Chapter 40: Digging for Wild Vegetables

Yan Zun smiled, “Alright.” At that word, he stretched out his hand. He sliced open both of their hands and clasped their hands together, their boiling blood mixed and merged. 

Fire burned inside her, Gu Qingyu opened her eyes with a snap as she yelled. It was such a powerful yell that it cracked stones and shook the air. Like...a lion’s roar. Her roar stunned Jia Qizhe and Xie Zang. Gu Qingyu slowly regained control, her hair was spread out, her hairband fell and burnt to ash, her usual black hair had fiery red tips and her eyes turned dark red. She looked at Jia Qizhe, made sure he was not hurt, then she turned to the man fighting him. 

“Xie Zang? Is that really you?” Gu Qingyu was clearly taken aback.

“It is I.” Xie Zang laughed. “Kitten, your friend is powerful… But it looks like you’re not weak yourself.”

“Indeed.” Gu Qingyu laughed too, as she noticed the colour change in her hair. She felt the comfort spreading throughout her body, power flowed through her veins. 

“I just want to ask, you guys really need the Blood Spirit Gem?” Xie Zang blinked with his pretty eyes.

“Why? Do you have some reason to keep it?” Gu Qingyu seemed to have noticed something and asked.

Xie Zang flinched, his eyes filled with sadness, but it vanished quickly and turned into a smile. “If I told you, would you still want it?” 

Gu Qingyu was completely stunned. Honestly, she had not thought this far ahead.

‘If I told you, would you still want it?’ He said it in such a soft and personal tone. 


Seeing that she went silent, Xie Zang did not ask further. He just shrugged his shoulders, seemingly unconcerned. “You think too much, Kitten, I can give you the Blood Spirit Gem, but only on one condition.”  “What condition?” Gu Qingyu looked at Xie Zang.

“Let me follow you.” Xie Zang raised his head slightly,

Gu Qingyu said in a hollow voice. “You’re the Lord of Xieli Castle, you don’t have to worry about food or clothes, why waste your time and follow a nobody like me?”

“I like it that way.” Xie Zang said nonchalantly. 

Impressive! Badass! Unreasonable! Just like Xie Zang!

“Ahem, you need to think this through.” Gu Qingyu cleared her throat. “You can ask Jia Qizhe, he has been following me around all this while. He has to dig for wild vegetables, pick wild fruits for food and drink only the morning dew every day! And if I’m unhappy, I will beat him up like a slave!” 

Jia Qizhe’s eyes darkened, danger lurked in them, as he directed his gaze on Gu Qingyu.

Gu Qingyu felt a chill go down her neck. “Um… I said it the wrong way… I have to dig for wild vegetables, pick wild fruits for food and drink only the morning dew everyday! And if they’re unhappy, they will beat me up like a slave!”

Jia Qizhe narrowed his eyes and looked at Gu Qingyu with great displeasure. Gu Qingyu did not know what else to say and looked at Xie Zang. “Well, in other words, no good will come out of following me.” Then, Gu Qingyu realised a jewel appeared in her hand. The jewel was dark red, inside it was a petal of the Xieli flower. 

Yan Zun floated in the air as he stroked his chin. “Yeah, this is the real Spirit Gem.” The red tips in Gu Qingyu’s hair faded away and her eyes returned to their original colour.

Jia Qizhe did not pry and just smiled faintly. “Let’s go.”

“...Ok.” Gu Qingyu replied. 

Thank you, Jia Qizhe.


They followed Qi Wan’s markings and arrived at a quiet inn. Qi Wan stood up immediately upon seeing Gu Qingyu. “Boss, that’s fast? I thought you’re going to battle the demon lord for three days and nights! How was it, did you get the Spirit Gem?”

“Stop it.” Gu Qingyu rolled her eyes. “Is there something I cannot do?” 

Qi Yichen looked incredulously. “Brother Zhu, you got it?”

Gu Qingyu happily showed the Spirit Gem. “Look! Your daddy is so good!”

“Daddy, you’re so good!” Qi Wan chimed after her.

“Nice, sweet daughter.” Gu Qingyu grinned and kept the Spirit Gem.

Daddy? The others were puzzled. Even though they were not sure of the meaning, they have heard of ‘Dad’ before, it means the same as ‘Father’? Though, they had no trouble understanding ‘daughter’...

“Did the Lord of Xieli Castle state any conditions?” said Mo Ba with his gentle and soothing voice.

Gu Qingyu’s face darkened and replied with a huff. “He wants to join us in the search of the Spirit Gem! He should be waiting at the castle gate!”

Mo Bai nodded and silently took some herbs out, and began to walk towards the castle gate.

“If I’m not wrong, that’s poison.” The smart Qi Yichen spoke out. 

Gu Qingyu panicked. She ran over to Mo Bai and grabbed onto his sleeve with a vice-like grip. “Brother Mo, don’t be reckless, nothing good will end up behind recklessness!”

“Your brother is calm.” Mo Bai smiled and kept the poison slowly under Gu Qingyu’s watchful eyes. 

Murong Zuoyu looked at Gu Qingyu and spoke coldly, “Why is he following us?”

