Chapter 04: And I Thought it was some Brave Hero
Huai Zhen’s outfit this time was completely different from last time. She had on a white, hand-knitted, partially see-through long skirt and smock. Inside that, she wore a tank top and miniskirt of the same color with short-heeled sandals. Underneath the knitted skirt, the beautiful lines of the legs were faintly discernible; outside of that 3 cm wide sleeve on her shoulder, small lotus-like arms appeared. On the left wrist dangled a thin silver chain bracelet, on the right she held a silver-white hand bag. The soft ends of her hair appeared to have layers which, as she approached, gently bounced from side to side.
She was white from top to bottom, except for the Blood Ice Ring on her left ring finger that occasionally flitted to show red through her outfit, causing contrast which made it especially eye-catching; in addition, that rare classical style appearance combined with modern styled clothing brought out an entire new level of rarely seen style.
Chen Luonian inwardly cheered, woman really do have to dress up. Last time Huai Zhen’s appearance was already captivating, who would have thought that after dressing up she would become three times more beautiful. Maybe that time she still wasn’t sure what she should wear? Then again, what did she do for that one month before she showed up? Just steal money?
But this is also strange, why is everyone’s eyes all glued straight to her? Though Huai Zhen certainly is beautiful, but she’s still not beautiful to this point of practically being capable of causing the downfall of a city? Nowadays information flows easily, so the truth is that everyone has seen plenty of beautiful girls. If a handsome guy or beautiful girl showed up on the road…… such as Lai Yixin or Ye Weishan, usually people would just sneak a couple glances at most, and wouldn’t just stare stupefied like this.
After thinking of this, Chen Luonian moved his gaze to look at Lai and Ye, and couldn’t help but be shocked again. Why are these two also staring blankly? Could it be that they realized that she was a monster? ……but looking at their expressions it doesn’t seem like it.
“Hey.” Huai Zhen stopped in front of Chen Luonian and smiled sweetly: “Right now…… this is called school letting out right?”
“That’s right but, why are you here?” Chen Luonian asked in a low voice, flabbergasted, while glancing worriedly at Lai and Ye, only to see that they were looking at him with astonishment because they never thought that he and Huai Zhen would know each other.
“I figured you were about to be in danger, so I thought I’d come to absorb some.” Huai Zhen leaned close Chen Luonian’s ears and softly whispered, smiling.
“Huh? Don’t do it here.” Chen Luonian remembered the way Huai Zhen looked the last time she absorbed the breath, and couldn’t help feeling a little embarrassed.
“I know.” Huai Zhen giggled, then turned her head to look to the side and asked: “Your classmates?”
“Yeah……” Chen Luonian looked at the still dazed Lai Yizin and Ye Weishan. He couldn’t help feeling astonished as he called: “Senior brother? Senior sister?”
“Ah.” Ye Weishan was the first to snap out of it and said: “Chen Luonian, this person…… is she your…… your friend?”
“Hello.” Lai Yixin was also a bit flustered as he said: “I’m Lai Yixin! May I… may I ask……”
They don’t seem to have realized that Huai Zhen is a monster? Although Chen Luonian was able to relax slightly, but he still couldn’t come up with a way to introduce Huai Zhen. He panicked, only to see her open her mouth with a smile and say: “Nice to meet you two. I’m his older sister, my name is Huai Zhen. Did you need Luonian for something?”
Older Sister? Chen Luonian shot a glance at Huai Zhen, but closed his mouth, standing back to watch how she intended to continue fabricating onwards.
“Chen Jie Jie1…… We have some things we want to talk to Chen Luonian about, so we wanted to invite him to dinner.” Ye Weishan’s gaze contained both shock and admiration as she looked at Huai Zhen and replied.
“I just happen to want to eat with Chen Luonian too.” Huai Zhen said with a smile: “Can I also come along?”
“Of course.” Lai Yixin immediately responded.
Ye Weshan glanced at Lai Yixin, after seeing the dazed look caused by Huai Zhen’s appearance, who knows what she thought of it.
“Then I’ll just toughen my skin and intrude2.” Huai Zhen pulled Chen Luonian’s hand, and smiled: “Let’s go, where are we going?”
