Chapter 23 ~~ Juedai Shuangjiao/ Legendary Siblings / Handsome Siblings / The Proud Twins

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(Wubbles takes over from here and the chapter naming convention changes)

In his anger, this stroke contained the strength of years of training, and was truly as fast as lightning, as powerful as thunder; everyone was stunned.

The young girl was, after all, still inexperienced and, faced with such a stroke, did not dare to counter his blade. She repeated the [jaded flower stealth substitution?], and avoided him.

But now the Emei disciples drew their swords and attacked. The girls could not hope to escape.

Tie Xinlan suddenly released Xiao Yu’er’s hand, and said, “Stay here and don’t move. I …”

Xiao Yu’er stared at her and asked, “What are you going to do?”

Tie Xinlan said, “When I was lost in the wilderness, fortunately they took care of me. When you were in danger, again they intervened. Now that they are being attacked, I cannot stand by and do nothing.”

Xiao Yu’er laughed, saying, “Well, if people of the Floral Palace are in danger, do they really need other people to save them?”

He had hardly finished speaking, when behind him a voice declared: “Well spoken!”

The sound of the voice was loud and clear, but died away quickly; as soon as the voice registered in their ears, someone stepped out from Xiao Yu’er’s side. In the firelight, Xiao Yu’er could not see if the person was male, female, or even what they looked like. Even the colour of the speaker’s clothes was not clearly discernible.

In his life, Xiao Yu’er had never seen someone move so rapidly, nor could he have imagined such a lightning attack. A silhouette flashed by him, into the light cast by the swordplay.

It happened in a split second- clashing swords ringing in his ears, then a dozen blades landed on the ground as one. Although none among the onlookers could see clearly how the swords had been wrenched free, the Emei disciples themselves had felt a sudden irresistible force on their weapons. Each person’s sword, still in his grip, clashed against the clenched sword of a fellow disciple. Each person in each pair felt a terrifying strength from the opposing sword. Their wrists went numb, and the blades fell from their shocked hands. The disciples cried out in alarm as they stumbled backwards. They held their injured arms, their thoughts wild and confused, as if in a waking nightmare(?).

Although his hand still gripped his weapon, Reverend Shenxi had also been caught off guard and retreated a pace. He swept his gaze in all directions, but no one was there except for the two girls in white. And though all was visible by the firelight, and no one moved, still, the dozen blades lay, horrifyingly, on the ground.

Reverend Shenxi stopped short and gritted his teeth. He finally raised his eyes heavenward and sighed. “It’s over.” With a flick of his wrist, he slashed his sword across his own neck. Under the amazing power of this mysterious attacker, the reputation of the Emei sect was now ruined. The only thing left to do was to end his own life.

At that moment a hand snaked out from behind him to gently grasp his arm. Another hand reached around to lightly seize his weapon.

Reverend Shenxi always carried this sword with him. It had accompanied him through countless trials and dangers and never left his side. Now to find it so easily taken from him, was something he would never have dreamed of.

Reverend Shenxi was startled at this, and angry. A youth clothed in white, slowly came out from behind him and stepped forward. He held the Reverend’s sword in both hands. His demeanor was respectful; he smiled and said, “May the Reverend forgive my discourtesy. Had your esteemed sect not attempted to use force on women, I would never have dared to intervene.”

Under the torchlight, you could see that the youth was no more than 13 or 14 years of age. Yet his abilities clearly surpassed even the dreams of the various assembled experts in martial arts. He was only clothed in a plain white robe, but his air of nobility could not be matched by most men clad in brocade.

Until this moment, he had only spoken a few sentences, yet his charisma and charm were apparent. Even the Snow Sabre Liu Ruyu, whose eyes had appraised many men, felt her heart racing. Seventh Master Qiu Qingpo, who had been much admired and sought after in his younger days, felt a twinge of inadequacy, having met this young man.

Without being aware of it, everyone had fallen silent just staring at him.

Although Reverend Shenxi was furious, somehow he seemed to be intimidated by this person’s demeanour, and he found himself returning the young man’s salute. He asked, “Would you be from the Floral Palace?”

The white-robed youth replied, “My name is Hua Wuque, I am indeed from the Floral Palace. It has been many years since my people have roamed abroad, and thus we are unfamiliar with some of the formal courtesies. We beg forgiveness for any offence we may have given.”

