ASV Chapter 90: Outside the Little Black Room, Zhuang Zhou and the Butterfly (3)

(T/N: Please read the tags on Novel Updates before proceeding)

A thin and long chain traversed across Yan Gu’s collarbone. 

Because of how he was positioned, Yan Gu had to lean against the side of the table. His entire body was abnormally pale, and his chains were covered in bloodstains and spots. It was not difficult to see how many torments he’d suffered because of this chain. 

Qin Kaiyi, held in Shen Feixiao’s arms, almost went insane when he saw this scene. He wanted to yell something at Shen Feixiao, but realized he had no power to change this situation… in the end that system actually abandoned him. 

Ziyang Shi glanced at Qin Kaiyi’s pale expression and carelessly laughed. He then walked forward and pinched Yan Gu’s chin, forcing him to wake up. 

“Ziyang Shi…” Yan Gu’s lips were dry and cracked. The moment he opened his eyes and saw Ziyang Shi, his eyes filled with hatred. “You actually still dare to come?” 

“Why would I not dare to come?” Ziyang Shi’s beautiful face held a vicious smile. He reached out a hand and roughly pulled at the chain on Yan Gu, looking at the already scabbed over wounds flowing with blood again, “Right now… what can you do?” 

Yan Gu gritted his teeth and said nothing. However, when he saw Shen Feixiao standing behind him with Qin Kaiyi in his arms, he suddenly froze. 

“Why are you here?” Yan Gu saw Qin Kaiyi in a state not much better than him, and did not know what to say for a moment. When facing Ziyang Shi imprisoning and humiliating him, he could cast that aside. But if these circumstances were forced on Qin Kaiyi… Yan Gu could not bear it. 

“Oh, why this attitude when an old friend comes to see you?” Ziyang Shi apparently knew Yan Gu very well. He sneered, “I say, Yan Gu, you shouldn’t be thinking that after being squeezed in the palm of Shen Feixiao’s hands, Qin Shi would really live a good life.” 

“You two!!” Yan Gu truly wanted to kill Ziyang Shi. Since Xue Xian left him, he had not stopped thinking that he wanted to kill this man. So he gave up everything to activate the godly poisonous insect, causing the Ziyang clan to gradually thin out, to the extent that there was only Ziyang Pei and Ziyang Shi left. Due to an unexpected turn of events, Ziyang Shi was not tortured to death by the godly poisonous insect and instead lived. He even caught Yan Gu… Yan Gu was completely helpless; he had no working plans, and after a thousand years his spiritual power had almost completely dissipated. 

“You must want to kill me so badly,” Ziyang Pei drawled with indifference, “I didn’t die. Are you very disappointed?” 

“Of course I’m disappointed.” Even though Yan Gu was in a miserable state, he did not seem to want to compromise at all. He glanced at Ziyang Shi and then cast his gaze on the speechless Qin Kaiyi as he spoke to Shen Feixiao, “Shen Feixiao, Qin Shi has never owed you anything. On what grounds do you disgrace him like this?” 

“What do you want to say?” Shen Feixiao saw that Yan Gu was powerless to defend himself, but unexpectedly had the presence of mind to think of Qin Kaiyi. His interest peaked, he continued, “Tell me and let’s see?” 

“In the secret realm I entered his sea of knowledge, so I naturally clearly saw everything that happened between you two,” Yang Gu stated dully. “Even though he has harmed you, he has never harbored any malice towards you. He has never hesitated when choosing your life over his own… Shen Feixiao, is treating Qin Kaiyi like this worthy of your conscience?” 

“If it’s worthy then good, if not then that’s all,” Shen Feixiao was completely unconcerned with Yan Gu’s words. “Right now, what’s the point of saying this?” 

“…” Yan Gu knew he could not change Shen Feixiao’s thinking, and the atmosphere immediately fell into taciturn silence.

“Shen Feixiao.” At this time, Qin Kaiyi suddenly hoarsely spoke out, “You… help Yan Gu okay?” 

