The Husky And His White Cat Shizun - novelonlinefull.com
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More info about Shi Mei in this one. And the t.i.tle makes it pretty obvious who the next person introduced will be…Enjoy o/
C4. This Venerable One's Younger Cousin
This Shi Mei was not a junior martial sister.
Shi Mei was an honest-to-goodness male, and in terms of when they entered the sect, he was actually Mo Ran's senior martial brother.
His unfortunate name was all because the Lord of Life-Death Peak wasn't well-read.
Shi Mei had been an orphan whom the Peak Lord brought back from the wilderness. This child had been weak and sickly since young, so the Peak Lord thought about it, he'd have to give this kid a lowly name since having a lowly name would make them easier to raise.
The kid had red lips and white teeth, like a little girl who'd be loved by all, so the Peak Lord racked his brains and came up with a name, Xue Ya.
Xue Ya grew bigger and handsomer, with a pretty face and a nice body. Even his brows and eye corners were full of charm, with the nuance of a top-notch beauty.
Men in the countryside villages could live with a name like Xue Ya, but were there exquisite beauties with names like 'Goudan' or 'Tiezhu'?
The other disciples in the sect felt that it wasn't suitable and gradually stopped calling him Xue Ya. But it was bad to change the name that the Peak Lord had given, so they began to call him Junior Sister as a joke.
After hearing 'junior sister' day in and day out, the Peak Lord simply waved a big hand and said empathetically, "Xue Ya, you might as well change your name, how about Shi Mei, 'mei' as in 'foolish', how's that?"
He still had the heart to ask how that was…how could any normal person stand this bullc.r.a.p name? But Shi Mei was a good-tempered person. He looked up at the Peak Lord and found the latter looking at him delightedly and excitedly, somehow thinking he'd done a wonderful job. Shi Mei didn't have the heart to refuse, feeling that he shouldn't embarra.s.s the Peak Lord even if he had misgivings. Thus, he knelt and gave thanks, changing his name from then on.
"Ack." The black-cloaked person coughed for a bit before regaining his breath. He looked up at Mo Ran, "Hm? Ran? Why are you here?"
Behind the sheer silk veil, those eyes were gentle as water in spring, bright as the stars, piercing right through to the bottom of Mo Ran's Heart.
With one look, all of Lord TaXian's sweet romantic feelings and young man's troubles that had been buried under dust for years, they were unlocked instantly.
It was Shi Mei.
He'd never be wrong.
Mo Ran was a hooligan in the making, and he had bedded many men and women in his past life. Even he himself was pretty surprised that he hadn't died of overexertion in bed.
But for the only person he'd loved with all his heart, he had always been careful, not daring to touch them so easily.
All those years, he and Shi Mei had been ambiguously romantic with each other, but up till Shi Mei's death, Mo Ran had only ever held hands with him. Even his mouth had only been kissed once by accident.
Mo Ran thought he was filthy while Shi Mei was so gentle and pure, he didn't deserve this person.
While this person was alive, he had already treasured him very much, let alone after this person's death. He completely became a ray of white moonlight in Lord TaXian's heart. No matter how much he missed him, that person had become a handful of earth, buried beneath the earth, gone without a trace.
But in this very moment, Shi Mei had appeared, fully alive, before him. Mo Ran had to use all the strength he had to suppress his agitated emotions.
Mo Ran helped him up, dusting away the dirt on his cloak. He was so worried, he felt like he was losing flesh.
"If I hadn't been here, how much more would they have bullied you? Why don't you fight back when others. .h.i.t you?"
"I wanted to reason it out with them first…"
"What's there to reason about with these people! You're injured, aren't you? Where does it hurt?"
"Ahem, Ran, don't…don't let me be in the way."
Mo Ran turned his head, his expression fierce as he said to the Taoists, "You dare lay a hand on even people from Life-Death Peak? You're really fearless, huh."
"Didn't you wanna fight? Come! Why don't you fight me!"
After being struck by Mo Ran earlier, those Taoist priests knew this person's cultivation base was far above theirs. They all preferred the easy way to the hard way, so none of them dared to fight Mo Ran, instead backing away.
Shi Mei sighed, persuading him, "Ran, don't start a fight, why don't you just let them off."
Looking back at him, Mo Ran felt a tw.a.n.g in his heart, the corners of his eyes slightly warm.
Shi Mei had always been so kind. When he died in the previous life, he hadn't any grievances or hatred. He even persuaded Mo Ran not to hate Shizun, who could've saved him but stood by and watched instead.
"I'm all fine now, see? Don't cause trouble if you can, listen to your Senior Brother."