His words were humble and polite, and yet somehow the situation resembled that of a master gently extending a courtesy to his servant. Although the master was being sincere, the servant would still feel uneasy. Some people are naturally born to be proud and noble. Although such a man would try to put the pride behind him and feel that it is wrong to be proud, others would see it and feel that he should be as he should be.

The smile on his face was peaceful and warm, yet the others still felt somehow that he was above them. Although his actions were courteous and friendly, they still found it hard to accept.

Reverend Shenxi, Buddhist monk Huangji, Wang Yizhua, Qiu Qingpo, Sun Tiannan, Feng Tianyu, Zhao Quanhai and the others were all leaders of their respective sects. But for some reason, in front of this youth, none of them could find any proper response to give.

Helu rolled her eyes and couldn’t help laughing. She said in a loud voice: “Now that my master is here, I take it we may view the contents of the coffins?”

Reverend Shenxi’s expression darkened. Before he could say a word, Hua Wuque said slowly: “The matter of the treasure will (?)… I just hope that no-one is deceived by the evil intentions of others. From now on we will never mention this day’s events again.”

The Buddhist monk Huangji murmured, “Amitaba, the young master is gracious.”

Wang Yizhua said loudly: “Whoever wanted to continue fighting would wind up being the laughingstock of everyone. Only a fool would be that stupid.”

Qiu Qingpo, Sun Tiannan and the others said in unison: “Young master, you have spoken wisely. We will take our leave now.”

Reverend Shenxi said: “Thank you young master!” What should have resulted in a bloodbath, this Hua Wuque had, with merely a few words, brought to a peaceful resolution.

Throughout all this, Liu Ruyu’s eyes had never left his face. As Tie Xinlan watched him, the corners of her mouth lifted unconsciously in a smile of admiration.

With a “hmph”, Xiao Yu’er abruptly turned and ran towards the entrance of the cave. Tie Xinlan was startled, paused briefly, then eventually ran outside and followed him.

Xiao Yu’er heard Zhao Quanhai call out to him from behind: “Hero Yu, Hero Yu…” [[ I think earlier Xiao Yu’er had told Zhao Quanhai that his name was Yu Wangzi…the long nick name starting with…Saint of 10 000 serpents etc.]]

Helu also called out: “Hey, young lady, where did you go?”

Reverend Shenxi called to him: “Young man, please stay behind and have some tea with me.”

Xiao Yu’er could not understand what they were shouting, and even if he did, he would not turn back. He ran straight outside of the cave.

Outside, there was a thin fog, yet the bright moon in the sky lit the ground; the evening was beautiful.

Xiao Yu’er had no eyes for any of this; he only stared straight ahead and kept running. After a while, he stopped, found a big stone and sat down.

Tie Xinlan took a deep breath, and said, “Who knew that the treasure hunting would turn out like this, I could never have guessed.” Xiao Yu’er said, “As if you could ever guess anything.”

Tie Xinlan was startled. She lowered her head and said quietly, “For this worthless treasure I have endured so many dangers and nearly lost my life. This is really not worth it.”

Xiao Yu’er said, “You’ll live.” (?)

Tie Xinlan bit her lips, her head even lower, and said, “At the Murong Manor, I know it was only because you were in a lot of danger, that’s why you left me behind. I don’t blame you, but you…”

Xiao Yu’er cut in: “And so what if you did blame me?”

Tie Xinlan suddenly raised her head in surprise: “You…you…why are you saying such things…”

Xiao Yu’er said, “I’ve always talked like this. If you don’t like it, then don’t listen…hmph, someone else’s words are much nicer, why don’t you go and listen to him?”

Tie Xinlan’s eyes were now red. After a brief silence, she mustered up a smile and asked, “When did you arrive at Mount Emei?”

“Hmph!” was the only response.

Tie Xinlan coaxed gently, “How did you get so many snakes on your body?”

Xiao Yu’er ignored her again.

Tie Xinlan stamped her foot, then also sat down. The two of them sat back to back and ignored each other. No one moved and no one spoke.

After a short while, Xiao Yu’er couldn’t stand it any more. He spat loudly and said: “Ha, that little rascal(?) really has an arrogant air(?) about him!”

Tie Xinlan didn’t respond, as if she hadn’t heard him at all.

Xiao Yu’er kept quiet for a bit but then couldn’t restrain himself. He nudged her with his back and said, “Hey, are you deaf? Didn’t you hear what I said?”

Tie Xinlan replied: “How could a deaf person hear someone talking?”

