The Empty Waste Mountain was remotely located, surrounded by other mountains and lush forests. What made this remote mountain famous throughout the world were the countless spirit grasses residing within. These spirit grasses were mostly located on cliffs. The places they sprouted were usually guarded by spirit beasts. However, even if the risk was huge, there were still countless cultivators trying to enter this mysterious mountain to find those precious grass medicines. Because too many cultivators had entered, the number of spirit grasses had decreased sharply, and those spiritual grass medicines that were slightly closer to the edge of the forest were almost all extracted.
The mountain itself was not so easy to enter, so some grasses hidden in the deep mountains were still traceable. The purpose of Qin Kaiyi’s trip was to find a kind of healing panacea–the Sky South Bamboo.
The Sky South bamboo, also known as bitter bamboo, was a grass medicine that grew on rock walls. It was rumored for tens of thousands of years that the Sky South Bamboo had the effect of raising the dead and giving life to bones. Qin Kaiyi did not remember from the novel why Shen Feixiao went looking for grass medicine–his current attention was obviously not on the Sky South Bamboo, but on the increasingly silent teenager beside him…
Qin Kaiyi spent a lot of time seriously trying to remember the plot. Since leaving the inn, this month he and Shen Feixiao practically didn’t talk. Apart from necessary exchanges, they didn’t even say hello. Qin Kaiyi was helpless seeing that Shen Feixiao seemed to have given up on maintaining the most superficial relationship with him, and had directly torn his face with Qin Kaiyi. (T/N: again, face in Chinese means respectability, propriety, etc.)
Unclear on what exactly caused the change, Qin Kaiyi found an opportunity to avoid Shen Feixiao and discussed it with Yan Gu.
Yan Gu was obviously not too interested in Shen Feixiao now, and he immediately showed a bad attitude when he heard Qin Kaiyi mention Shen Feixiao.
“That’s your son. What does how he acts towards you have to do with me?” Yan Gu said: “I really don’t know why you want to conceal that you are the masked person… you are kind to others, but don’t let others know, do you expect people to thank you?”
Although Qin Kaiyi knew this truth in his heart, he still felt uncomfortable. He sighed: “I know, but I won’t ask him to thank me, I’m just afraid… he…”
“Afraid that he will kill you?” Yan Gu hit the nail on the head: “Is it that you feel he is becoming more and more nasty towards you?”
“…” Qin Kaiyi’s silence told Yan Gu the answer.
“Well there’s nothing you can do.” The flame-like original shape flashed a few times: “You chose it yourself, you figure it out yourself… by the way, when you go to get the Sky South Bamboo, remember to wrap your hand with cloth.”
“Ah?” Qin Kaiyi didn’t quite understand: “What do you mean?”
“… I really wonder if your shifu deliberately sent you to die.” Yan Gu saw Qin Kaiyi’s silly look and laughed: “Sky South Bamboo has a very special effect. As long as it is touched by the bare hands of a cultivator, no matter how powerful he is, he will lose all his magical powers. “
“All the magical power would be lost?” Qin Kaiyi, who was struggling with something, suddenly felt that he had found something good: “How long will it be lost?”
“A day or two, what are you so excited about?” Yan Gu raised his eyebrows and asked, puzzled.
“… Yan Gu I love you.” Qin Kaiyi heard this and felt extremely moved–just now he was still struggling to figure out how to make Shen Feixiao fall down the cliff, and Yan Gu actually hurriedly gave him a way. What’s the use of “Mountain Cloud Notes?” Once his magical powers were completely lost, wouldn’t Shen Feixiao just be a piece of meat on his chopping board? However he wanted to chop, he could chop.
Yan Gu apparently didn’t know Qin Kaiyi’s dark heart. He looked at Qin Kaiyi’s fascination and sighed: “I say, you, when will you increase your ability to retain information? Xue Xian in those days also wasn’t reliable, but he wasn’t like you making yourself this miserable. And that Shen Feixiao, what relationship do you and him have exactly?”
Qin Kaiyi listened to Yan Gu’s inquiry, but didn’t know what to answer, so he had to be silent.
“… Won’t say, forget about it.” With a small murmur, Yan Gu also stopped talking.
Ahhhh, so annoying, so annoying!! He itched to stretch out his hands, grab fistfuls of hair and roll around twice on the ground. Qin Kaiyi, who was under great psychological pressure, gritted his teeth and decided to deal with Shen Feixiao according to the plot first, and then see what to do next.
With a temporary goal to struggle for, his psychological state which had been influenced negatively by his circumstances finally recovered, and Qin Kaiyi’s confusion and helplessness lessened. He walked slowly back to the team and began to prepare to enter the mountain.
In fact, there was nothing to prepare. They would just bring some necessary food and medicine, and a group of people would move towards the Empty Waste Mountain.
Except for the relatively outlying shrubbery in the Empty Waste Mountain, there were some tall trees. Because of the sparse population of spirit beasts, there were almost no traces of people, just like a primitive forest.
After a month of rest, Qin Kaiyi’s body was much better. The meridians around his body were repaired to nearly 90%, and he again thought about how to deal with Shen Feixiao. The burden in his heart finally alleviated a bit.
