Chapter 9: Substitute Marriage(9)

In what kind of situation would a strong demon hunter need to use their own blood to draw a talisman?

One: A very severe situation. Two: Going all out to ensure the quality.

Even though Mu Sheng didn’t like Liu Fuyi, he still had to respect Liu Fuyi as an outstanding demon hunter. Before meeting Mu Yao, he was capable of coming and going to places as he pleased by himself. Other than his great luck in possessing the Nine Mysterious Demon Restraining Pagoda, his skills and abilities were also terrifyingly high. Amongst the demonic creatures he encountered, he was able to brutally slay the vast majority with just a single strike.

Mu Sheng raised his head. The west sideroom concealed behind the lush greenery was gloomy, wet and cold. It was a completely different scene.

“I didn’t think the talisman I drew on Yao’er’s door would…” Liu Fuyi had tried to explain things like this before, but before he had finished, Mu Sheng had interrupted him viciously, “You didn’t think? Were you waiting until my sister died before you started thinking?”

Story translated by Second Life Translations

At the time, Liu Fuyi’s face was pale and reticent for a while.

Liu Fuyi wasn’t a conceited person. He was extremely meticulous. If he had used his fresh blood to draw this talisman, then it wouldn’t be hard to explain why he would leave Mu Yao by herself in the room: Because it was nearly impossible for any demons to break through Liu Fuyi’s talisman drawn with his fresh blood.

Could a mere water mirror have such great abilities?

Mu Sheng’s gaze fell onto the ripped edge of the talisman paper. His cold fingers fondled the uneven edge. It didn’t look like a demon had shattered it, rather, it looked like a human had carefully ripped it apart.

Mu Sheng’s face was completely expressionless. His actions could be considered graceful even. But this was simply just the calm before the tempest.

At the same time, Ling Miaomiao was currently in her chambers trying out the new summer clothing.

The light crimson upper jacket was very thin and soft. Her glossy skin was barely discernible under it. While the maidservant was helping her tidy up her collar, her finger brushed past hers bare neck, causing her to laugh uncontrollably.

Miaomiao lowered her head to tie her belt when she suddenly felt uncomfortable as she squirmed her back. “Why did I feel like I was suddenly pricked?” The maidservant lifted her clothes and was shocked: “Ah! Your back is all red!”

She skillfully investigated the material and felt several hard, protruding lumps. She was rather unhappy as she grumbled: “What’s going on this year? They even managed to pick out a material with cotton lumps.”

If you are seeing this text, this chapter has been stolen from Second Life Translations.

“Young Miss, take it off. It’s no longer fit for wear.”

Ling Miaomiao was flabbergasted, “It’s just a few lumps, it doesn’t really matter.”

”Of course it matters.” The maidservant helped her gently take off the upper jacket then throw it to the side completely without care. Sighing, she said, “If it wasn’t for the Wan River flooding and sweeping away half of the cotton-spinner families, and the tributes being so rushed, then Young Miss would have never been offered material with cotton lumps.”

The Wan River encompassed the entirety of the south of Taicang County. It provided water for this fertile land. At the same time, it was the lifeline for shipments. Ling Miaomiao didn’t quite understand how such an important lifeline was flooded… and from the sounds of it, it had swept away some citizens too. Why did she not know of such a grave matter?

”You’re saying… our Taicang County was hit with a disaster?”

“Young Miss, you don’t need to worry about this, it’s nothing.” Her lips curved up, “The Wan River charges up the embankment every 3 or 4 years. In any case, it won’t affect us all the way here.”

A furtive and mature familiar expression appeared on her tender young face, “When has the palace not sent disaster relief silver? Every time, the silver…” She smiled and blinked a few times, “Young Miss would very quickly have pretty and new materials for clothes.”

Ling Miaomiao felt her heart leap up.

”Don’t say anymore.” She started brooding.

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The maidservant was shocked and an alarmed expression covered her face, “Young Miss?”

Taicang County took the relief silver, one half of it went to rebuilding the embankment and the other half quietly disappeared. Even a young 14 year old girl knew about all this so clearly. It must’ve been an open secret in the mayor’s residence.