Xiao Yu’er was confused: “But…you answered me; you clearly heard what I just said. If you couldn’t hear someone talking, then how did you hear me…that means you aren’t…deaf…” His words became muddled, he couldn’t stop himself and laughed out loud.

Tie Xinlan had already been giggling secretly; at this point she let out a big “ha ha” and started laughing even harder.

In the midst of their laughter, the two of them unconsciously wound up sitting side by side. Neither could tell; was it Tie Xinlan who came closer first, or was it Xiao Yu’er who moved over?

After laughing some more, Xiao Yu’er abruptly said again: “That rascal really is too proud(?)!”

Tie Xinlan said softly, “Actually he’s not the proud one, it’s just the reactions of people around him that make him seem so.”

Xiao Yu’er sneered: “Of course he’s proud, look at him-what an actor. Others think he’s so humble and courteous, but he actually- Hmph, what dog crap!”

Tie Xinlan laughed: “One could say that the Floral palace is one of the meccas of wulin. Since he is the only descendant of the Floral Palace, if he is proud, that is only natural.”

Xiao Yu’er merely said: “Hmph.” “Hmph hmph…..hmph. Hmph.”

Tie Xinlan smiled charmingly and lightly touched his hand. She saw the snakes on his wrist and quickly drew back. Winking at Xiao Yu’er, she said, “Did you notice, his eyes, they really look like yours, they’re practically identical. A stranger would have thought you were brothers.”

Xiao Yu’er retorted: “If I was born looking like that sissy(?), I’d rather die.”

Tie Xinlan held back her laughter and stared at his eyes, without a word.

Xiao Yu’er cocked his head to one side, and laughed coldly: “The funny thing is, someone actually likes this pretentious, sissy man.”

Tie Xinlan said, “I…who likes him?”

“You.”

Tie Xinlan broke into stunned laughter: “I, like him? You’re crazy!”

Xiao Yu’er said, “If you didn’t like him, why would you stare at him with those bright eyes of yours? If you didn’t like him, why would you hang on his every word?”

Tie Xinlan’s face was flushed with anger; she gritted her teeth and said, “Fine. So what if I like him? It’s none of your business, we’re neither friends nor family, remember?”

She stamped her foot and turned her back on him again.

Xiao Yu’er sat down on the ground, and mumbled, “Pretentious, overacting like an old man(?), that’s the most annoying type.”

Tie Xinlan said without turning around: “Didn’t you just call him a sissy? Now he’s like an old man?”

Xiao Yu’er said, “I…I meant to say he’s like…an old sissy.”

Tie Xinlan suddenly burst out laughing.

Xiao Yu’er raised his eyes questioningly: “Why are you laughing?”

Tie Xinlan slowly and clearly pronounced each word: “You are jealous.”

Xiao Yu’er jumped up and cried out: “I, am jealous?…..What a joke….give me a break…”

Suddenly he sat back down and sighed, “That’s right. I do seem to be getting a little jealous…”

Tie Xinlan smiled sweetly and was about to snuggle into his arms, but suddenly jumped up and screamed: “Snakes….why don’t you get rid of these poisonous snakes?”

Xiao Yu’er said sadly, “If only I could.”

Tie Xinlan exclaimed in surprise: “Even you can’t get rid of them yourself?”

Xiao Yu’er sighed: “Now that the Azure Serpent Lord is dead, I’m not sure that anyone can get rid of them. They’ll bite whoever touches them.”

Tie Xinlan said anxiously, “Then…then what are we going to do? You can’t carry them around for the rest of your life.”

Xiao Yu’er said nothing for a while, discouraged. Then suddenly he made a face, smiled and said, “It’s not so bad. With the snakes all over me, girls won’t dare to touch me.”

Tie Xinlan stamped her foot and shouted: “I’m being serious, and you’re still joking around.”

She turned her back in a huff, but then turned around instantly, smiling: “I have an idea.”

Xiao Yu’er asked happily, “What idea?”

Tie Xinlan said, “Starve them to death. Once they’re dead, they’ll fall off.”

Xiao Yu’er appeared to think it over, then nodded his head: “Not bad, not bad. That is a pretty good idea.”

Tie Xinlan said, “Thank you, thank you.”

Xiao Yu’er winked at her: “Only you forgot one thing.”

“What?”

Xiao Yu’er said, “Although these snakes are hairless, it doesn’t mean they’re monks.”

Tie Xinlan was confused: “What is that supposed to mean?”