“How would I know!” Gu Qingyu threw her hands up in the air. “Now it’s great, we are already running short of money for food, perhaps we really have to dig for wild vegetables, pick wild fruits and drink the morning dew!”

At that, everyone thought. Did something happen without us knowing?


“But, boss…” Qi Wan looked at Gu Qingyu and passed her a ribbon. “Why is your hair down? It's so messy, like bed hair. Could it be... Brother Jia?” With those words, he did address some of the questions in people’s minds.

“Scram.” Gu Qingyu snatched the ribbon and tied her hair up. As she replied, a handful of Qi Wan’s hair fell to the ground. Jia Qizhe calmly sheathed his sword with a ‘click’. Qi Wan widened his eyes in fear and dared not to speak out of turn. Offending Mo Bai was risky, offending Jia Qizhe was life-threatening. 

Gu Qingyu tied up her hair and sighed in relief internally. Luckily, she did not use the ribbon Jia Qizhe gave her and instead kept it elsewhere, or it would have gone up in flames! 

On the other hand, Murong Zuoyu frowned. Why does Zhu Fan look like a girl when his hair is down? Nah,  I’m probably overthinking this.


The party made their way to the castle gates. Indeed, Xie Zang was there, he leaned against a large tree as he waited for them. 

“Kitten, you kept me waiting for a long time.” Xie Zang yawned, he looked more like a lazy cat than Gu Qingyu. 

“Kitten?” Qi Wan repeated, looked at Gu Qingyu then gave a mysterious smile. Jia Qizhe shot him a chilling glare and Qi Wan immediately covered his mouth. Qi Wan had something to say but he cannot say them!

“What’s our next stop? Qi Yichen asked.

Gu Qingyu closed her eyes, after a while, then gave the answer Yan Zun told her. “Beiying.”

“It's a prosperous country located in the northern part of the continent.” Gu Qingyu added.

“For some weird reason,” Xiao Qi tapped her forehead. “That place sounds very familiar… ” 

Familiar? 

“Xiao Qi, did you grow up there?” Qi Wan asked curiously.

“How could that be!” Xiao Qi’s brows furrowed, “I grew up next to my hubby since young! I am his child bride!”

...Damn your child bride story! 

Gu Qingyu felt her veins pop in her annoyance. She then turned towards Xiao Qi and asked calmly, “Xiao Qi, you’re sure you've never been to Beiying before?” 

“Hubby, you’re doubting Xiao Qi?” Xiao Qi asked indignantly. She bit her lower lips and her eyes welled up.

“Silly girl.” Gu Qingyu hugged Xiao Qi. “I would never doubt you.”

Xiao Qi had been with the original Gu Qingyu since young. Even though Gu Qingyu had replaced the original, she could feel how sweet Xiao Qi was to her. So if she had to suspect anyone, she would not suspect her.

Xiao Qi nodded and explained, “I have been at Xiao Fan’s side since I was a child. I did want to know my origins while growing up, but Madam kept hiding something…”

Hiding? 

“Then, let’s check it out in Beiying, maybe we can find out about Xiao Qi’s origins.” Qi Yichen shook his fan.

“Sure.” Gu Qingyu nodded in agreement, “But...where are we now?”

“We are near Dongxuan, the domain of Xieli Castle.” Murong Zuoyu replied.

“...So, we’re moving from the eastern end of the continent to the northern end?”

“Yes.” 


On the road.

“You pick up the mantle and I’ll take the horse!” Gu Qingyu sang.

“What song is that…” Xiao Qi asked weakly.

“This monk came from the Land of Tang in the East and went to the West to pay respects to the Buddha and collect the blessed sutras!” Gu Qingyu declared as she turned to Qi Wan, “Wukong!”

“Master!” Qi Wan replied.

Xiao Qi thought to herself. Why do these two keep switching roles?

Xie Zang finally spoke, “Kitten, didn’t you say you had a tough life?”

Tough life? Everyone looked towards Gu Qingyu.

“This…” Gu Qingyu scratched her head.

“Didn’t you drink only the morning dew every day?” Xie Zang asked curiously again.

“Um…” Gu Qingyu stuttered.

“Didn’t you dig for wild vegetables and pick wild fruits every day?” Xie Zang seemed even more curious.

“I…” Gu Qingyu wanted to run up and shut his mouth.

“Didn’t you say if these guys weren’t pleased, they would beat you up?” Xie Zang looked at the rest.

Everyone looked at Gu Qingyu. 

“Um, I have my own troubles!” Gu Qingyu sobbed.

“Brother Zhu, we never thought we made you suffer so much!” Qi Yichen sighed.

Gu Qingyu frantically waved her hands. “Nono, definitely not!”

“Brother Zhu, we let you drink the morning dew?” Murong Zuoyu raised his eyebrows.

“Absolutely not!” Gu Qingyu shook her head desperately.

“Brother Zhu, we made you dig for wild vegetables and fruits?” Qi Wan looked at Gu Qingyu too.

“How is that possible!” Gu Qingyu plastered a smile on her face.

“Brother Zhu, we beat you up when we’re unhappy?” Mo Bai sighed as well. 

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