“Not far, Weishan and I will lead you.” Lai Yixin while dazed, still remembered his manners, and started striding forward.
Ye Weishan shifted her gaze towards Lai Yixin and started walking, not saying anything more.
Chen Luonian walked while lowering his voice to ask: “You…… you……. where did you go this week?”
“You, what you? Call me Jie Jie! What are you so emotional? Did you miss me?” Huai Zhen joked.
“Quit joking.” Chen Luonian didn’t have the mood to play along: “You didn’t trick me, did you? I feel like the way you talk doesn’t resemble the way people talked in ancient times at all.”
“With tourists chattering noisily at the side for decades, of course I got use to the modern way of speaking.” Huai Zhen said: “But some things really did require me to come out and experience before I could pick them up…… Ah, these two classmates of yours aren’t ordinary mortals, are they practitioners?”
“You can tell?” Chen Luonian just remembered and hurriedly said: “They’re monster hunters. Is it ok for you to meet with them?”
“Why wouldn’t it be ok? I’m not some low-level small fry.” Huai Zhen shot Chen Luonian a glare, pouting: “According human classifications, you should call me a Fairy.”
Fairy? Chen Luonian shook his head as his lips twitched and asked: “Fairies would swallow people?”
“Hey!” Huai Zhen pinched Chen Luonian’s ear and yanked it, saying: “You try having the thing you waited three thousand years for get snatched away by someone conveniently passing by and see if you don’t go crazy with anger? When I had half-swallowed you, I thought about it and decided to spit you back out in the end, so it already counts as being very merciful.”
“Hey, hey, let go……” Chen Luonian looked up to see that everyone around was watching him, and said with embarrassment: “Fine…… You’re not a strange monster, you’re a Fairy Monster3.”
“Humph! That more like it.” Huai Zhen finally released Chen Luonian, nodded at the two in front and said: “Tell me what those two are doing?”
To clear things up early is also best, so as to lower the chances of Huai Zhen possibly slipping up in front of the two of them. Chen Luonian immediately started giving a simple explanation of what happened that day, of course not forgetting to mention that Lai Yixin had asked him to join to the monster subjugating group. Once he finished talking about the multiple monster incidents, the four had also arrived at their destination.
Tucheng District is an inner city district in the southwestern part of New Taipei City. It just happened to be situated right between the small town and the mountain region, and wasn’t very desolate, but also couldn’t be quite classified as lively. At this type of place, the quite reputable Rainbow Leaves restaurant could be counted as already a pretty high-classed choice.
The four entered the restaurant on the 2nd floor. Ye Weishan had already made reservations so the server didn’t question further, and immediately proceeded to lead the four to a small, half-closed off room. Inside was a long table, one that could easily fit around eight to ten people.
Lai Yixin said as he asked everyone to sit: “Some more people will be arriving soon, but it’s fine if we start eating first.”
The four ordered their meals, then Ye Weishan turned towards Huai Zhen and said: “Chen Jie Jie……”
“Just call me Huai Zhen.” Huai Zhen quickly cut in.
“Huai Zhen Jie.” Ye Weishan readily changed her way of address, then said: “I don’t know if Junior Brother Luonian has mentioned to you before, about the incidents that happened earlier?”
Huai Zhen switch her gaze and replied: “Regarding encountering monsters?”
“Since Huai Zhen Jie also knows, than it’ll be easy to explain.” Lai Yixin smiled.
“Mm.” Ye Weishan nodded, continuing: “Yixin and I, as well as the two that defeated the monster at Banqiao Station, are all disciples of the same sect. We know how to defeat monsters, and it is also our job.”
“So it’s like that.” Huai Zhen nodded.
Ye Weishan continued: “That day Junior Brother encountered monsters three times consecutively. Within that, twice Yixin and I luckily made it in time, the other time at Banqiao Station another team handled it…… Actually all three times were extremely dangerous. If any one of us were late, he probably wouldn’t have made it.”
Actually it was four times. But the lizard in the last time was swallowed by this particular monster, Chen Luonian stole a glance at Huai Zhen.
