Morning dew slid along the tip of blades of grass and dripped to the ground. The light from the sun seemed to be covered by frosted glass, as if the sky itself was covered in a layer of frost. A gust came, it was freezing cold. Gu Qingyu wrapped Jia Qizhe's coat around her, then she leaned over and looked down the cliffside. Right now, they were at the top of the mountain, but Gu Qingyu, Qi Wan and Qi Yichen were in shock. Why? They saw another snowy mountain in the distance, the mountain was even taller than the peak they just scaled.
"Say it, what's behind that mountain?" Gu Qingyu threw a piercing glare at Jia Qizhe. "I'm ready! Is it a volcano or Mount Everest?"
What is Mount Everest? Jia Qizhe blinked puzzledly. "Climb over that mountain and we'll reach Xiqian. What are you thinking about, Little Yu'er?"
We'll reach Xiqian once we climb over that mountain? Gu Qingyu waved her hand weakly. "Is there any other way?"
"Yes." Jia Qizhe nodded sincerely. Before Gu Qingyu could rejoice at that news, he continued in a devious tone. "If we bypass the snowy mountain, and climb over a volcano instead."
"I'll take the snow mountain." A sense of powerlessness washed over her.
"This is the greatest geographical advantage of Xiqian." Mo Bai explained, "it is easy to defend and difficult to attack, and rich in resources."
"Well, good for them." Gu Qingyu nodded and looked towards the foot of the mountain. "Now, how do we go down the mountain?"
"Little Yu'er, let me give you a demonstration. This is the method, watch." Jia Qizhe smiled slightly and kicked the trembling Qi Wan down the cliff. He was so shocked that he barely reacted. When he finally realised his ‘predicament’, the ribbon in his robes stretched out, wrapped around a nearby tree, and slowed down his fall. Then another ribbon flew out, wrapped around another tree, and Qi Wan swung to that tree. Rinse and repeat that a few more times and Qi Wan arrived at the foot of the mountain safely. As soon as Qi Wan had a solid footing, he yelled and screamed from the foot of the mountain. "Jia Qizhe! I x you xx! I, Qi Wan and you are officially enemies! Xxxx!" His resounding voice reached the clouds and echoed through the mountain range.
Gu Qingyu looked at Jia Qizhe in disbelief, her lips twitched uncontrollably. "This is your method?"
Jia Qizhe nodded. "Your weapon is similar to his, no? It's worth a shot!"
Gu Qingyu didn't swear like Qi Wan, she glared at Jia Qizhe. "Qi Wan has been using it for a long time! He's familiar with the thing, enough that he did this on pure reflex! Me, you kick me down this cliff, I guess I'll be taking a trip to heaven instead!"
"Ok, fine, Little Yu'er, you leave me no choice." Jia Qizhe shrugged. Then suddenly, he grabbed Gu Qingyu, held her in his arms princess-style and leaped off the cliff.
Gu Qingyu held on to his arm tightly, her legs had turned into jelly. "Hero Jia! Great Hero Jia! I beg you, do not let go."
"No." Jia Qizhe laughed and landed steadily.
"Does that mean my demonstration was done in vain?" Qi Wan looked at Jia Qizhe incredulously. Qi Yichen's fan grew bigger, carrying him and Xiao Qi down. Murong Zuoyu demonstrated the art of sword control, he stood on his sword and landed steadily. Xie Zang jumped down directly. The leaves beside Mo Bai surrounded him and supported him as he drifted down. Gu Qingyu and Qi Wan were dumbfounded.
"Jia Qizhe, you did this on purpose!" Qi Wan turned to Jia Qizhe in exasperation. "You just corrupted my image!"
What's going on with this sense of a wife reprimanding her husband?
"Actually, you were quite handsome when you landed." Gu Qingyu looked at Qi Wan sincerely.
"Eh? Really?" Qi Wan turned angry immediately, "Oh, that's a given from someone as handsome and generous as me, I look cool all the time."
"Qi Wan's floor-standing style, with both your head and your bottom. I have no idea how you could pull off such a difficult maneuver." Jia Qizhe added slowly. Qi Wan went silent at his addition.
The north wind buffeted their faces. The mountain range was wrapped in silver and white. However, for the group that has been frozen solid, they were in no mood to appreciate the breathtaking scenery. They trekked arduously along the snowy mountain. Gu Qingyu swallowed thickly, even her lips were about to be frozen stuck. She gently pried them open. "Why can't we just fly..."
"It's too cold, the wings would freeze. And we would plummet to the ground." Jia Qizhe shrugged helplessly. "Plus we haven't slept all day and night, it's dangerous, Little Yu'er."
"And whose fault was that..." Gu Qingyu said with a sullen look, she tried to shoot another glare at Jia Qizhe, but she did not even have the strength to do that.
Mo Bai looked at Gu Qingyu with worry. "Yu'er, are you ok?"
"I'll be fine, I can still make it." Gu Qingyu said with a tightened jaw.
"Take it as training." Jia Qizhe patted Gu Qingyu's head. "If you can't take something like this, how can you grow stronger?"
Oh, so that's why... He's helping me train...
Gu Qingyu nodded. "Roger that." Thank you, Jia Qizhe.
