Chapter 8 – The Azure Serpent Lord – Juedai Shuangjiao/ Legendary Siblings / Handsome Siblings / The Proud Twins

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Chapter 8 – The Azure Serpent Lord

They both rode the same horse; they were travelling intensively and were sweating heavily washing away their disguises.

The white horse was foaming at the mouth; Xiao Yu’er took a handkerchief to wipe away the foam. He patted him and said softly:”White Cabbage, I am very sorry. But we have no choice….”

Tie Xinlan looked at him and suddenly smiled:”Strange, you are nicer to the horse than to humans.”

Xiao Yu’er said:”That is because the horse is nicer to me than anyone else.”

Tie Xinlan sighed and said sadly:”Who is unkind to you? I…”

Xiao Yu’er said:”Are you kind to me? If I can’t walk, will you carry me on your back and walk several kilometres? When I am feeling down, can you keep quiet and let me be?”

Tie Xinlan was a bit taken by that and smiled wryly:”Why are your words also so be perplexing?”

Xiao Yu’er laughed:”That is why I am inferior to a horse too. If you’re really good to a horse, it won’t abandon you. And it won’t say things to make you uncomfortable.”

Tie Xinlan bit her lip and really wanted to bite Xiao Yu’er.

Up ahead was a small mountain village; they could only vaguely see houses. However, they could see the smoke emitting from the kitchen chimneys.

The greying green smoke blended in beautifully with the blue sky, it looked like a beautiful painting. No artist could paint should a wonderful scene.

Tie Xinlan smiled:”Look at the smoke….”

Xiao Yu’er interrupted:”It looks dirty, what is so nice about it?”

Tie Xinlan said:”Can’t you see the beauty of it?”

Xiao Yu’er said:”The only good I see in that some is that up ahead we can get something to eat.”

They were near the borders of Qinghai and Sichuan; there are more Han Chinese here.

They saw an old man standing outside a house, and smoke a pipe. He looked at the sky and muttered:”It looks like a sunny day today, I will put the cotton blankets in the sun.”

Xiao Yu’er dismounted and walked over, he smiled:”Old sir, can we have something to drink and to eat? My sister and me are quite hungry.”

The old man looked at him and Tie Xinlan for a while and laughed:”You’re very polite, young master. If you don’t find my house too dirty, please come in.”

Xiao Yu’er smiled and thanked him; he helped Tie Xinlan dismount and said quietly:”These peasant people can be quite friendly.”

Tie Xinlan smiled:”How can they not be after seeing a lovable and polite young boy like you.”

She blushed when she said this.

Xiao Yu’er laughed when he saw her reed cheeks:”Maybe, he saw that you are a pretty young girl. He may be old but he is not blind.”

Tie Xinlan smiled sweetly and put her hand on his shoulder and they entered the house of the old man.

The old man had cleaned the table and put two bowls and two pair of chopsticks, he smiled:”Please wait, I will see if my wife is done with cooking.”

When he entered, Tie Xinlan and Xiao Yu’er could smell the fragrant rice scent. Xiao Yu’er’s stomach rumbled and eagerly looked at the door of the kitchen. They just heard some clanging noises from the kitchen.

An old woman finally came out of the kitchen with two big bowls of coarse rice with some salted vegetables and meat in her hands.

She limped over the table and put the food down, she bended her waist and smiled:”Please eat first. Don’t be polite, don’t let the rice get cold.”

Xiao Yu’er laughed:”Alright, we will.”

He did not wait till the old woman left the room; he took a pair of chopsticks and was about to eat. Suddenly, he heard a clang sound, Tie Xinlan had just picked up a bowl of rice put it down again and said:”Very hot.”

Xiao Yu’er immediately used his chopsticks hit Tie Xinlan’s hand and she dropped her chopsticks. She looked at him surprised and asked:”Why did you do that?”

Xiao Yu’er did not speak; he emptied the bowls of rice on the table. The dry and coarse rice filled the table, but a small green snake was crawling through the rice.
Tie Xinlan exclaimed with fear:”Snake…..The 12 Zodiacs!”

Xiao Yu’er stormed into the kitchen, Tie Xinlan followed closely. They saw the old man lying on the ground, his face was all black. An old woman lied on the ground next to the furnace, her face had a green, black colour. But her hair was black; she did not look like the woman who brought the food.

The old woman with white hair was gone.

Tie Xinlan said in a trembling voice:”Utterly ruthless…..How very dangerous.”