But Huai Zhen actually said, with her eyes wide: “Monsters really exist? When I was listening to Luonian, I still only half-believed it.”
What an actress! And My God, when you yourself is a monster. Chen Luonian admired such ability, but couldn’t help inwardly shake his head and secretly laugh.
“They really exist.” Lai Yixin took over and responded: “According to what we know, there’ll be an increase in numbers, and they’ll even grow increasing stronger.”
“Ah…… Then what are we supposed to do?” Huai Zhen asked.
Ye Weishan didn’t answer, instead continued with the earlier topic: “The odds of three monsters appearing in one day are very low, and the odds for Junior Brother to encounter them are even lower. Although this certainly could be chalked up him being unlucky, but considering it another way, it might be because of some reason that we don’t know of? Perhaps he might have a physique that attracts monsters? Even though this possibility is really low…… But if it’s true, it would be very valuable.”
“Valuable?” Huai Zhen was faintly startled, and asked with a serious expression: “Why?”
“Because in order to deal with the changing situation, we have to hunt down even more monsters as quickly as possible.” Ye Weishan said: “If there really is this sort of physique, then we don’t have to constantly run all over the place to search. Of course it’s very valuable.”
“Hunt monsters? For what?” Huai Zhen seemed like she didn’t understand, faintly creasing her brows.
Lai Yixin took over and said: “This is because only captured monsters can……”
“Yixin!” Ye Weishan frowned and softly said: “This matter……”
“Ah.” Lai Yixin started, then apologized, embarrassed: “Sorry, I forgot for a moment.”
“Huai Zhen Jie, regarding this point we really can’t elaborate……” Ye Weishan’s face showed apologetic expression as she said: “The Fraction has strict rules, we can’t speak about certain things to outsiders.”
“It’s fine, it’s fine.” Huai Zhen switched topics to ask: “Then what do you guys plan to do?”
“Yixin hopes to convince Junior Brother to join us.” Ye Weishan said: “Last time Junior Brother had already refused once. This time we had planned to try and discuss it with him properly one more time, but who would have thought we’d happen to meet Huai Zhen Jie…… ”
“Is Huai Zhen Jie interested in joining?” Lai Yixin suddenly asked.
“Me?” Huai Zhen laughed and replied: “But I don’t know how to do anything.”
“You’ll know once you learn.” Lai Yixin smiled.
“Let’s stop talking about me, weren’t you guys originally looking for Luonian?” Huai Zhen leaned back on her chair with a smile and said: “How come it turned to asking me?”
Lai Yixin didn’t keep pressing, turned his head with a smile and asked: “Junior Brother, what do you think?”
Chen Luonian took a breath and said: “I think……”
“Isn’t this really good?” Huai Zhen suddenly opened her mouth and said.
“What?” Luonian was shocked dumb.
“Joining is good, you should join. So it’s decided, right?” Huai Zhen looked meaningfully at Chen Luonian.
“Really?” Lai Yixin happily exclaimed.
Chen Luonian saw that Huai Zhen’s gaze contained some implication of warnings and hints, but he couldn’t just swallow it like this, and immediate said: “What joining is good? I’m not interested.”
Huai Zhen’s brows slightly creased. She coldly gave Chen Luonian a glare, then pulled him up while saying to Lai and Ye with a smile: “Please excuse us, we siblings need to discuss something in private for a moment.”
Even though Ye Weishan felt it was unexpected, she could only reply: “It’s fine, please go ahead.”
“Discuss what?” Chen Luonian asked, stunned.
“Come on.” Huai Zhen dragged Chen Luonian outside.
Chen Luonian felt that the pair of jade hand that were dragging him had extraordinary strength, he couldn’t not follow her outside. The two turned into the aisle before the restrooms, seeing that there was no one around, only then did Huai Zhen swear in a low tone: “You stupid idiot, why didn’t you just accept it? How dare you make me lose face!”
“I can’t agree to this kind of thing just to give face.” Chen Luonain self-righteously declared: “I don’t want to fight with monsters.”
“You really are weird. Do you actually have a lot of nerves or are you actually just cowardly?” Huai Zhen couldn’t quite understand Chen Luonian.