Xiao Yu’er said, holding back his laughter: “If they’re not monks, they eat meat…”

Tie Xinlan was still confused, then suddenly she jumped up and cried out: “They….if they really get hungry, they’ll eat your flesh and drink your blood.”

Xiao Yu’er sighed: “You really are a brainchild. You didn’t get it till now.”

Tie Xinlan was so worried that she wanted to weep. She stamped her foot and said: “So what do we do? What do we do? The only way is…the only way…”

As for what “the only way” was, she couldn’t say. She was so anxious, she was turning in circles. By about the seventh or eighth circle, she heard voices approaching.

Someone said, “How did that girl disappear so suddenly. That is really strange.”

Someone else chimed in coldly: “She can escape today, but can she escape tomorrow?”

As soon as they heard these two voices, Xiao Yu’er and Tie Xinlan’s expressions changed.

Tie Xinlan whispered, “Zhang Qing!” Xiao Yu’er said: “And Murong Jiumei!”

Tie Xinlan said, “Let’s escape.”

It was only at this point that they noticed they were at a dead end. They were surrounded on three sides by mountain slopes(?), and the only way out was the direction from which Zhang Qing and Murong Jiumei had come.

Tie Xinlan’s feet and hands were icy cold. She said, “This…this…”

Xiao Yu’er said, “Let’s just hide for a bit and see.”

They had just settled in their hiding places when the two girls arrived.

Zhang Qing said, “Mount Emei is a really strange place. Aside from the caves where monkeys live, the only shelter we’ve found is this place.”

Murong Jiumei said, “There’s no point in searching the entire mountain randomly. Why don’t we rest here tonight and start again tomorrow.”

Zhang Qing had sat down already, on the exact same stone that Xiao Yu’er had previously occupied. The two of them relaxed and closed their eyes.

Xiao Yu’er and Tie Xinlan suffered in silence; at this rate, who knew how long they would have to wait before being able to escape?

After a while, Zhang Qing opened her eyes and asked, “Are you cold?”

Murong Jiumei said mockingly, “You are quite the spoiled princess. Even if we were in an icy snowstorm I wouldn’t complain of cold.”

Zhang Qing shrugged, and closed her eyes again.

Xiao Yu’er thought inwardly: “Of course you’re not cold. Consider the type of martial arts you’re practicing. Even if you were naked as a dog’s butt and sleeping on ice, you wouldn’t mind. Other people however, haven’t practiced such witchcraft.”

After another pause, Zhang Qing suddenly stood up and said, “You’re not cold, good for you. But I can’t take it.”

Murong Jiumei replied, “Even if you can’t handle it, you must still endure.”

Zhang Qing smiled and said: “Please Jiu Guniang, come with me to find firewood.”

Murong Jiumei stood up slowly. They glanced in all directions, but finally decided, of all places, to approach the spot where Xiao Yu’er and Tie Xinlan were hiding.

Xiao Yu’er thought to himself: “Why did I have to pick this spot of all places? And why did this spot have to have firewood, of all places! This is really the worst luck.” Who could have guessed that they would choose to hide behind some dried rattan wood (?). And this type of wood just happened to be the best type to start a fire. Coincidence upon coincidence, this was not Xiao Yu’er’s lucky day.

Tie Xinlan’s palms were already drenched in cold sweat. Her body began to tremble.

Zhang Qing and Murong Jiumei came closer. The closer they got, the more Tie Xinlan shook. The firewood began to shake from her trembling.

Zhang Qing suddenly stopped moving and said, “Listen, what’s making that noise?”

Murong Jiumei said coldly, “Don’t worry, there are no ghosts here.” Xiao Yu’er, suddenly inspired, messed up his hair, and secretly laughed to himself, who knows what he was laughing at?

Tie Xinlan, seeing him laughing at a time like this, was both furious and frightened.

Zhang Qing approached a little further, mumbling, “Even if there were no ghosts, even snakes would be enough to scare me out of my wits.”

Murong Jiumei said coldly, “I’m here, there’s nothing to worry about.”

Before her words were finished, a monster suddenly sprung out from the darkness.

Zhang Qing jumped and screamed, cold sweat pouring down.

Murong Jiumei calmly said, “Who’s playing at monsters and ghosts?”

The monster shrieked: “Murong Jiumei… Murong Jiumei, you made me die a horrible death. Murong Jiumei…I want you to pay with your life!”

End of Chapter 23

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