The people of the residence would laugh as they guarded this secret. They passed their days confidently in peace and prosperity.

“Where’s father?”

“In… in the study talking to people from the palace.”

“I will go find him.”

“Young Miss.”

As soon as Miaomiao pushed open the door, Mu Sheng stood there.

Soft rays of light fell on his pitch-black hair. His tied up hair slowly drifting along with the wind.

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“Miss Ling?” He smiled at her with his dark pupils that were so dark one couldn’t see their depths.

“What do you want?” Ling Miaomiao passed by him, purposely keeping a distance with him.

Mu Sheng leisurely followed behind her. The Qilin totem embroidered onto his boots savagedly reflected the sun. A wide-shouldered, narrow-waisted shadow fell onto the bluestone path.

“Why do you have the time to come find me?” No matter how Ling Miaomiao looked at him, he looked like a demonic plague. Her fear and nervousness caused her to ceaselessly make random guesses and as such, she quickened her steps.

Mu Sheng easily kept up with her. He reached out with his hand to grab her from behind and then took her behind a giant Lake Tai rock.

The rays of light were cut off here. This corner was both wet and cramped, only a few strands of sunlight penetrated through the holes in the slick rock. He roughly let her go and when he released his grasp, a few strands of her hair fell to the ground.

Ling Miaomiao was in pain and nervous inside, “You… do you have anything to say to me?”

Mu Sheng smiled at her: “I haven’t seen Miss Ling in a few days, has your insomnia been cured?”

His smile could cause one’s hair to stand on end. What was obviously the face of a bright-eyed youth, had a hint of brewing emotions hidden deep within those bright eyes.

It was a cold, ruthless oppressiveness. Even under his pretense of a smile, a few wisps of frost still managed to drift out.

”Better… now.” Ling Miaomiao replied drily.

“Young Noble Liu’s scented sachet was very effective hmm?” He popped out each and every word in a very slow and gentle manner.

Ling Miaomiao couldn’t take it anymore: “Mu Sheng, you… did you lose your memory?”

He didn’t get angry but only raised his head: “Oh? Why would you say that?”

Ling Miaomiao really wanted to interrogate the system, does Mu Sheng’s intimacy points reset to zero everyday? She had already become good buddies with Mu Sheng, why did he suddenly become so eccentric?”

”Just ask whatever you want to ask… why are you being so mysterious?” Miaomiao was fidgeting around, before immediately growing more arrogant.

Mu Sheng taciturnly stared at his own palm, and didn’t reply for a few minutes. These few minutes felt like centuries for some who were as nervous as Ling Miaomiao was inside. She felt that Mu Sheng could suddenly erupt at any moment and kill her.

The truth was that she thought too much. He curled up the corner of his mouth with extreme restraint: “Miss Ling, you misunderstand. I was just worried about you.”

…This sort of obstinacy was the same as him bursting into a killing spree, it really caused one to lose one’s mind.

“Didn’t I say that you can just call me Miaomiao?”

“Miss Ling, you’re joking.” Mu Sheng’s eyes deep enough to have no end, completely different from the frustrated youth by the goboard that day. “Ziqi is only a guest. Guests must act like guests. How could he not speak with manners to the mayor’s young miss?”

Ling Miaomiao thought to herself: Looks like intimacy points with the black lotus really do get reset everyday.

However, he did say one thing right. The main leads all lived in a world full of monstrous and eerie exinstinces. Ling Yu lived a calm, monotonous life. From the start, they walked on two different paths. They should quickly go their separate paths, the further the better.

Ling Yu was a delicate young lady that couldn’t even bear with a single cotton lump. Why would she step onto that thrilling path of the main leads that did not belong to her?


That night in her nightmares, the wind was howling.

The mayor’s face was pale and empty. His meaty cheeks trembled as drops of cold sweat dripped down his temples: “Let father take a look at you again.”

The grief-filled cries of a girl filled the air: “Father…” She threw herself into her father’s arms. Her clothes had been soaked with warm sweat.

“Good child, good child. Go now.” His voice trembled.

Outside, cries of carnage were everywhere. Torches lit up the window in groups as they continuously flew past the windowsill.

