Chapter 165 - System vs. System (15): Text messages, good and evil, the poems of Lu Ming
They spent an extra night in the cave.
When the sun was setting in the west, Cheng Wuyun brought them bedding, wild fruits, and clean water.
This was Su Ji’s request.
As a ghost, Cheng Wuyun didn’t know warmth and cold or being hungry and full. She didn’t understand the reason for Su Ji’s request, but she still obediently complied.
There were many things that Cheng Wuyun didn’t quite understand. For example, although the Tai Chi array she set up had thousands of years of spiritual power, it wasn’t difficult to break it with determination or violently force another way out of the mountain. So why would the third Shishu, as one of the six gentlemen of Jingxu Peak, be trapped by her so easily?
On the second day, the Tai Chi formation broke itself, and Duan Shujue and the others saw Ren Tingfeng, the third Shishu, who had been trapped for more than three or four days in the adjacent pit.
When they met, Ren Tingfeng was telling a fast-footed disciple, “Go quickly and return quickly. Tell shixiong that all the disciples are safe and will return the next day, don’t worry.”
The disciple received the order and was about to leave when Ren Tingfeng stopped him. “After informing him, come back soon. It’s not good to lose someone for the birthday celebration.”
Turning his head, Ren Tingfeng saw Wen Yujing. He waved a small bamboo fan and took the initiative to greet him with a smile, “Pardon, my transgression. I really made shixiong worry. He even sent sixth shidi here.”
Wen Yujing smiled lightly. “Fortunately, there was alarm but no danger.”
Ren Tingfeng said, “Maybe not dangerous, there’s also no harm in being alarmed. Ah, don’t mention it, don’t mention it. Wen-shidi, did you bring money?”
Wen Yujing untied the pouch on his waist.
Ren Tingfeng said, “Thank you. Shixiong will return to the mountain and give you the snow lotus in exchange.”
He tossed the pouch to his disciple. “Go and buy some gifts. Since you are here as a guest, it would be bad etiquette if you don’t have any accompanying gifts.”
Aside from them, none of those who were forcibly detained by Cheng Wuyun left, including the ordinary people.
A hunter was quite open-minded, holding a sheepskin wine bag and smiling with a mouthful of white teeth. “I’ve already been locked up here for so many days, so I have to eat a good meal and gain some capital.”
Actually, there was nothing to eat. The wontons were handmade by Su Ji, and the filling was fresh shepherd’s purse picked from the mountains, which was novel and delicious, but it wasn’t as good as those sold in the restaurants. The taste of longevity noodles wasn’t bad, but the amount of flour she bought wasn’t much. After wrapping wontons, the rest was gone after making a few bowls of noodles.
Su Ji and Cheng Wuyun bought the flour a few days ago when they went down the mountain together. Cheng Wuyun refused to leave Su Ji, so she could only choose to enter the city after nightfall, lest it caused any unnecessary disturbance.
Su Ji went into the grain shop to buy flour. Cheng Wuyun waited obediently outside but accidentally scared the people who got up in the middle of the night to open the window.
Afraid that things would worsen, Su Ji could only bring a few bags of the flour that she had bought and left in a hurry with Cheng Wuyun, not daring to enter the city again.
There was not enough food, but fortunately, there was wine.
The wine was brewed by Su Ji herself and buried under the bamboo forest. It was a technique she learned from books. After brewing it, it was buried under the bamboo forest where she met Cheng Wuyun. Sometimes, she forgot where she buried the wine, and looking for the wine was like a treasure hunt. She spent a lot of time digging out a few jars and preparing them in advance.
After a hundred years or a thousand years, the wine warmed by bamboo mud had a mellow taste and the fragrance of bamboo.
When Cheng Wuyun saw everyone, she was dressed up by Su Ji and changed into new clothes. She looked more festive than Su Ji, who was celebrating her birthday. The small half-mask concealed her ruined face, and the exposed half of her face was small and pointed, quite beautiful and elegant.
Fortunately, she didn’t understand what the injury on her face meant now. When she saw everyone, she performed a man’s salute. “Thank you all for coming to celebrate Ah-Su’s birthday.”
In Cheng Wuyun’s era, women and men were still saluted in the same way.
She seemed to have completely forgotten that she had tied everyone up here, or rather, with her current knowledge, she didn’t think there was anything wrong with doing so.
Su Ji smiled helplessly. Behind her, she returned her salute to everyone one by one, and it was also an apology to everyone for her.
Ren Tingfeng smiled, raising his hands and hoisting his sleeves. He pressed the side of the gift box with a bamboo fan and said, “This is a gift from our Jingxu Peak. Miss, please kindly accept our offering, wishing you a happy life in this world and peace for a hundred thousand years.”
Cheng Wuyun was delighted to hear the good wishes and ran up to open the gift box directly.
Su Ji looked apologetic, but none of the people present minded.
Everyone was willing to believe that Su Ji would teach Cheng Wuyun well in the future.
The hunter picked up several unusually shaped stones, a scholar gave away the books in his bookcase, and a woman who came up the mountain to collect mushrooms picked a handful of mountain flowers.
Cheng Wuyun liked these flowers the most, holding them in her arms and sniffing them again and again, even inserting them on her head, which only resulted in messing up her well-combed hair.
Su Ji could only pull her to sit down on the side of the rock, unravel her hair, and comb it again.
