“Isn’t that good? “ Yan Zun seemed relieved. “One more expert to protect you, and you don’t need to worry about the Lifeblood Jewel being stolen. Besides, that Duke is not exactly weak.”
Gu Qingyu yelled in exasperation. “How is that good? You know how much more trouble I’ll be in?”
“What kind of trouble?” Miraculously, Yan Zun was not angry, he was more intrigued instead.
“What do I do if he finds out that I’m actually a woman and a cat demon?” Gu Qingyu crossed her arms in annoyance. “And he would definitely fight with Jia Qizhe! The key is what to do when they actually fight…”
Yan Zun tilted his head. “Then, how about I teach you a few more moves?”
“Sure!” Gu Qingyu would never pass up the opportunity to learn more moves. “Hurry up!”
Yan Zun seemed to be in a teasing mood, he sat up. “Come, call me Master first.”
“Huh?” Gu Qingyu cringed. “Master?”
“Yes, my good disciple.” Yan Zun nodded in satisfaction.
What was that? Did I call him Master? Oh, I think I did...Wait! When did I recognize him as my Master? Argh, fine! For the sake of those moves, I will agree to it for now! Beggars can’t be choosers after all!
“Master, “ Gu Qingyu said reluctantly. “Please teach me!”
“Hm.. very good,” Yan Zun nodded in satisfaction. “I shall teach you some powerful moves then.”
Soon, it was morning.
“Xiao Yu? Wake up, Xiao Yu!” Xiao Qi shook Gu Qingyu awake. “The sun will scorch your butt!”
“The sun wouldn’t come inside. Don’t try to bluff me, our room is faced away from the sun.” Gu Qingyu rolled over and went back to sleep.
“Xiao Yu…” Xiao Qi was speechless, how did she know that so well? “Please wake up…” She suddenly changed her tone, leaned close to Gu Qingyu’s ear and said quietly. “Jia Qizhe and the rest are already having breakfast!”
“What?!” Gu Qingyu jumped up. “Breakfast? Dammit, and they didn’t call for me?”
Xiao Qi just watched all of this quietly.
Gu Qingyu got dressed and kicked open her door without a second word. She ran down the stairs and saw a group of people chatting happily. That got her even angrier. “All of you!”
“What about us?” Qi Yichen looked strangely at her. “Brother Zhu, did you forget your medicine?”
“Let me give you some.” Mo Bai took over the conversation.
Jia Qizhe rolled his eyes. “What hysterics in the morning, we’re all waiting for you to eat.”
Waiting for me to eat?
“You guys haven't started?” Gu Qingyu sat down in surprise. Murong Zuoyu gave a rare silent nod.
“Ah, since you all want it this way, then I will happily accept your kindness!’ Gu Qingyu took up her chopsticks without hesitation. “Come, come, come, let’s eat.”
Xiao Qi held her laughter as she slowly walked down the stairs and took her seat.
“What did you say to her?” Qi Yichen asked curiously.
Xiao Qi shook her head helplessly. “You guys were eating already. Usually, nothing would wake her up, but she immediately jumped up when I said that.”
All four of them were speechless, while Gu Qingyu stuffed more and more food in her mouth. “What? You guys aren’t eating? Aren’t you hungry?”
“Actually, we’ve eaten.” Qi Yichen clearly was holding back a laugh.
“What?!” Gu Qingyu exclaimed. “That’s so mean!”
“Haha, we’re just messing with you. Let’s eat!” Qi Yichen chuckled.
“How could you do this!”
They soon finished breakfast, Gu Qingyu then said solemnly. “Our journey will not be easy, it is full of danger and treachery. Murong Zuoyu, are you sure you want to follow us?”
Murong Zuoyu nodded with conviction.
Gu Qingyu sighed in defeat. “Oh well, one more mouth to feed…” She stopped herself. Feed? Oh my, what was I saying! Do I need to pay for the Duke and possibly, the future Emperor?
“Alright, as you wish.” Gu Qingyu shrugged nonchalantly. “Just saying, don’t look for us if you find trouble on the road.”
“Sure.” He nodded.
Gu Qingyu stood up. “Okay! Then let’s mosey!”
“Where are we going?” Qi Yichen asked curiously.
“Xieli Castle.” Gu Qingyu seemed very serious. “Yesterday, the Lifeblood Jewel told me to get an herb named ‘Blood Crystal’ from the Blood Crystal Castle.”
“Blood Crystal?” Mo Bai’s eyes gleamed. “I’ve heard of that herb. It is very strong and thrives in solitary environments. It’s said to grow on the peak of Xieli Castle and it’s guarded by the Lord of the castle”
“The Lord of Xieli Castle?” Gu Qingyu smacked her forehead. “Oh dear, that’s more trouble, and it sounds like it’s gonna be a huge pain in the neck!”
“Indeed, the Lord of Xieli Castle rarely shows himself in the world of martial arts, he is a mysterious being.” But, Murong Zuoyu frowned slightly. “The Blood Crystal Herb is rumoured to be extremely toxic, what does the Lifeblood Jewel want it for?”
Gu Qingyu honestly shook her head. “I don’t know, he didn’t say.” “He?” Jia Qizhe seemed alarmed. “Who is this ‘he’? ”
“Um…” Whoops! I slipped up! Gu Qingyu laughed it off. “He is...my heart.” Gu Qingyu said earnestly. “This is the conclusion that my heart and the Lifeblood Jewel reached!”
