Chapter 11: Substitute Marriage(11)

“I haven’t seen him.”

He didn’t raise his eyes but still replied with his mouth. He paused for a moment before he curled up his mouth into an innocent smile, “This is Miss Ling’s home. If you can’t find him, how could I, a guest, possibly find him?”

Pretend, continue pretending. Ling Miao gnashed her teeth mentally.

“Then, Young Noble Mu wouldn’t care if I take a look around this room right?” Ling Miaomiao tried to walk forward but was stopped by an arm. Mu Sheng still sat in his original position as he very naturally blocked her. He lifted up his pair of moist black pupils, “Is Miss Ling blind? Where could a person possibly be in this room?”

“You don’t need to worry about that, Young Noble Mu.” Miaomiao squeezed out a fake smile, “You can just sit here, you don’t need to do anything. When I’ve found him, I’ll come help you look for the hairpin. How’s that sound?”

She skirted around Mu Sheng’s extended arm.

He suddenly stood up and leaned over with his arm blocking her from the waist. She was caught off guard and accidentally threw herself into his shoulder. Taking advantage of the opportunity, Mu Sheng pulled her into his embrace. Into a very rigid hug.

He smelled of white plum blossoms. The fragrance lingered in her nose.

“Miss Ling, don’t throw a fit like a child.” He patiently exhorted her, speaking right beside her ear. However, his tone was very taut.

Ling Miaomiao struggled with all her strength for a while without being able to break free, “You…”

Her face was ashen and the two words ‘old rascal’ nearly jumped out of her mouth when she suddenly saw a dark green hand extend from behind Mu Sheng’s back silently. The hand was very thin like firewood, and the dark green hand looked like it had been dyed before. It slithered out like a snake from behind his back and it’s nails were about an inch long. Ling Miaomiao felt a stream of cold air brush past her neck.

This was obviously… a female’s hand.

The back of Ling Miaomiao’s head felt cold as she shrieked out loud, “Wahhhh!” In the next moment, carried by Mu Sheng, they rapidly moved backwards, getting far away from that claw. He had knocked away the hand in a frantic state, pushing it’s owner staggering all the way to the door.

She saw the metal bracelet of Mu Sheng’s right wrist come crashing down onto the forehead of the black figure behind them. She could finally see this ‘person’. She was a dried up female zombie that wore thin silk clothes. Her hair came down like a mop and her skin had already turned brown. Ling Miaomiao squinted her eyes, not willing to look at its face at all.

Through the thin slit between her eyelids, she saw the female zombie’s head suddenly skew to the side with a ripping noise.

The air felt cold for a moment, making her feel like breathing was difficult.

No wonder the west sideroom was always gloomy and cold, somehow a zombie had been living in there for a long time!

Mu Sheng’s eyes grew deep. His hand began to move rapidly in layers. ‘Bang bang bang’ three fire flowers exploded one after another like fireworks, causing an orange glow to light up the room. Immediately afterward, the flame turned blue and started spreading ferociously over the dried up zombie’s body. Before long, it had turned into a ball of fire.

The air in the room seemed to ripple as if there was a person screaming at an extremely high frequency. Buf it one were to listen more carefully, it was quiet. The only sound that could be heard was the sound of the window shuddering like some horrifying force continuously battered it.

Ling Miaomiao stared at the ball of fire not far from her. Her limbs felt cold and her heart had leapt into her throat.

Mu Sheng stood up in his original spot, as if he didn’t have the slightest intention to take a step back. A breeze from seemingly out of nowhere started to blow through the room, causing his dark eyes and snow white sleeves to sway along with it.

“Pu—” The fire ball suddenly looked like a balloon that was leaking air. It became small in no time at all and fell to the ground. Soon after, the flames also died down and the entire thing became a lump of ash and fragments of scarlet coal.

Ling Miaomiao looked down and saw that there wasn’t really much left over on the ground. Wisps of smoke slowly drifted up like the sad sighs of a concert’s end.

Mu Sheng slid the metal bracelet back onto his wrist and shook his sleeves. He lowered his lashes and explained to Ling Miaomiao in a rather careless tone: “Miss Ling, I forgot to inform you, my yin constitution attracts demons. I must’ve scared you.” 1 [1] Yin Constitution: A chinese ‘cultivation’ term that basically means his body is colder :). Yin is usually associated with 1: Females (which is why I guess Mu Sheng is so ‘beautiful’. 2: Evil. (Which is strangely synonymous with super attractive/beautiful in chinese) 3. Coldness (of temperature). There are a bunch of other deeper meanings but yea. This should be all you need to know.