Shen Feixiao didn’t know about the schemes in his brother’s heart; he had his own plans.
His sable was already able to hide his figure, and he wouldn’t be found by others even if he was beside them. It was a great help for him. He originally thought that Qin Shi had some relationship with the masked person. After sounding him out a few times, he was a bit disappointed. It seemed that he had overthought this matter. How could that selfish and snobbish brother have something to do with the man wearing the golden mask… Realizing this, Shen Feixiao’s attitude towards Qin Kaiyi suddenly became cold.
Qin Kaiyi didn’t know the reason, and didn’t think that he had narrowly exposed his own identity. All his energy was currently placed on the soon-to-be discovered Sky Secret Bamboo… If his memory served him correctly, six days later, after splitting up the team, he and Shen Feixiao would discover the precious Sky South Bamboo.
In fact, in the novel, the Sky South Bamboo did not have the effect that Yan Gu pointed out, and Shen Feixiao was not as strong as he is now. The changed plot forced Qin Kaiyi to find other ways to suppress Shen Feixiao, unlike Qin Shi in the original book… he had kicked Shen Feixiao off a cliff with ease.
These were the consequences of changing the plot. Qin Kaiyi’s lips slanted down. He brought all the things he should bring, and followed the team up the mountain.
The primitive mountain road was very difficult to walk on. It was full of tough vines and dense weeds, and poisonous insects such as spiders emerged from time to time, making it difficult for teams looking for spiritual grass medicine.
Shen Feixiao was the youngest in the team. Qin Kaiyi was a little worried at the beginning about whether he would have problems due to lack of physical strength, but after a long day of trekking, he found that he was really naive… how could one forget the protagonist halo? Wasn’t it just climbing a mountain? If the halo were a bit brighter, maybe Shen Feixiao could even move the mountain with one punch.
Although his heart was full of unspoken criticisms, Qin Kaiyi had to admit a cruel fact… Shen Feixiao was obviously a very tough person, because the first one who fell down was actually the second shidi who barely seemed to exist.
As they advanced, it was unclear what strange insects stung or bit them, but on the third day second shidi’s whole body was covered with red rashes. He directly developed a high fever and fell into a coma.
As the leader of the team, Qin Kaiyi considered and made a decision.
“Two people stay here to take care of shidi, and the others will be divided into small teams to look for spirit grass.” Qin Kaiyi gave orders according to the plot in the original novel: “If there is any danger, set off the fireworks. Place safety above all else. Do not take risks.”
“Yes.” The others didn’t have any objections to Qin Kaiyi’s decision, but their expressions that seemed as if they wanted to say something but couldn’t clearly revealed their anxiety about how to split the teams.
“Shen Feixiao is with me, and everyone else will divide into groups of two.” Actually, Qin Kaiyi thought that only two people together wasn’t very safe, but in light of the plot, he still gave these orders.
After the decision was made, dozens of people quickly divided into dozens of small groups. Qin Kaiyi checked everyone’s equipment and then waved his hand to let the teams enter to explore from different directions.
Shen Feixiao was a little surprised by Qin Kaiyi’s decision. He didn’t expect Qin Kaiyi to choose to be in a group with him. Although his first reaction was that this shixiong wanted to play tricks, he thought about it a little more. He suppressed his urge to question. He knew his strength and Qin Shi’s current physical condition. If something really happened… the one who died … wouldn’t be himself.
In that case, what was there to be worried about? Looking at the sable squatting at his feet, Shen Feixiao’s gaze was extremely calm and still. What he wanted to do most now was to find the masked person and then… become strong.
Strong enough to step on all who dare to despise him, strong enough to have those who scorned him pay a price in blood.
“Shidi, let’s go.” Qin Kaiyi frowned as he looked at Shen Feixiao who was standing behind him… Shen Feixiao’s gaze just now made him feel very uncomfortable. He didn’t know if it was his own misconception, but in that gaze, he scented something bloody within those pitch-black pupils.
“Yes.” Always keeping it concise, Shen Feixiao followed Qin Kaiyi toward the deep dark forest. The obedient sable concealed its body and followed behind Shen Feixiao. It looked at Qin Kaiyi who was walking in front, stuck out its pink tongue, and licked its wet nose… The person in front smelled very good, smelled so good that… it actually deceived its master.
En, if it got the chance, it would definitely have a bite to taste. Licking its lips again, the sable jumped once and shortened the distance between it and Shen Feixiao. It followed Qin Kaiyi into the dense forest.
Many things were changing quietly. A slight fluttering of a butterfly’s wings could cause a storm thousands of miles away. At this time, Qin Kaiyi did not know whether what he dreamed would come true, just like Shen Feixiao didn’t know that… obsessive thoughts could make people infatuated. (T/N: I translated 入魔 as infatuated. The actual meaning is something more wordy. 入魔 points to when, because of excessive emotion/affection or focus on an emotion, someone enters a type of dim chaos or foolishness, or falls into depraved/evil ways. Possibly first seen used in “A Dream of Red Mansions.”)