“Oh? Why would I help him?” Shen Feixiao’s smile was profound. “Or perhaps I should say, what’s in it for me if I help him?” 

“Help him all right,” Qin Kaiyi already did not know what he could do, and only wanted to give all he had to allow Yan Gu to escape Ziyang Shi’s torment. “If you help him, I’ll agree to anything… Shen Feixiao, I’m begging you.” 

This was the first time Qin Kaiyi had made such a promise. He and Shen Feixiao both knew what these words represented. 

“I want you to obediently stay at my side, and never think of leaving again. You would agree?” Shen Feixiao ignored Ziyang Shi, whose expression was becoming gradually more ugly. He looked at Qin Kaiyi with abundant interest. 

“… I agree.” If he didn’t agree what could he do? Qin Kaiyi thought bitterly that Shen Feixiao would not let him go. Instead of allowing Yan Gu to suffer the same torment, he had better take responsibility for everything… 

“Shen Feixiao, are you really intending to dismantle the bridge after crossing the river?” (T/N: idiom meaning to abandon one’s benefactor after achieving a goal). Ziyang Shi’s tone was ice-cold. 

“Dismantle what bridge? What river is there to cross?” Ziyang Shi was nothing in Shen Feixiao’s eyes. Shen Feixiao looked at the flustered Ziyang Shi with a gaze full of ridicule, and rudely continued, “Ziyang Shi, without Ziyang Pei you are nothing.” 

Not expecting Shen Feixiao to tear off his face like this (T/N: reminder that face = respectability, etc.), Ziyang Shi’s expression became overcast. 

“Relax.” Petting Qin Kaiyi’s head, Shen Feixiao looked at Yan Gu’s forlorn face and said, “I don’t have such intentions right now.” 

“… Shen Feixiao.” Qin Kaiyi’s entire body lost strength. He turned his head and looked at Yan Gu’s miserable state, and a mournful smile appeared on his face. “Do you think that I really have no methods left?” 

“What… you!” Shen Feixiao’s expression changed and he immediately pinched Qin Kaiyi’s chin, but he was already too late. Qin Kaiyi’s mouth overflowed with fresh blood. 

“You!” His gaze at once descending into abnormal ferocity, Shen Feixiao did not let Qin Kaiyi close his mouth, “You want to die?” 

“…” Qin Kaiyi tiredly closed his eyes, using his silence to answer Shen Feixiao. 

“You think you can use death to threaten me???” Shen Feixiao was clearly anxious, his hands covered in blood. He looked at Qin Kaiyi’s weak appearance for a moment and didn’t know what to say, but his entire body began to trembled. 

“I can’t.” Qin Kaiyi did not bite too deeply, so he could still speak, but barely. “But Shen Feixiao, you can prevent me from living, but cannot stop me from dying.” 

“…” Shen Feixiao knew Qin Kaiyi was right. If a person truly wished to die, no one could save him. 

But could he allow Qin Kaiyi to threaten him like this? 

As if he knew Shen Feixiao’s thoughts, Qin Kaiyi helplessly laughed. He had never used his own life to threaten Shen Feixiao, because he knew that a person’s life was his most precious asset. If he lost material possessions he could get them back, and if he got injured he could heal. However, if he died, he would really have nothing. 

Qin Kaiyi was someone who really feared death, and he also did not want to use his own life to challenge Shen Feixiao’s bottom line. But now that the situation had gotten to this point, Qin Kaiyi despairingly discovered that the only bargaining chip he had left was this. 

Qin Kaiyi could not bear to let Ziyang Shi continue to treat Yan Gu this way. The people he cared for in this world were truly too few, and as it happened Yan Gu was among them. 

“You can rest assured,” Qin Kaiyi’s mouth released great amounts of blood, but his expression remained unmoved, “I will keep my promises to you. If I go back on my word again, you can kill Yan Gu.” 