“I’m cowardly, fear pain, hate trouble.” Chen Luonain said with a humph: “So I don’t want to risk my life fighting monsters.”
“Then why do you rush up every time you encounter a monster?” Huai Zhen laughed as she asked.
“That was due to my thinking being muddled after a rush of blood getting to my head. If I was thinking clearly I wouldn’t have rushed up.” Chen Luonian frowned and said: “That’s why I need to stay away from that sort of situation even more.”
“I don’t care if your brain has a problem or not.” Huai Zhen curled her lips: “Haven’t you sensed it by now? That everytime when the sun and moon switch places the Original Chaos Breath will become hard to contain?”
“That’s right, I was wanting to ask you about this.” Chen Luonian said with alarm: “Doesn’t that mean you should suck some away?”
“I can suck a bit, but the amount I can possess is related to this world’s Original Breath concentration, so I can’t suck away too much.” Huai Zhen said: “Even though a portion can be refined into power, but that can’t be speeded up……”
He was starting to get lost again. Chen Luonian was dazed for a bit before asking: “Can you just tell me the bottom line?”
“The bottom line is that once your Original Breath replenish completely, monsters will start appearing around you again, especially at dusk.” Huai Zhen said: “The reason why I came to look for you today was because of this. I was worried that if I didn’t suck some away, you’d be swallowed by some other monster.”
Chen Luonian blanked out for a moment: “My God! What you mean is…… even if you absorb some, there’ll still be monsters coming after me?”
“You finally get it.” Huai Zhen jabbed Chen Luonian’s forehead with her finger and said: “You don’t want to learn how to protect yourself, are you wishing to die? If you die, where will I go to absorb the Original Chaos Breath? It’s not like I can constantly be your bodyguard. Now there’s actually someone vying to teach you, isn’t that perfect? Even though you probably wouldn’t be able to get that strong…… But on one hand there’s someone to protect you, and secondly you’d even be able to learn a bit of self-protection so it’s not a bad deal, stupid!”
“Oh.” Chen Luonian blankly asked: “So I have no choice but to join?”
“That’s right.” Huai Zhen said: “Finally get it?”
The reason why Chen Luonian turned down the offer to join was because he didn’t want to fight monsters. Since monsters will still be appearing even if he didn’t join, then there was obviously no other choice…… He said gloomily: “I get it, I’ll join alright……”
“Good boy.” Huai Zhen laughed, rubbing Chen Luonian’s head as she continued: “I’m also interested in their Sect. Those two’s level of strength aren’t low. In the past, without spending decades cultivating, there was no way for mortals to reach this sort of level. And I wonder what they’re capturing monsters for? It’s not like these low-level monsters with no intelligence can be subdued4.”
“They kill them, not capture them alive.” Chen Luonian said.
“Then that’s even stranger. What would they use a dead monster for?” Huai Zhen hooked onto Chen Luonian’s arm, and said with a smile: “While you’re at it, investigate a little.”
“If you want to know, why don’t you join yourself?” Chen Luonian replied in a bad mood: “But it’s weird, Senior Brother seems to have been completely charmed by you, he’s always staring at you. I heard that they’re a couple, you better not destroy other people’s relationships.”
“I never cast any charm spell. If that guy fell for me, evidently it means the feelings between them were simply not that strong.” Huai Zhen shrugged. “I was born naturally captivating, I can’t help it.”
“To actually shamelessly say that. I never felt captivated though5?” Teased Chen Luonian: “But considering it calmly, you really are quite beautiful.”
“You have the Original Chaos Breath inside you, so all Charming Techniques, Blinding Techniques, and Heavenly Aura, are ineffective against you.” Huai Zhen cast a glance at him: “Didn’t you notice how everyone else looked at me? It wasn’t just that Senior Brother of yours.”
“Oh…… ” Chen Luonian asked, amazed: “That was a Charming Technique?”
“I already told you I didn’t use a charm spell, this is my Heavenly Aura, also called the Enrapture Aura. I was born with it and naturally emit it.” Huai Zhen said with an innocent expression.