Once he spoke, she remembered that the original book also mentioned this point. Moreover, because his body was so chock full of yin qi, Mu Yao’s father specially adopted him.

Like all the other female leads in the world, Mu Yao had a protagonist’s halo. She had a unique constitution and her body was incomparably pure and holy. She was an exceptionally good cultivation vessel for monsters and demons. There were countless demons that coveted her. 2 [2] I’m not entirely sure how or why either, but in chinese lore, yin and yang supplement each other. So demons/ghosts/extraterrestrial/supernatural/metaphysical creatures all love to pluck ‘pure’ and rich energies.

The strange thing was although her body was filled with an immense amount of yin qi, on one hand they coveted her intensely, on the other they didn’t dare rashly approach her.

The family head of the Mu family, Mu Huaijiang and his wife Bai Jin adopted Mu Sheng with their own intentions in mind.

Although Mu Sheng and Mu Yao were not related by blood, his body was like no other. If he were to cultivate with his constitution, he could absolutely achieve explosive progress with just casual effort.

Since he had such an incredible constitution, the yin qi in his body reached a level capable of attracting ghosts and demons: Causing them to approach him. If a demon were to see the brother and sister together, after it considered for a while, nine out of ten times it would turn towards Mu Sheng and give up on Mu Yao.

Adopting this kind of child was truly great. He had extraordinary talents and at crucial moments, could also act as a human shield for his daughter. How could he not pick him up?

Ling Miaomiao coughed once while apprehensively glancing at him a few times: “Don’t you just have a lot of yin qi… that’s nothing.”

Mu Sheng raised his eyes towards her, “You’re not scared?”

“I’m… I’m scared.” She hesitated for a moment before pointing her finger at a wisp of smoke rising up from the ground, ‘You… you’re always bothered by evil creatures, do you get scared?”

She didn’t know that this appearance of hers was extremely like a stiff and nervous pedant.

He lightly laughed out loud. Ling Miaomiao looked at him in surprise to see laughter in his eyes.

…The black lotus’s sense of humor is strange.

“Why are you laughing?”

“Nothing.” Mu Sheng restrained his smile and stared back into her innocent-looking eyes. “I was thinking, are you tired Miss Ling? Should I send you back to your room?”

Ling Miaomiao immediately went on alert: “I’m not tired, I’m not tired in the slightest.”

After saying that, she left him a question in high-spirits: “Mu Sheng, if a demon comes when you’re sleeping to attack you, what do you do?”

He paused for a moment before replying: “That won’t happen.”

Won’t happen is it? He won’t be attacked or… he won’t sleep?

Miaomiao heard a rustling noise close to her and glanced at the bed to find that it looked a bit peculiar. It looked as if there was something under it wriggling about; the crimson tasseled bedsheet started to arc up like a bride’s veil.

Miaomiao had just been scared by a monster and acted just like a frightened little bird. Seeing this scene, the ends of her hair stood on end as she pointed over at the bed: “M-Mu-Mu…”

Before she could finish her words, a dark figure leaped out from under the bed with a ‘whoosh’. They stood up and started rushing for the door. She didn’t get a good look at who it was before Mu Sheng dragged her into the corner: “Ah?! Why is there a person in the room?”

He was taller than her by a head so it was easy for him to trap her between the wall and his body.

With her line of sight completely blocked her mind went blank for a few seconds. Immediately after, she reacted and started to struggle as she yelled: “Ji De! Stop right there!”

No matter how she struggled, she was firmly locked into the corner by Mu Sheng. His face was pale as he closely stuck onto her body. His eyes were filled with an innocent horror: “Miss Ling, that was terrifying…”

Terrifying? When we saw the zombie just now, you weren’t scared!

Ling Miaomiao cursed a few times mentally. She had been about to burst into a rage when she suddenly felt Mu Sheng’s lock loose a slight amount. She immediately dash through this little crack to force her way out. She pulled up her skirt and charged out the door like an arrow leaving the string. She shouted while running: “Hurry! Grab Mister Ji!”

The entire courtyard of people moved into action, tossing aside whatever they had been doing. They followed their young miss who seemed to be frantically running about without a care for her image.

Mu Sheng leaned on the door frame as he watched rabbit Miaomiao’s silhouette slowly shrink into a little dot. Comically, a long procession of people followed her from behind. His gaze deepened as the corner of his mouth lifted.

Ling Miaomiao chased him all the way outside the residence. Ah Yi had gone forward to surround the gate. He had already knocked down the grey temple haired Mister Ji. Ah Yi clamped Ji De’s hands behind his back. Seeing Miaomiao arrive all huffing and puffing for air, he said: “Young Miss…”

He seemed to want to say something but refrained. He then used his chin to point at the person on the ground.