Xiao Yu’er gritted his teeth and said bitterly:”These people are ten times more evil than I am. How can they just kill two poor elderly people like that!”

Tie Xinlan said:”I knew we could not escape.”

Xiao Yu’er took out an ingot of gold and threw it on the ground, he took up a piece of charcoal and wrote on the wall: [Bury these two properly, or else I will come back for your life.]

Suddenly the white horse neighed frantically; Xiao Yu’er stormed outside and saw a snake crawling up the shank. The tore off a piece of his robe and brushed off the snake and stamped it to death. He stroked the manes and said:”White Cabbage, don’t be afraid! Those evil people can’t harm you and can’t harm me either.”
She pulled Tie Xinlan up and rode off as soon as possible.

The white horse knew there was danger around and really galloped very hard, in a few moments they ran passed the mountain village.

Tie Xinlan was still trembling and muttered:”That was very dangerous, if we took half a bite we would be dead now.” Xiao Yu’er laughed:”But we are still alive.”

Tie Xinlan asked:”How did you find out?”

Xiao Yu’er said:”When you lifted the bowl you immediately put it down again, because it was hot. But that old woman held the bowls in her hands with no pain at all, she must have learnt some sort of poisonous sand palms or such.”

Tie Xinlan said:”Nothing can deceive your eyes.”

Up ahead was a carpet of green grass, but on further examination that carpet of grass could move, a hundred green small snakes.

Tie Xinlan shrieked, Xiao Yu’er directed the horse to head towards another path, this path was smaller and narrower, and it was a forest path.

Xiao Yu’er had never travelled through on such a clean and picturesque road before, he was a bit suspicious. Unexpectedly, a snake hung upside down from a tree, it was a big azure coloured snake and its’ body was as thick as the arm of Tie Xinlan. It hung in front of Tie Xinlan, the horse was startled and Tie Xinlan screamed.

Xiao Yu’er yelled:”Don’t be afraid! Catching snakes and hitting dogs are my specialties.”

He swiftly seized the snake’s head and threw it against a tree. That grasp and fling was both fast and beautifully, the snake was knocked out.

Tie Xinlan sighed with relief and said:”Luckily you’re not a woman. Most women are terrified of snakes.”

Xiao Yu’er said:”Give me your dagger.”

Tie Xinlan handed him the dagger and said:”Be careful! Don’t let the blood splatter on you.”

Xiao Yu’er grunted, Tie Xinlan saw that Xiao Yu’er was as white as paper. He used the dagger to cut himself in the arm.

Tie Xinlan exclaimed with shock:”What are you….”

She could finish her sentence, because it was like someone took the air out of her lungs, she saw black blood flowing out Xiao Yu’er’s wound.

Xiao Yu’er was very pale and shouted:”I am finally deceived once.”

He opened his palm and drops of black blood formed. Looking at the snake, it was still stiff and motionless. Near its’ head, the snake glimmered. Tie Xinlan exclaimed with shock:”The snake was already dead, that monster hid a bendable sword in the snake and when you grabbed the snake you were cut by that poisonous blade.

Xiao Yu’er smiled tragically:”You’re so clever, a true prodigy.”

Tie Xinlan said:”Fortunately, you discovered it on time. You’ve released the venomous blood from your body. Are you alright now?”

Xiao Yu’er said:”Fine, but after one hour I will be no more.”

Tie Xinlan trembled and fell down the horse, she said in a shaky voice:”You’re joking?”

Xiao Yu’er said:”There is no cure for the venom, if I didn’t cut myself to release the venomous blood I would be talking to the old man we met earlier now. But now I can still live for another hour.”

She ran into his arms and wept:”There must be a cure, you don’t know…”

Xiao Yu’er laughed:”I grew up with experts in using poison, if I don’t know, nobody knows.” Even now he was smiling and feeling proud.

Tie Xinlan said:”But you can make an antidote, right?”

Xiao Yu’er said:”Yes, I can.” Tie Xinlan was very happy and said loudly:”You were teasing me again.”

Xiao Yu’er slowly said:”It takes three months to make an antidote.” Tie Xinlan’s smile disappeared, she sat down and wept:”How can you joke at a time like this! Tell me, what can I do! Tell me!”

She sobbed bitterly:”I hate you! You’re not human, how can you make jokes at a time like this. Don’t you know how I will feel? I hate you!”

