The Husky And His White Cat Shizun - novelonlinefull.com
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C3. This Venerable One's Senior Brother
Hmm…Since his soul was back, then would his previous life's powerful cultivation base also return?
Mo Ran activated a spell, feeling the rush of spiritual energy in his body. Although it was plentiful, it wasn't strong. Which meant his cultivation base hadn't come through.
But this wasn't much, he was naturally gifted and had a high comprehension ability. At most, he just had to cultivate all over again. Besides, rebirth was a cause for celebration, and even if there were little flaws, it was pretty normal. Thinking such, Mo Ran quickly hid away his darkness and fangs, making himself look like a normal fifteen-year-old, merrily making his way back to the sect.
Everywhere in the fringes of the city, it was clear that summer had arrived. Occasionally, a carriage pa.s.sed by, its wheels rumblings. No one paid any attention to Mo Ran, who was only fifteen years old.
Only the village women working in the fields would look at him every now and then, when they took a break to lift their heads and wipe off sweat. Seeing this exceptionally handsome youth, their eyes would light up and they'd stare at him a little.
Mo Ran would smile as he returned their looks unabashedly, until those married women went red in the face and lowered their heads.
In the evening, Mo Ran came to Wuchang Town. This place was very close to Life-Death Peak. In the dusk, the sun was red as blood, fiery clouds framing the tall peaks. Stroking his stomach, he felt a bit hungry, so he entered a restaurant. After glancing at the menu boards in front of the counter, he tapped the counter and gave his orders swiftly, "Shopkeeper, I'll have one serving of bon bon chicken, one plate of sliced beef and offal, two catties of liquor, and a plate of sliced beef."
There were many people making a brief stop here, making it crowded and lively. A storyteller waved his fan on stage as he told stories of Life-Death Peak, talking animatedly, his spit flying.
Mo Ran asked for a private room near the window. He listened to the stories as he ate.
"As everyone knows, the cultivation world's divided by region, split into the two areas of upper and lower. Today, let's talk about the best sect in the lower cultivation world, Life-Death Peak. Heh, what you should know is that a hundred years ago, our Wuchang Town was a deserted, unstable, impoverished little town, because we're close to the entrance of the ghost realm. When it got dark, the townspeople didn't dare go out, and if they really had to go out at night, they'd have to ring anti-demon bells, sprinkle incense ashes and h.e.l.l notes, and shout 'Block people with mountains, block ghosts with paper' while pa.s.sing through quickly. But look at us now, our town is lively and prosperous, just like any other town, and this is all thanks to the care of Life-Death Peak. This holy residence, it's built right at the entrance of that gate to h.e.l.l, between the worlds of the living and unliving. Although it hasn't been long since it was established, it…"
Mo Ran's ears were nearly crusting over from listening to this bit of history. Losing interest, he began to look out of the window. There happened to be a stall below. A few foreigners dressed like Taoist priests were transporting a cage covered with black cloth and putting up shows on the streets.
This was much more interesting than an old man telling stories.
Mo Ran's attention was drawn to them.
"Come see, come look, these are the cubs of the fearsome ancient beast, the pixiu, which we have tamed. Now they are as obedient as little children, and they can even perform tricks and do calculations! It's not easy to be a hero and defend justice, those who have money can support with money, those who don't have money can support with your presence, come watch the first show—Pixiu Using An Abacus!"
Those Taoist priests whisked the black cloth off, showing that the cage contained a few beasts with human faces and bear bodies.
Mo Ran: …
With just these furry bear cubs with meek eyes?? They dared to call these pixiu??
This boast was so ridiculous that anyone who believed it was a donkey-brain.
But not long after, Mo Ran got quite the eye-opener. About twenty to thirty donkey-brains gathered around to watch the show, cheering and clapping every now and then. The liveliness made even the people in the restaurant stick their heads out to look, making the storyteller rather awkward.
"The current Lord of Life-Death Peak, his majesty is astounding, his name is known far and wide—”
"That's good!! Another!!!"
Feeling greatly encouraged, the storyteller looked towards the sound of the voice. That customer was red in the face and unusually excited, but his gaze clearly wasn't directed at the storyteller; he was looking at the sideshow stall below.
"Oh, a pixiu using an abacus?"
"Yah, yah, that's so amazing!"
"That was good! Marvellous! Do another act of Pixiu Throwing Apples!"
The whole restaurant was full of laughs, all gathered by the window railings to watch the happenings below. The storyteller was still carrying on pitifully, "The Peak Lord's most well-known for that fan of his, he…"
"Ahahaha, the pixiu with the lightest fur is fighting for apples to eat, look at it rolling on the ground!"
The storyteller wiped his face with a towel, his lips trembling with anger.
Mo Ran pursed his lips, giving a smile. He called out lazily from behind the bead-chain curtain, "Stop talking about Life-Death Peak, if you sing a bit of Eighteen Touches, you'll get the people back for sure."
Not knowing that the one behind the curtain was Mo Ran, a young master of Life-Death Peak, he stammered insistently, "Such, such crude words are not, are not to be on display in a hall of elegance."
Mo Ran laughed. "You call this a hall of elegance? Aren't you getting all embarra.s.sed yourself."
After he spoke, there was suddenly a commotion below.
"Wow! Such a fast horse!"
"Maybe it's one of the immortal sirs from Life-Death Peak!"