Ji De’s face was ashen from defeat. His cheeks were even bleeding from scraping the ground. However, his eyes were bright enough to scare people. He continuously murmured to himself: “Mayor… account book…”

Ah Yi used his ash-colored sleeve to wipe off his sweat as he swallowed his saliva with a bit of trepidation: “I’ve broken his arm… but he didn’t have the slightest reaction at all…”

Miaomiao stooped down and asked: “Mister Ji?”

Ji De’s gaze moved onto her body: “Peh! The mayor is about to be overthrown. You’re going to be imprisoned very soon as well! Hahaha….” He suddenly started to laugh wildly and without end. A strange, perplexing expression suddenly emerged from his eyes, “Young Miss?”

The next moment, he started to smile strangely.

He was crying and laughing at the same time. He scared the surrounding servants into whispering amongst themselves and discussing animatedly.

In the din, Ling Miaomiao felt terrified as she took a few steps back. What did the black lotus do to him? How did he become like this?!

She was absolutely sure now, the original book’s Ji De didn’t betray the mayor of his own accord. The seizing of the mayor’s residence that Ling Yu experienced had been mostly the work of Mu Sheng.

The black lotus’s viciousness was terrifying. He would kill anyone who dared to offend Mu Yao. He had no morals or bottom line at all. He didn’t even deign to leave any leeway for others.

She felt a wave of terror overflowing her heart: Mu Sheng must’ve figured out the trouble she caused! If she hadn’t run so quickly, the entire mayor’s residence may have already been placed into a sinking ship!

”Men, come lock him in the firewood shed!”

Mu Sheng slowly ambled his way back to his room. On the way back, he conveniently grabbed onto a servant running past him on the connecting corridor: “Has Mister Ji been found?”

The person he stopped was only a half-grown child, his voice still squeaky. He looked at the beautiful-like-a-flower youth before them with a hint of shyness in their eyes. Grabbing at his messy hair, he replied: “Yes! They captured him. Young Miss is locking him in the firewood shed.”

”Oh, thank you little brother.” Mu Sheng gave him a slight nod, turned around and left without waiting for his reaction. He walked through the long corridor looking pensive. A hot breeze blew past him, blowing his flowing cloud-like sleeves and hair into a dance.

Well, since things have worked out like this, we’ve both reached agreeable ends.

“Ah Sheng!” Mu Yao extended her head out of the window. There was a rare smile full of joy on her face.

“Sis?” Mu Sheng’s dark expression suddenly turned bright as he walked to the window.

“Let’s pack up our stuff tonight.” Mu Yao was leaning down on the window as she casually informed him, “After three days, we’ll leave Taicang County.”

They were… going to leave just like that?

Suddenly receiving this piece of news, the scene of a rabbit-like, frantic figure charging out a door surfaced in his brain. He shut his eyes to dump the random correlated thoughts out of his head.

“Sis, where are we going?”

Mu Yao wore a simple white garment. Under the flashing sunlight, her hair looked like ink and her skin like white porcelain. When she made a little smile, the teardrop-shaped birthmark beneath her eye was particularly impelling. “Dowager Consort Zhao used the Mu family’s jade tablet to invite us. We’re going to Chang’an.”

Chang’an would definitely be bustling and lively.

Mu Sheng raised his head to see a piece of the azure sky through the dark green roof. A very old wind chime hung from the eaves as the wind moved it about.

Jiangnan in may was filled with the fragrance of osmanthus flowers. Stone slabs were cool in temperature. Hot places became furnaces. Shady places were moist and wet. Lush vegetation sprouted out and filled the corners. Rays of curving light spilled through the Lake Tai cavern. The daughter of a family walked past, beneath the corridor, wearing muslin akin to a fleeting sunset.

Under the wide sky; No matter where she went she would always regard it as home.


[1] Yin Constitution: A chinese ‘cultivation’ term that basically means his body is colder :). Yin is usually associated with 1: Females (which is why I guess Mu Sheng is so ‘beautiful’. 2: Evil. (Which is strangely synonymous with super attractive/beautiful in chinese) 3. Coldness (of temperature). There are a bunch of other deeper meanings but yea. This should be all you need to know.

[2] I’m not entirely sure how or why either, but in chinese lore, yin and yang supplement each other. So demons/ghosts/extraterrestrial/supernatural/metaphysical creatures all love to pluck ‘pure’ and rich energies.


Liltato's grandpa.
If you'd like, consider buying me kofi to fund my unhealthy obsession for fried chicken. Thanks! 😊

Buy Me a Coffee at