Xiao Yu’er ignored her; he took out the parchment and waved it in his hand, he shouted:”Stupid snake! Can you see? This is the treasure map, do you want it?”

He shouted the same words twice, and from a tree a cold, sharp and revolting voice coldly laughed.

That man sneered:”It will be mine sooner or later, there is no rush.”

The man wore azure brocade; he blended in with the leaves. He was skinny and tall and he curved his body to hide in the tree, it seemed that he did not have a bone in his body. Those beady little eyes of his stared at Xiao Yu’er, he really resembled a snake, a venomous snake.

Tie Xinlan looked up and felt numb, it was like a snake was crawling up her clothes. Xiao Yu’er laughed:”Is this map yours sooner or later?”

That Azure Serpent Lord laughed evilly:”If you present it to me now, I spare your life.”

Xiao Yu’er laughed:”Of course, I believe you.” Tie Xinlan screamed:”Hand it to him! We….we don’t need it anyway.”

The Azure Serpent Lord said:”The girl is smart.”

Xiao Yu’er laughed:”She is smart and I am stupid.”

He abruptly put the parchment in his mouth and began to chew on it.

The Azure Serpent Lord slithered down from the tree and lifted Xiao Yu’er from the horse, he angrily roared:”Spit it out!”

Xiao Yu’er allowed him to throw him down the horse and swallowed the parchment, he opened his mouth and laughed:”I can’t spit it out anymore.”

The Azure Serpent Lord roared:”You just sealed your fate!”

Xiao Yu’er grinned:”There is only one map in the world and I am the only one who knows the contents. If you kill me, you will never find the treasure.”

The Azure Serpent Lord was stunned and loosened his grip.

Xiao Yu’er said casually:”If I were you, I would present the antidote now. If I live I might be able to draw another copy of the map, a corpse cannot draw.”

The Azure Serpent Lord looked at him madly, suddenly a sinister smile appeared on that bony face of his. He smiled evilly:”Do you really think I will be threatened by you?”

Xiao Yu’er lifted his head and grinned:”Really.”

The Azure Serpent Lord said slowly:”The parchment is light but strong, it must be still in your stomach in one piece. I just have to cut you open and retrieve it.”

Xiao Yu’er kept his smile, but a chill ran through his heart. Tie Xinlan screamed:”You can’t do that! You can’t…” The Azure Serpent Lord laughed sinisterly:”Why can’t I? Just watch me.”

He drew a bendable sword from his girdle and shook it straightening it out.

Xiao Yu’er might be very intelligent but he could not think of plan of escape. Tie Xinlan struggled up to attack him, but she was still recovering from her illness. The Azure Serpent Lord raised his palm and struck her down in one go. He laughed evilly:”You might be specialized in hitting dogs and catching snakes, but cutting open people’s chests and stomachs are my specialities. Don’t worry, this stab won’t kill you yet.”

Xiao Yu’er was sweating and said with a smile”Thank you!”

The Azure Serpent Lord said:”Even if I have cut you open and retrieved the parchment, you will still be alive. I will let you die slowly and painfully.”

Xiao Yu’er laughed:”But you should be careful before you start. I ate the patriarch of snakes this morning and it still not digested. Do be careful that you won’t cut your own father.”

The Azure Serpent Lord angrily shouted:”You, little dog!”

When he was about to stab Xiao Yu’er, there was a sudden clang sound that pushed away his sword.

Xiao Yu’er had secretly picked up the dead snake with the sword; he used it to block the blade of the Azure Serpent Lord. He raised the sword and stabbed at the Azure Serpent Lord.

The Azure Serpent Lord gently avoided that attack, he laughed maliciously:”If you use force, the poison will only travel faster and you will only die quicker!” With that he counter-attacked and Xiao Yu’er blocked four of his stances but his arm was beginning to feel weak and could not lift his arm anymore.

Tie Xinlan had fainted, a chill went up Xiao Yu’er’s heart.

The Azure Serpent Lord laughed:”What other tricks do you still have?”

He pointed his sword at the chest of Xiao Yu’er and slowly moved the tip down to the abdomen. Xiao Yu’er chest was bleeding now and laughed arrogantly:”Being cut open is such a happy event! I am lucky that I can enjoy such treatment….”

While he was laughing, he could hear a series of clanging sounds; the sword of the Azure Serpent Lord was broken into four parts.

He made a somersault backwards and clutched to a tree, he shouted:”Who is there!”