“Master, It’s been done.”

The subordinate had his head lowered as he clenched his teeth to mutter out. Following along his line of sight, he saw a pair of feet in brand new sichuan embroidered shoes in the inner hall. The shoe bottoms were spotlessly clean as they stood there motionless.

“Ok.” The mayor raised his face, a trace of conviction flashing through his eyes. Using some strength, he pushed the paralyzed girl in his arms away. She fell into Liu Fuyi’s embrace with tears streaming down her face.

From outside, the faint sound of someone’s voice full of wild joy could be heard: “In the center hall! The lord is in the center hall! Hurry up and follow me!”

The girl shrunk into Fuyi’s embrace. At that moment, her face was full of terror.

“Hurry and go. Don’t look back.”

”They’re right here!” The entrance finally broke apart and a line of unending shadows charged into the room.

The houses covered in shadows suddenly burst into flames, the blaze squeezing out from the corners of the doors and windows. In the blink of an eye, it had grown into the power of a prairie fire.

Liu Fuyi carried the girl on his back into the distance. From the angle she had, that plane of fire slowly shrunk into a small dot, before finally disappearing from her line of sight.


“Miss Ling, you seem to be absent-minded.” Mu Sheng’s words woke Miaomiao. His expression was a little gloomy, “Do you still have something on your mind?”

“I… I still have urgent matters. I’ll come find and talk to Young Noble Mu once I’m done.” Ling Miaomiao was scared inside. She urgently wanted to go out into the sun.

”You said I lost my memory…” She heard Mu Sheng’s voice come from behind her, a freezing cold smile on his face. “Has anyone ever told you before, Miss Ling, that you’re also a two-faced person? Hmm?”

Miaomiao turned stunned, her leg that extended forward stopped moving. She acted as if he had stepped on her tail as she turned around: “What did I do now?”

Yet, Mu Sheng didn’t reply. He smilingly waved at her, hinting at her to leave. His smiling expression was bright and harmless, as if he had only just made a rather sly and harmless joke.

Miaomiao cursed the black lotus for a good while before lifting her skirt and walking away.

Her bare back was barely discernible through the maroon upper jacket; Its bright colors seemingly gathered all the sunlight while her white skirt was eye-piercingly bright. After passing by a lush patch of greenery, she disappeared from his line of sight.

Mu Sheng lowered his head; Two strands of her black hair laid on his palm.

He took out the fragmented pieces of the talisman paper from his sleeve. He then drew several strokes with his fingers onto his palm, and several nearly invisible streams of qi flowed towards the talisman fragments.

After waiting for a long time, a small piece of hair flew by itself over to him. The strand of hair fell as light as a feather onto his palm, perfectly landing atop the talisman paper.

Mu Sheng picked up this difficult to perceive strand of hair with his right hand. He put it up against the light to examine it. Rays of sunlight shone down on his lowered eyelashes, casting near indiscernible shadows onto his face.

The strand of hair was dried up and curled up slightly.

He extended his left hand. Ling Miaomiao’s glossy black hair in his hand had order and structure to them.

It wasn’t her who ripped it? A hint of bewilderment flashed through Mu Sheng’s face.

Half of the charm in his palm had already been consumed by flames. The remaining half still struggled to attract qi to itself, somehow attracting a sweet scent that mixed into the odor of the talisman paper.

Immediately after, the remaining half of the charm struggled for a moment before being consumed and turned into ash. He stood shellshocked for a moment before lowering his hand holding Ling Miaomiao’s hair. He then started to slowly draw her scent together.

He focused as he waited, somehow a trace of nervousness on his face.

The near undetectable scent Ling Miaomiao had left behind slowly gathered beside him. It gradually became more pure and intense with the smell of mugwort and daylilies being expelled. He could smell a strange, amorous scent but wasn’t able to smell a sweetness hidden deeper within.

So, was it her or not?

Immediately afterwards, a familiar scent suddenly came rolling over him— It was the dense scent of Liu Fuyi.

Mu Sheng’s face that had relaxed somewhat upon inhaling this new scent, once again grew dark as though clouds had shadowed his face.


TLN: Hmm.

Entropy

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