“Qin Shi!!” When Yan Gu heard these words he knew that Qin Kaiyi had made up his mind. Qin Kaiyi clearly intended to exchange himself for Yan Gu… 

“You speak the truth?” Hearing Qin Kaiyi’s capitulating promise, Shen Feixiao could not pinpoint what he was feeling. He reached out and wiped at the continually flowing blood pouring from Qin Kaiyi’s mouth, and a subtle grief flashed through his eyes. “You are willing to stay by my side?” 

“Yes.” Qin Kaiyi gave up. 

He truly gave up his own self. In this world, in the end he could not break away from his forced submission to Shen Feixiao. Then it would be better to do something for Yan Gu. 

“Okay.” Shen Feixiao straightened up, and looked at Qin Kaiyi’s bloodied face. He lightly pressed a kiss to the side of Qin Kaiyi’s lips. “I believe you, shixiong.” 

“… Shen Feixiao.” Ziyang Shi’s expression darkened completely. 

After arranging Qin Kaiyi to his satisfaction, Shen Feixiao only then turned his head and looked at the gloomy Ziyang Shi. “I don’t know about the history between you, Xue Xian, and Yan Gu. I also don’t want to know. But Ziyang Shi, if you and I really fight, I think you understand what the result would be.”

“You want me to let Yan Gu go?” Ziyang Shi ignored Shen Feixiao’s mollification, “Only if I die.” 

“All right then.” Shen Feixiao slightly nodded, and made a gesture of invitation towards Ziyang Shi. 

Ziyang Shi’s face distorted. He knew he could not defeat Shen Feixiao. He also could not use Qin Kaiyi to threaten Shen Feixiao, because if something happened to Qin Kaiyi, he feared Yan Gu would also… 

To put it bluntly, Ziyang Shi had lived for ten thousand years but was still a child. His entire mind could be occupied by the puerile thought that only he could bully the one he liked. 

“Yan Gu.” Ziyang Shi knew he could not escape a fight with Shen Feixiao. Before exiting the room with Shen Feixiao, he smiled and walked forward to touch Yan Gu’s face with a hand. His smile was incomparably seductive. “Why have you never shown consideration for me? When Xue Xian was here I did not vie against him. But why is it that now that he’s dead, you still have never thought about me?” 

“Because I think you’re very disgusting,” Yan Gu mercilessly replied. 

“Ah, that’s true.” Ziyang Shi did not care one bit about Yan Gu’s verbal attack. He contemplated before saying, “I am definitely very disgusting.” 

“…” Yan Gu gritted his teeth. 

Ziyang Shi then followed Shen Feixiao out, leaving Qin Kaiyi and Yan Gu alone in the room. 

“You shouldn’t have done this.” Yan Gu exuded exhaustion from every pore. He shifted, then sighed, “In fact, I’m a fire spirit. I was created from fire. This looks frightening, but I actually don’t feel much.” 

“But I can’t leave you here alone.” Qin Kaiyi’s expression was quite calm, as if he had already accepted his fate.  

“There’s nothing bad about staying here,” Yan Gu smiled bitterly, “Ziyang Shi is only a child. He doesn’t know what it means to like. Other than chaining me, he hasn’t done anything else to me.” 

Both Qin Kaiyi and Yan Gu clearly knew what “anything else” meant. 

“Is that so.” Qin Kaiyi now discovered that Yan Gu did not hate Ziyang Shi as much as he thought, and for a while he did not know what to say. 

“Shen Feixiao will not let him go.” Yan Gu let out a long sigh. “In the end, I will still be the only one left.” 

“…” Qin Kaiyi truly wanted to say that Yan Gu still had him, but when these words reached his lips he could not speak them no matter what. He and Yan Gu both understood what Qin Kaiyi’s promise to Shen Feixiao represented.

“The affairs of life are fickle,” Yan Gu continued. “In the beginning… who would have thought the present could be like this?”