A sweet and beautiful female voice said:”You should know who I am.” The voice sounded like Zhang Qing’s voice. Xiao Yu’er was happy that he was saved, but when he heard that voice his hope was gone again. There was not much difference whether he fell into the hands of the Azure Serpent Lord or Zhang Qing.

The face of the Azure Serpent Lord turned pale, he said:”Oh, it is you, Miss.”

The voice said:”Even if you don’t know who I am, you should know where this road leads to. How dare you to behave audaciously here!”

Xiao Yu’er almost could clap in his hands, he had hope again. Because it was not the Little Fairy, Zhang Qing. Her voice was very similar to Zhang Qing’s, but this voice talked much slower than her. A girl in a green dress holding a flower basket walked between the trees. She was very graceful and slender, it seemed that she could be blown away by the wind at any time. Her elegant eyebrows were knit and her eyes were filled with melancholy. She was not an absolute beauty, but she was very exquisite and you would immediately take a liking to her. Behind her was a young man with thick eyebrows, he looked quite tall and muscular. But he still looked very naïve, he respectfully followed her and he did not even dare to lift his head. The girl looked like a daughter of a wealthy prominent family, and the boy looked like the son of a family with stern upbringing.

The Azure Serpent Lord’s face changed when he saw those two young people, he lowered his head deeply and said with an enforced smile:”It is you, ninth Miss.”

The girl said casually:”Very good, you seem to remember me. But you seem to have forgotten whose property this is. How dare you cut people open here!”

She did not look callous, but her voice was cold and indifferent. It was not like she did not want to care, but she was just inattentive to everyone. Nobody is important or worthy of her attention.

Xiao Yu’er could not guess who this girl was, she looked like a princess but she is not. She is obviously a girl with a martial arts background. She should be filled with hope, happiness like most girls her age, but she seems to be tired of all worldly affairs.

The Azure Serpent Lord lowered his head even lower; he said with a trembling voice:”I thought I haven’t entered the restricted part yet….”

The girl said:”Now, you know.”

The Azure Serpent Lord said:”Now, I know.”

The girl said:”Now, you know. So you also know what to do?”

The Azure Serpent Lord smiled sadly:”Yes, I know.” He used his broken blade and slashed off his left hand. Even Xiao Yu’er was surprised by that action. This [ninth Miss] was very casual about it and just waved her hand saying:”Good, you can leave now.” With that the Azure Serpent Lord quickly left.

Suddenly Tie Xinlan shouted:”No, you can’t let him go! Don’t let him go!” She had woken up, and crawled up but soon fell down again.

The girl looked at her and said:”Why?”

Tie Xinlan pointed at Xiao Yu’er and said:”He is poisoned by him, only the Azure Serpent Lord has the antidote. If he doesn’t give the antidote, he won’t make it through the day.”

The girl said plainly:”Why should I care?” Tie Xinlan’s body shook and she fell again.

The young man smiled:”Ninth sister, let us help them.”

The girl said:”If you want to save them, go ahead. I won’t interfere.”

She turned around, and walked away without looking at anyone again. The young man looked at Tie Xinlan who was lying on the ground, he lowered his head and said:”I am sorry….” With that he quickly followed the girl.

Tie Xinlan shouted:”Miss, I beg of you….Miss….”

Xiao Yu’er blinked his eyes and suddenly laughed loudly:”Let’s go, no need to beg.”

Tie Xinlan said:”But you….”

Xiao Yu’er said loudly:”Life or death, it is all the same. Besides, she is too young, how can she help us. Stop pestering her, you will only make things difficult for her.”

He walked over and helped Tie Xinlan up, and they started to walk.

The girl said coldly:”Stop.”A smile formed at the corners of Xiao Yu’er mouth, but he just said loudly:”Why should we stop? If I die here, I will only tarnish your clean road.”

He continued to walk and did not turn around. All of a sudden he saw a flash and the girl was standing in front of him. She said coldly:”You won’t die! But don’t think I don’t know you’re provoking me. I am saving you, because I want you to know that the Murong sisters can do almost everything.”

Xiao Yu’er scoffed:”I never wanted your help! It is my own decision if I want to die or live happily, I don’t need your concern.”

The ninth Miss said indifferently:”I have decided to save you, you have nothing to say about your own fate now.”

Xiao Yu’er said:”This is your own decision, right? I have never begged for your help, even if you saved me I won’t thank you for it.”

The ninth Miss did not reply, she turned around and said:”Follow me.”

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