Halfway through their descent, the sight before them opened up to a vast land. At the foot of the mountain, spring was in full swing. Some people were planting something, they were tiling the field. Several swallows hovered above their heads. Three or two cabins were scattered in front of the fields, and through the curtains, some were working the loom, weaving fabric. All these people worked with happy smiles on their faces, and the sight of such peace struck Gu Qingyu.
"This should be a very prosperous country. The emperor here must have managed it very well." Xiao Qi watched the people with wistful eyes, it was clear that she looked forward to life like this.
"Yeah," Gu Qingyu nodded. "It's a beautiful place."
"Quite the opposite, actually." Jia Qizhe narrowed his eyes slightly. "The emperor here is rumored to be incompetent. It's the prime minister that has been taking care of the affairs on behalf of the emperor."
"But, that's just a rumor." Qi Yichen fanned lightly.
Mo Bai's hand gently rubbed his jade flute. "Yeah, the truth is still only known to the emperor and the prime minister." His words seemed to have hinted at something.
"Stop it with the cryptic stuff, let's go." Gu Qingyu yawned. She looked up at the sky, it was already afternoon. "I'm exhausted. Let's find a place to rest."
Qi Yichen nodded. He closed his fan, walked up and greeted a burly man with a smile. "Sir, My name is Qi Yichen. This scholar and others passed by here, but the journey was long and difficult, some of us can't take it already." He looked back, and Gu Qingyu immediately understood it and collapsed in Jia Qizhe's arms. Jia Qizhe immediately wrapped his arms around Gu Qingyu, and shouted in coordination. "Little Yu'er! What happened?"
Among them, several people recognised Jia Qizhe, who was known across the lands, and they cringed. To them, it looked like Hero Jia had lost his marbles. But the sight of this beautiful man holding another delicate and beautiful man and shouting "Little Yu'er" was really not a visual and auditory impact that normal people can bear...
"So," Qi Yichen smiled slightly at the burly man. "Can this kind sir please assist us…”
"Please come in quickly! Hero Jia, bring this little brother in!" The big man had already walked past Qi Yichen and yelled at Jia Qizhe. Without another word, Jia Qizhe went straight to the house with Gu Qingyu in his arms, while Qi Yichen stood rooted to the ground, in shock.
Gu Qingyu, who finally got some rest, fell into a deep sleep. Jia Qizhe placed her on the bed, tucked her in, then closed the door to her room and went out. The burly man was seated at the table with everyone, and the person that seemed to be his wife was cooking in the kitchen, a warm meal for these foreigners.
"Where did you come from?" The burly man looked at them curiously. "Just to get the ball rolling, I'm Wukong!"
"Pff!" Qi Wan laughed out of nowhere, but realized that it seemed impolite, and immediately apologized, "I'm sorry! My name is Qi Wan. Is your surname Sun?"
"No, my surname is Sha." Sha Wukong said honestly.
"Pigsy, lunch is ready!" His wife in the kitchen shouted.
He rubbed his head sheepishly. "My nickname is Bajie, and only my parents and my wife call me like that."
Qi Wan's eyes were as wide as saucers. "Brother Wukong, do you have a master or teacher?"
"No, why do you say that?" Sha Wukong looked at Qi Wan in doubt. Qi Wan breathed a sigh of relief.
"Although I don't have a master, my adoptive father's surname is Tang." Sha Wukong nodded.
Qi Wan turned pale, he thought, My Boss, where are you! All I did was leave you for one hour and my worldview had completely collapsed! Help! And then, he fainted.
"Don't mind him, he has an indirect illness." Qi Yichen pointed to his own brain.
Sha Wukong nodded as if he understood. "Speaking of it, my ancestor has a remedy for this (he pointed at his brain). Would Brother Qi Wan like to try?"
"No, no more..." Qi Wan waved weakly. "I just want to rest..."
"What are you arguing about?" Gu Qingyu shuffled out of the room with bleary eyes.
"Ah! Boss! You are finally here! Please bear this weight with me!" Qi Wan immediately rushed up at the sight of Gu Qingyu. "This man's name is Sha Wukong, his nickname is Pigsy and his adoptive father is called Tang! Hahaha! "
"..." Gu Qingyu looked at Qi Wan, her eyes were blank, and after a long pause, she said three words very slowly. "...Are you crazy?"
"Brother Qi Wan seems to have taken quite an interest in me?" Sha Wukong looked at Qi Wan with a puzzled expression.
Gu Qingyu patted Qi Wan's head and smiled calmly at Sha Wukong. "My name is Zhu Fan, pff, hello, Sha ... ahahahahahaha !!"
She held onto Qi Wan and burst into a fit of laughter.
"Please ignore them, she has a problem here too. Indirectly." Qi Yichen pointed to his brain again. Sha Wukong smiled.
His wife greeted Gu Qingyu and Qi Wan. "Come, it's time to eat, guests!"
"Good! Thank you!" Gu Qingyu finally stopped laughing and took her seat.
"We are on the border of the Xiqian Kingdom," Sha Wukong introduced. "Guests, where did you come from?"
"Beiying." Gu Qingyu answered as she ate.
"Beiying? That's far, beyond the mountain range." Sha Wukong's wife filled her husband's bowl. "But since you are here, not to mention from such a faraway place, I do hope you would enjoy your time here."
"Thank you." Gu Qingyu nodded with a smile.Previous Chapter Next Chapter