“Yeah.” Qin Kaiyi awkwardly smiled. He always felt that he should be sorry to Yan Gu–without Tang Shayun, Ziyang Shi would not have continued to live. 

There seemed to be a formation erected within the room; the fight outside was completely undetectable. Qin Kaiyi and Yan Gu peacefully recounted the past, as if they were having their final farewell. 

Yan Gu knew he did not have the ability to save Qin Kaiyi. 

Qin Kaiyi knew he did not have the ability to escape Shen Feixiao. 

Then that was the end of that. Apparently, all they could do was laugh about the past and pretend that nothing had happened. 

But reality had forever been cruel. Qin Kaiyi and Yan Gu’s time together finally came to an end. 

Shen Feixiao stepped in from the doorway, carrying a bloodied thing in his hands. 

Qin Kaiyi did not look at what that thing was, for fear that he would vomit. 

Yan Gu’s reaction was calmer than Qin Kaiyi’s. After Shen Feixiao broke his chains, Yan Gu quietly walked to the corner without once taking his gaze away from that thing. 

“Let’s go.” Shen Feixiao scooped Qin Kaiyi up in one go, saying to Yan Gu, “You’re on your own.” 

Yan Gu did not respond. However, right at the moment when Shen Feixiao left with Qin Kaiyi in his arms, they heard a sudden hoarse, great, weeping sound. Qin Kaiyi was taken back. He opened and closed his mouth, but said nothing. 

“Shixiong.” Shen Feixiao’s body spread the thick metallic scent of blood. He knew Qin Kaiyi’s thoughts, but did not plan to allow the person in his embrace to look back. “Don’t forget what you have promised me.”

“I know.” Qin Kaiyi shut his eyes, willing his heart–which felt as if it had been pricked by a needle–to be tranquil. “Let’s go.” 

Shen Feixiao formed the Cloud hand seal and departed, carrying Qin Kaiyi. 

That was the last time Qin Kaiyi and Yan Gu met. 

Qin Kaiyi didn’t again expend extraneous thoughts on missing the fire spirit who had accompanied him for so long. He knew that there were certain matters neither he nor the other could provide each other comfort for. Since longing was useless, it was better to properly face the present. 

After Qin Kaiyi completely abandoned the idea of separating from Shen Feixiao, strangely, he found that his life was pretty good. 

Shen Feixiao’s actions were gentle. Qin Kaiyi could obtain pl*asur* from having s*x. Men are all s*nsual creatures. As much time passed, Qin Kaiyi had nothing to say. 

He and Shen Feixiao lived in a very small town. 

Shen Feixiao seemed to have entirely let go of everything and accompanied him to live here. Qin Kaiyi was not as stupid as he appeared to be in the past, and became somewhat reticent. 

Shen Feixiao did not seem to care. Every day he lived an ordinary, simple life with Qin Kaiyi. 

What Qin Kaiyi did not know was that Shen Feixiao had long looked forward to such a life, but due to various reasons, he had never had the opportunity to living this way. 

And now, Shen Feixiao could truly say that he was satisfied. 

“What do you want to eat today?” Shen Feixiao’s manner of speaking was very casual. 

“Whatever’s fine.” Holding a copy of “Foreign Body Records,” Qin Kaiyi continued lazily, “Yesterday’s soup was a bit salty.” 

“En,” Shen Feixiao responded, turning to leave.

Qin Kaiyi put the book in his hands down. He raised his head, looking at the sunny and cloudless world outside. Suddenly, he let slip a long unseen, slight smile. In fact, often, things would not be as painful as one imagined them to be. Time is a magical thing. You would never know what pleasant surprise it’d bring. 


As I translate more R:DSAT, I’m realizing how lazy I am with ASV. The author tends to use the Chinese equivalent of “things” and “stuff,” in addition to plentiful colons and ellipses. Author also uses the same modifiers over and over, eg. “without compare” or “extremely.” Translator now expends minimal effort to mitigate… 

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