"Ay, fine, I'll listen to you, I'll listen to everything you say." Mo Ran shook his head, glaring at the Taoists, "You heard that? My senior brother's pleading mercy for you! Why don't you hurry up and scram? Still sticking here, do you want me to send you off?"
"Yesyesyes! We'll scram now! We'll scram now!"
Shi Mei said to them, "Hold on."
Those people felt that since Shi Mei had just been beaten up severely by them, he probably wouldn't let them off easily. They knelt down and kowtowed continuously, "Sir Immortal, Sir Immortal, we were wrong, we didn't recognise a powerful person when we saw him. Please let us off, Sir Immortal!"
"I spoke to you nicely earlier, but you didn't listen," Shi Mei sighed. "You kidnapped other people's children and committed such crimes, causing their parents so much pain, can your conscience be clear?"
"It's not clear! It's not clear! Sir Immortal, we're wrong, we won't do it again! We won't do it again!"
"In future you must be upright people and not do evil deeds, do you understand?"
"Yes! Sir Immortal is right! We, we've been educated, educated!"
"If that's the case, please apologise to this madam and give her children medical treatment."
The matter was considered settled. Mo Ran helped Shi Mei onto the horse, borrowing another horse for himself from an inn. They rode side-by-side, going back to the sect.
The crescent moon hung high in the sky, moonlight filtering through the leaves and shining on the forest paths.
As they travelled, Mo Ran felt increasingly pleased: at first, he thought he'd have to go back to Life-Death Peak at the very least if he wanted to see Shi Mei again. He didn't expect to meet Shi Mei by chance while Shi Mei came down to do good deeds. This made Mo Ran believe all the more that he and Shi Mei were indeed fated.
Although he and Shi Mei weren't together at this time, they already had some relations in the previous life, so it was obvious that things would naturally go well in this life.
The only thing he needed to worry about was to protect Shi Mei well, to stop him from dying in his arms like back then…
Not knowing that Mo Ran was a reborn person, Shi Mei chatted with him as per usual. As the two chatted, they reached the foot of Life-Death Peak.
Unexpectedly, even though it was late at night, there was a person standing before the gate, watching them like a tiger observing prey.
"Mo Ran! You still know to come back??"
Mo Ran looked up. Oho, some angry son of the heavens this was.
This person was none other than Xue Meng as a young lad.
Compared to the Xue Meng he saw before his death, Xue Meng looked even handsomer at around fifteen to sixteen years old. He wore simple, light armour that was black with blue edges, his hair pulled into a high ponytail and decorated with a silver ponytail ring. A lion-head belt wrapped around his strong, slender waist, his forearms and calves well-protected. On his back, a narrow sabre glittered with an icy shine. On his left arm, a sleeve arrow case flashed silver.
Mo Ran sighed discreetly, thinking straightforwardly:
Xue Meng, be it as a youngster or a grown-up, was really very flashy.
Just look at him, this fellow, wearing the full set of Life-Death Peak armour at night instead of sleeping, what was he going to do? Do some kind of mating ritual like a pheasant or a peac.o.c.k?
However, just because Mo Ran didn't like Xue Meng, it didn't mean Xue Meng would like him either.
Mo Ran was an illegitimate child. As a kid, he didn't know who his father was at all, doing odd-jobs in a musicians' hall in Xiangtan for a living. He was only found and brought back to Life-Death Peak when he was fourteen.
On the other hand, Xue Meng was the Young Lord of Life-Death Peak and technically Mo Ran's younger cousin. Xue Meng was accomplished despite his young age, and was a prodigy, called 'the favoured son of the heavens' and 'Little Phoenix' by others. Normal people took about three years to establish the foundation, and at least ten years to develop a spiritual core. Being gifted, Xue Meng managed to develop a spiritual core less than five years after beginning cultivation, delighting his parents and earning him praise from all directions.
But in Mo Ran's eyes, whether he was a phoenix or a chicken, a peac.o.c.k or a duck, he was a bird anyway. The only difference was the length of the feathers.
So Mo Ran saw Xue Meng as: a birdy thing.
Xue Meng saw Mo Ran as: a dog-fellow.
Maybe it ran in the family, because Mo Ran's talent was also astounding, perhaps even more astounding than Xue Meng's.
When Mo Ran had just joined them, Xue Meng thought of himself as especially n.o.ble and dignified, cultured, knowledgeable, good at martial arts, and handsome, worlds apart from his illiterate, slovenly ruffian of an older cousin.
Thus the narcissistic Little Phoenix directed his attendants around, telling them, "All of you listen up. Mo Ran loafs around, he's ignorant and incompetent, and he's a street punk through and through. None of you are to pay him any attention, just treat that guy like he's a dog."