Cheng Wuyun held up the flower to show her. “Flower.”
Su Ji replied, “The flowers are very nice…Miss Cheng, don’t move around, look ahead.”
Cheng Wuyun behaved, holding the sweet fragrance in her embrace. Her mouth didn’t stop, muttering to herself, “The flowers are so beautiful. Tomorrow, I’ll pick all the flowers on the mountain for Su Ji, and Su Ji will be happy.”
Su Ji held her thick black hair and moved to gently comb it. “No. Pick a handful occasionally, Su Ji will be very happy. Pick all of them, Su Ji will not be happy. The flowers are fine where they should be, and Miss Cheng too. Don’t move, be good.”
Cheng Wuyun obediently hummed and continued to turn the flowers in her left hand, letting the petals rub against her cheek one by one.
Everyone was given a small bowl of shepherd’s purse wontons, and Chi Xiaochi took a small spoon and meticulously ate the whole bowl one bite at a time.
This could be considered as sharing with Duan Shujue.
After he reached the bottom of the small bowl, the Duan Shujue in his body moved.
He took the spoon and wrote on the bottom of the bowl “Is this human?”
This was a rather vague sentence, but Chi Xiaochi thought he understood what Duan Shujue was trying to express.
Chi Xiaochi switched to holding the spoon in his left hand and answered him, “Yes.”
In his previous life, Duan Shujue was completely calculated by Yan Jinhua. He was trapped in the sea when he was young, then later trapped in the Yuguang Pool with very few friends. The only genuine warmth came from his little black snake.
But Ye Jiming wasn’t human.
The people he met were Yan Jinhua and the people in Jingxu Peak who were blinded by Yan Jinhua, not knowing the truth and shouting to kill him.
He had never seen such a scene. All without saying much, everyone tacitly defended the wishes of a ghost without suspicion, denunciation, or malicious intentions. The third Shishu, whom he had never seen in his previous life, was amongst the harmonious crowd, leisurely shaking his fan and drinking wine with contentment. It was as if he was seeing another realm.
Humans, did they also have dimensions?
Is this what humans were like?
Duan Shujue wondered so Chi Xiaochi answered his question.
This is what people should be like. The darkness and injustice he saw did exist, but fortunately, that wasn’t all that made people human.
Duan Shujue rarely spoke much. He pondered for a moment and used the spoon to write word by word on the bottom of the bowl. “I want to know more.”
Chi Xiaochi replied, “Why don’t you take your time to see.”
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Duan Shujue wrote, “Thank you very much for Mr. Chi’s suggestion.”
He hadn’t read the book, The Mermaid Immortal, and only roughly knew the plot.
The Mountain of Time and Rain was the original place where he and Duan Shujue should have met.
Ye Jiming asked, “In the end, how do you think the author intended to write my first encounter with the little fish?”
Chi Xiaochi answered, “This is a question for you, if you were in the Mountain of Time and Rain, and you saw Duan Shujue for the first time. What would happen?”
“If I’m not familiar with him, of course I wouldn’t be able to see past his hypocritical appearance and I’d have to find a chance to teach him a lesson.” Ye Jiming said, “But probably not at the time of Su Ji’s birthday celebration, I would wait until we were down the mountain.”
Chi Xiaochi drank a cup of bamboo wine, “Then, that’s probably the story the author wanted to write.”
After drinking and eating, everyone said goodbye.
After sending away these kindhearted people who they met by chance, Su Ji turned around and returned to the mountain but couldn’t find any trace of Cheng Wuyun.
She walked around the mountain, softly calling out without haste, “Miss Cheng, Miss Cheng.”
When pa.s.sing by the bamboo forest where the two met, Cheng Wuyun jumped down from one of the bamboo trees and landed on her, rustling down a swaying bamboo leaf while grinning.
She had no weight at all and could be easily carried.
The G.o.ddess, who used to be gentle and dignified in the past, was lying on the mountain ghost’s back. Her hair, which had just been combed, was loose. “All sent away?”
Su Ji carried her on her back., “Sent away.”
Cheng Wuyun said, “Then it’s my turn now.”
Su Ji said, “Okay, okay. I’ll take you home.”
She carried her on her back and walked towards their shared home.
Cheng Wuyun hugged Su Ji’s neck, thinking of the people who had just left, “They’re so nice. Will they come again next year?”
Su Ji said, “That’s fate, don’t force it. Listen to me, don’t capture people in the future, okay?”
Cheng Wuyun said, “I won’t catch.”
Su Ji said, “You can’t catch them even on my birthday.”
Cheng Wuyun froze, lying on her back and thinking hard for a while before making up her mind. “Hmm, no catching.”
…This was considered an agreement.
Cheng Wuyun was obedient for a while and then requested, “You haven’t read me today’s book.”
Su Ji asked, “Which one do you want to hear?”
Cheng Wuyun said, “Book of Songs.”
Su Ji picked one at random and recited softly, “Chopping wood, birds chirping. From the valley, moved to the trees…”
The mountain ghost recited a sentence, and the G.o.ddess followed. The G.o.ddess didn’t quite understand what it meant, so she babbled, learning her tone of voice and p.r.o.nunciation.
Sometimes, she was in a trance, feeling that the words and this scene were familiar.
It was as if she had carried someone like this long ago.
When she recited a sentence, she also learned it. So the thousand years of time didn’t seem difficult, day by day, just like this.
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