Amid the whispers, a black horse galloped over from the direction of Life-Death Peak, charging into the sideshow ring at the speed of lightning!
Two people sat on the horse. One wore a black bamboo hat and a black cape, all covered up tightly, making it impossible to tell their age or gender. The other was a thirty- or forty-year-old woman, her movements clumsy and her appearance weathered.
The woman began to cry when she saw those bear-people. She practically rolled off the horse, staggering over and hugging one of the bear-people, kneeling down as she wailed, "Child!!! My child—”
The surrounding people were confused. Some scratched their heads, muttering, "Eh? Isn't this the cub of the ancient pixiu? Why is this woman calling it her child?"
"What if this is a female pixiu."
"Whoa, so powerful, this female one's developed a human form."
The townspeople didn't know better and said all sorts of nonsensical things, but Mo Ran had figured it out.
Rumour had it that some shady Taoist priests would kidnap children and pull out the children's tongues so that they couldn't talk. Then they'd scald the children's skin with boiling water, and while the flesh was still a b.l.o.o.d.y mess, they stuck animal skins on them. After the blood coagulated, the skins and children fused, making them look no different from demonic beasts. These kids couldn't talk or write, and they were subject to abuse, made to perform tricks like 'Pixiu Using An Abacus'. If they rebelled, they would be beaten and whipped.
No wonder he couldn't feel a single wisp of demonic energy earlier, these 'pixiu' weren't beasts, they were live humans…
As he was thinking on this end, the black-cloaked person said something in a low voice to the Taoist priests on that end. Upon hearing, they became furious at once, yelling things like "Apologise? Your grandpa here doesn't know how that word's written!" "What's so great about Life-Death Peak?" "He's being nosy, beat him up!" They pounced on the black-cloaked person, about to beat them up.
Seeing a fellow sect member getting beaten up, Mo Ran only laughed softly, "Being so fierce, huh."
He hadn't any intention of lending a helping hand. In his previous life, he really hated his sect's culture of helping wherever something wasn't right. They dashed off like idiots, even going to help when Auntie w.a.n.g's kitten couldn't climb down from a tree. From the sect leader to a random helper, every one of them was dumb.
There were so many injustices in the world, why'd they have to meddle in all of them, it was so tiring.
"They're fighting, they're fighting! Hoh! Such a strong fist!"
All throughout the restaurant, everyone was gathered around to watch.
"So many people fighting one person, how shameless can you be!"
"Watch out behind you, immortal sir! Aiya! That was close! Ayayaya—”
"That hit was nicely dodged!"
These people loved to watch fights, but Mo Ran didn't. He had seen lots of fighting and bloodshed, so the happenings under his nose were as good as flies buzzing. He lazily brushed bits of peanuts off his clothes, getting up to leave.
When he reached downstairs, those Taoists were evenly matched with the black-cloaked person, their swords whistling through the air. Mo Ran hugged his arms, leaning against the door of the restaurant. After giving one look, he couldn't help but click his tongue.
The people of Life-Death Peak were all brave fighters who could face ten men on their own, but this black-cloaked person wasn't good at fighting. He'd already been pulled off his horse by those shady Taoists and was being surrounded and kicked, but he still hadn't hit them hard.
Instead, he shouted weakly and meekly, "Gentlemen act with their mouths, not their hands, I'm talking to you nicely, why aren't you listening?!"
Mo Ran: "…………"
The Taoist priests thought, what? This person's been beaten into this sorry state, and he's still saying 'gentlemen act with their mouths, not their hands'? Is his head a mantou bun, no filling inside at all?
But Mo Ran's expression changed suddenly. He felt as if the world was spinning. He held his breath, eyes widening in disbelief—this voice…
"Shi Mei!" Mo Ran called, rushing up to him. With a palm strike full of spiritual energy, he pushed five of those dastardly Taoist priests away! Kneeling, he pulled up the black-cloaked person who was covered in dirt and footprints, his voice shaking slightly—
"Shi Mei, is that you?"
Although his name is Shi Mei, he's really a senior brother, a senior brother 23333
[Shi Mei sounds exactly the same as 师妹, which means junior (martial) sister. Hence the author's self-explanation]
[23333 is Chinese online slang for laughing a whole d.a.m.n lot. Said to originate from a code for an emoji that pictured a person thumping a fist against the ground while laughing]
Shi Mei = 师昧. (昧 = 'unclear', 'hide', generally not something you'd use in a Chinese name. Here it's used purely because of the p.r.o.nunciation. More details in Ch4)
Footnotes…for your information lalulalula
: 棒棒鸡 bang bang ji, a dish from Sichuan. A whole chicken is cooked, sliced, and served with chilli oil and broth. A wooden stick 木棒 is used to standardise the size, and when the chicken is sliced, the wooden stick strikes the back of the knife. The sounds of the stick striking the knife is where the dish gets its name.
: More popularly known as 夫妻肺片, literally 'husband and wife lung slices'. Considered a cla.s.sic Sichuan dish. Fun fact: the original dish was created in the 1930s and did include cow lungs, but the creators sc.r.a.pped it after finding that cow lungs had poor texture.
: 十八摸, a traditional Chinese folk song which is basically about the flirtatious and increasingly erotic touching of a woman. Apparently it's been banned before. Not sure if it's still banned these days.
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