Jia Qizhe eyed her with skepticism.
Gu Qingyu turned her gaze to the floor. “ Please don’t look at me like that.”
“Alright, let’s just go with what you’re saying.” Jia Qizhe cleaned his sword.
“We need to head to the marketplace first and prepare. I will split you all up, every group has their own shopping list.” He paused. “We’ll decide the grouping by drawing lots.” He waved his hand in the air and several blue straws floated in the air.
Then, all of them turned towards Gu Qingyu.
“Um...I’ll draw first?” Gu Qingyu stepped forward, knowing full well, and drew the leftmost straw. The most risky one tends to be the safest one.
When the straw touched her hand, it turned into a picture. The rest then drew their straws one after another.
“Who’s with me?” Gu Qingyu looked left and right eagerly, trying to catch the slightest glimpse of everyone else’s straws. Frankly, if she had a choice, she would group with Mo Bai or Xiao Qi, as they treat her best.
Jia Qizhe looked at the others, then turned towards Gu Qingyu with a blank expression. “Me.”
“I…” Gu Qingyu felt like crying. “Can we not…”
“No.” Jia Qizhe declined cleanly.
Zero Hesitation!...I think my heart just broke…
Gu Qingyu nodded stiffly, then she looked at Xiao Qi with glassy eyes.
“I seem to be grouped with Mister Qi.” Xiao Qi looked at Gu Qingyu and blinked a few times, meaning she got it worse.
Gu Qingyu instantly felt happier. That also means Mo Bai and Murong Zuoyu were grouped together. That was pretty safe too.
“Then what are we buying?” Gu Qingyu looked at Jia Qizhe. “Hurry up and distribute the shopping lists.”
“Sure.” Jia Qizhe seemed expressionless, “Mo Bai’s group, you will buy the bags, our current bags are getting old, we’ll need to replace them. Also, Mo Bai, get some useful herbs. ”
Mo Bai nodded.
Jia Qizhe continued. “Xiao Qi, you and Qi Yichen will get the food. ”
“Food?” Gu Qingyu immediately protested. “Why did you get Qi Yichen to buy that? Can’t I go?”
“No,” Jia Qizhe’s face said ‘No objections’. “We’re getting some supplies.”
“Then can we swap?” Gu Qingyu looked hopeful.
“...” Gu Qingyu quietly walked to Qi Yichen’s side. “Qi Yichen.”
“Huh? What does Brother Zhu need?” Qi Yichen was still interested in what Gu Qingyu had to say, even though he could predict it.
“Qi Yi...Ah no, Brother Qi!” Gu Qingyu said with sickening sweetness. “Can you help to bring some more food? Anything would do! Just some roasted chestnuts and candied apples…” She rambled on, listing more and more things.
Finally, Qi Yichen seemed to have heard everything and nodded. “Sure, don’t worry, Brother Zhu!” Gu Qingyu instantly relaxed after hearing his words. Why did she not ask Xiao Qi instead? Because Qi Yichen was probably more reliable than Xiao Qi. She’s more careless and could forget her requests.
“Then, let’s go.” Mo Bai stood up and waved his sleeve. He was still dressed in white robes, with his black hair fanning out, he seemed especially handsome and gentle. Sometimes, Gu Qingyu felt Mo Bai was more suited to be a scholar.
“Ok.” Jia Qizhe nodded, sheathed his sword and walked out.
“Everyone, see you all in the afternoon.” Qi Yichen waved.
“Yeap!” Gu Qingyu looked at Mo Bai. “Ciao!”
“Ciao?” Mo Bai’s eyes seemed to question something.
“Um...this is how we say ‘Goodbye’ back home!” Gu Qingyu was stunned for a moment, then explained with a smile.
“Oh,” Mo Bai smiled back. “Ciao.”
“Wow, you learn fast!” Gu Qingyu turned back. “Huh? Where did this Jia Qizhe go again? Hey! Wait for me!”
They strolled through the streets. Sounds of peddlers and bargaining filled the air.
“Jia Qizhe, Jia Qizhe, I want to buy that!” Gu Qingyu’s eyes gleamed at a bracelet. “Can I buy it, please?”
“Why would you need that?” Jia Qizhe crossed his arms in a relaxed stance. “Brother. Zhu.”
“Hey, you’ve ruined such a nice name.” Gu Qingyu pursed her lips. “I’m still really a girl, ok?”
Jia Qizhe seemed unconcerned. “But you’re a guy now.”
“Yeah.” Gu Qingyu watched the bracelet longingly as they walked further and further away from the stall. “No, don’t go!”
“How strange.” Jia Qizhe sighed. “Why do you girls like these things?”
“It attracts attention! It looks good!” Gu Qingyu said as a matter-of-fact.
Jia Qizhe looked even weirder. “It is easy to attract attention. Just roll in the mud for a bit, everyone would be staring at you. After that, it is even easier to look good, you just wash the mud off your face.”
“...” Gu Qingyu looked sad. Why do I know this guy! “Whatever, I don’t know anyone like you, goodbye!”
As she was about to leave, Gu Qingyu saw Jia Qizhe pick up something. “Hey, shopkeeper. How much is this?”Previous Chapter Next Chapter