His attendants said flatteringly, "Young Lord is very right, that Mo Ran's already fourteen, and he's only just beginning to cultivate. I think he'll take at least ten years to establish a foundation, and twenty years to develop a spiritual core. By then, our Young Lord'll have pa.s.sed his tribulations and ascended, and he can only watch back down on earth."
Xue Meng laughed, pleased with himself, "Twenty years? Hmph, with that good-for-nothing look of his, he'll probably never form a spiritual core his whole life."
No one expected that after giggling and studying under his shizun for a year, this good-for-nothing managed to develop a spiritual core.
At once, the Little Phoenix seemed to have been struck by lightning, feeling like his face had been slapped. He couldn't take this lying down.
So he'd secretly p.r.i.c.k voodoo dolls and curse the other guy to slip when flying on his sword, or get tongue-tied when reciting spells.
Every time he met Mo Ran, Xue Meng the Little Phoenix would even consistently roll his eyes at the other, his harrumphs audible from miles off.
Thinking of these childhood memories, Mo Ran couldn't help but smile and crinkle his eyes. It had been a long time since he enjoyed the mortal realm like this. After being alone for ten years, even the things he'd hated so much back then were very enjoyable for him now as he savoured them.
Seeing Xue Meng, Shi Mei immediately dismounted and removed his black veiled hat, exposing his peerlessly beautiful face.
No wonder he had to dress like this when going out alone. Just by stealing a glance next to him, Mo Ran felt his conscience swaying, his imagination running loose. He thought this person was truly someone of unrivalled beauty, enough to shake one's soul.
Shi Mei greeted him, "Young Lord."
Xue Meng nodded. "You're back? Has the matter of the bear-people been settled?"
Shi Mei smiled, replying, "It has been settled. It's all because I met Ran, who helped me a great deal."
Xue Meng's stern gaze swept over Mo Ran as quickly as a sudden gale, then moved away at once. His browed creased, his expression full of disdain, as if looking at Mo Ran for a moment longer would dirty his eyes.
"Shi Mei, you go back and rest first. Don't hang around with him so much, if you're with this sneaky thing, you'll turn bad."
Not wanting to back down, Mo Ran mocked, "If Shi Mei's not going to be like me, is he supposed to be like you? Dressed all proper and fully armed even at night, showing off and sticking up your tail like some bird, you still call yourself the favoured son of the heavens…Hahaha, more like the favoured daughter of the heavens maybe?"
Xue Meng became furious. "Mo Ran, you clean up that mouth! This is my home! What position are you?"
Mo Ran counted on his fingers. "I'm your older cousin, so in that regard, I should be in front of you."
As if he'd been splashed in the face with dog p.o.o.p, Xue Meng frowned in disgust, retorting, "Who's got an older cousin like you! Don't flatter yourself, in my eyes, you're nothing but a dog who rolled in mud!"
Xue Meng liked to curse people using 'dog', stuff like dog-son, doggy thing, son of a b.i.t.c.h, raised by a dog; whenever his lips met, he cursed like no other. Mo Ran was already used to it, so he picked his ear, not paying any attention. But Shi Mei felt awkward hearing it and said something about it in a low voice. With that, Xue Meng grunted from his nostrils, finally closing that high and mighty bird-mouth of his.
Shi Mei smiled, asking softly, "Young Lord's out here so late, are you waiting for someone before the gates?"
"What else could it be? Looking at the moon?"
Mo Ran laughed heartily, hands on stomach, "I was wondering why you dressed up so nicely, so it's because you're waiting to meet someone. Ay, who's the unlucky one you're into? I pity her so much, hahahahaha."
Xue Meng's face became even darker, so dark that one could sc.r.a.pe off three catties of coal dust with their nails. He growled, "You!"
"I was waiting for you, what do you make of that?"
Mo Ran: "………….???"
Xue Ya = 薛丫, Shi Mei's former name. 丫 = comes from 丫头, a term for a young girl. (By right, this word shouldn't be used in a person's official name because it's way too unsophisticated…)
: 贱名好养活, a concept in old Chinese society. May still be seen even in the villages or rural areas today. The durability of common, everyday objects such as iron gates, as opposed to the fragility of precious items such as porcelain vases, probably gave people the idea that 'precious = fragile, lowly = durable'. Which probably led to the idea that giving your kid a cheapo name made them tougher. I dunno.
: Respectively, 狗蛋 (literally means dog t.e.s.t.i.c.l.es) and 铁柱 (iron pillar). Possible nicknames for kids in rural areas. Direct results of the 'cheapo name = tougher kid' concept.
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