’t yet left her homeland, countless young and talented men had sought to woo her. However, she’d turned all of them away. Her suitors had once asked her what it would take to win her affection. Huang’er had told them then that if there came a day she found a man whom she was willing to perform music together with, then he would be the one she fell in love with. Her declaration had just been an excuse to turn down those suitors back then.
However, Huang’er had maintained that belief ever since she made that declaration. She had never played music with a man since learning the art. She really did believe her own words, too. She believed that only a man whose music could win her heart and make her willing to perform with him would have the qualification to become her love.
When Jiang Chen inadvertently made the suggestion, he didn’t realize that he had touched on Huang’er’s deepest feelings. As elegant as Huang’er was, even she was feeling a little stunned by the offer. Her womanly embarrassment made her panic a little. And yet… Could she really turn him down right now?
Huang’er realized that she actually couldn’t turn down Jiang Chen. In fact, there was a kind of expectation growing inside of her. She had locked up her own heart for the longest time, but Jiang Chen had entered her life out of nowhere on her journey to seeking a cure. He’d showed her again and again qualities that set him apart from other men. Those displays had birthed faint ripples in her emotions for a while now. It was just that she hadn’t dared or wanted to face this problem directly. That lasted until the moment Jiang Chen’s inadvertent words abruptly threw open the doors to her heart. Moreover, Jiang Chen’s flute performance had stunned her far more than any amount of sweet and gentle words could. In that one moment, she’d not only felt shock, but also an infinite amount of happiness.
She had always thought that no one in this world would be able to harmonize with her music. She’d never thought that an inadvertent tune in a hole deep underground would topple her beliefs so utterly. One could say that Jiang Chen’s flute performance had firmly planted his presence in Huang’er’s heart. From this day onwards, no one else could ever replace him.
However, Jiang Chen had no idea that this fairy-like woman before him was experiencing such a tsunami of emotions. He had even less of an idea that his careless suggestion had triggered an emotional storm worthy of a natural disaster in in Huang’er’s heart.
“Miss Huang’er, was my suggestion too rude?” Jiang Chen finally noticed that Huang’er was looking a little off and couldn’t help but ask.
Huang’er hastily waved off his worries, “No, it’s just that Huang’er just recalled something from the past. Sir Jiang’s mastery in music is truly beyond Huang’er’s expectations. It will be Huang’er’s honor to play the ‘Ethereal Soothing Melody’ with you.”
“Let’s give it a try then?” Jiang Chen wasn’t thinking nearly as much as Huang’er. Right now he was filled with regret and just wanted to make up for it by suppressing the Generation Binding Curse again. He wasn’t thinking of anything else at all.
“Let’s.” Huang’er also nodded.
One zither and one bamboo flute began to harmonize together.
It was a strange thing. The two had never played together before, but the moment they started, they fit each other so well that it was as if they had played together countless times in the past. Their performance, despite lacking an audience, actually turned out absolutely flawless and perfect.
They played the melody once, twice… For a brief moment, the notes of a zither and a flute harmoniously filled this little space underground. Both of them were enchanted by the wondrous atmosphere. The performance finally came to a stop after who knew how long. Huang’er’s eyes suddenly reddened as tears abruptly rolled down her cheeks.
She was a strong woman who hadn’t shed a single tear even when she’d suffered the worst torment in her life at the hands of the Generation Binding Curse. But now, tears were actually rolling off her cheeks, beyond her control.
They weren’t tears of sadness, and yet they were. Those tears that spilled from her eyes like a newly broken dam were also tears of happiness. The happiness that suffused her being that came from finding someone who perfectly understood her. Tears of sadness that tore at her heart for her background and life. At long last, after so much time, she’d finally found a man she was willing to perform with. But because of the Generation Binding Curse, this happiness was also destined to be cut short.
Jiang Chen had never experienced such a scene before in his life. For a moment, he was bewildered and unsure what as to what he could do to make things better. It was a good thing that Huang’er quickly regained control of her emotions. After wiping away her tears, she smiled at him apologetically and said, “Sir Jiang, Huang’er just felt like crying a bit. I’m sorry you had to see me like this.”
Something suddenly flickered in Jiang Chen’s consciousness, and he exclaimed joyfully, “As I thought, the joint performance of the ‘Ethereal Soothing Melody’ is very effective. Your Generation Binding Curse seems to have been suppressed by quite a lot!”