This kind of thing also exists? Chen Luonian couldn’t contain his curiosity and asked: “Exactly what kind of mons…… no, I mean what kind of Fairy are you?”
“I won’t tell you.” Huai Zhen laughed in reply: “Let’s stop talking about me, haven’t you been continuously checking out that girl’s body? Don’t think I haven’t noticed, you’re interested in that girl, aren’t you?”
“I’m always like this every time I see a beautiful girl, not just her.” Chen Luonian actually didn’t care about being caught, and continued: “I look at you too. You’re not any worse than her.”
“Thanks, but I’m pretty used to other people looking at me.” Huai Zhen smiled: “But Jie Jie must warn you, girls don’t like it when you unabashedly check out their body before you even foster any feelings.”
“Who cares, it doesn’t matter if she doesn’t like it.” Chen Luonian said: “I’m just looking, it’s not like I plan to win her over.”
“Weirdo.” Huai Zhen shrugged, then said: “Since we’re already out here, why don’t I help you absorb some of the breath? Otherwise, if we wait until the sun goes down, monsters might appear.”
“Then…… ” Chen Luonian looked around, and seeing that there was no one around, lowered his voice and said: “Then please do it fast.”
“Ha, you’re embarrassed?” Huai Zhen held Chen Luonian’s face and slowly approached until she was so close that she couldn’t get any closer, then laughed as she said: “Open your mouth, it’ll be easier to absorb.”
Chen Luonian’s brows pursed as he slightly opened his mouth, only to feel a burst of cool air pass through his lips. He could hear the sound as Huai Zhen deeply inhaled. Then, from the clump of breath that had been kept condensed in his throat, parts of it was slowly drawn out by that sucking.
After quite a while, Huai Zhen finally stopped. She seemed to be intoxicated by the power in the breath, with her cheeks lightly pressed against Chen Luonian’s shoulders, in a soft voice she said: “……ne, relax your containment power a bit next time so it’s easier for me to absorb.”
Chen Luonian felt a bit embarrassed, gently pushed away Huai Zhen and said: “Fine, stop sticking to me.”
“Heh, didn’t you say you didn’t feel anything towards me?” Huai Zhen straightened her body, pulling at Chen Luonian as she laughed: “Let’s go in, remember to agree to join them.”
“I know.” Chen Luonian let out a sigh as he followed Huai Zhen and walked in.
Returning to the room, the table was already filled with a spread of food. It looks like this place doesn’t really strictly follow the Western practices; the appetizers, main dishes, were all brought out together.
Seeing the two walk in holding hands, Lai Yixin said with a smile: “You guys really get along well.”
“Yeah.” Ye Weishan tried probing: “How old are you two?”
This was something Chen Luonian couldn’t answer, he could only silently turn to look at Huai Zhen. Faced with this, Huai Zhen replied with a laugh: “Why don’t you guys try guessing my age?”
“If I didn’t know your way of speaking or how you dressed and only looked at your appearance I wouldn’t be able to tell.” Ye Weishan shook her head with a slight smile and said: “If someone said that Huai Zhen Jie was Junior Brother’s little sister I would’ve believed it.”
“You’re probably only a little older, right?” Lai Yixin also said.
“Hm…… About twenty years old, alright? A woman’s age is a secret! Come on, let’s eat.” Huai Zhen said with a smile as she pushed aside the salad and bread with one stroke, then picked up a fork and a knife to start straight with the chicken leg.
Luckily she also knows to use the fork and knife and didn’t directly pick it up to bite with her mouth. Chen Luonian felt slightly relieved, and also began to eat. Lai Yixin and Ye Weishan saw that it would be hard to ask anymore so could only start eating as well.
They ate, and ate, and ate. The one eating fastest, Huai Zhen, had already cleaned off the chicken leg until all that was left was the smooth bone. She then put down her knife and fork, looked around and said: “I still have some things to do, so I’ll be leaving first.”
The three started at the same time. Chen Luonian was the most shocked, he still had so many things to ask, how come she’s already leaving?
“Huai Zhen Jie, won’t you stay a little longer?” Lai Yixin also urged her to stay: “Our friends still hasn’t arrived yet, it’d be a shame if they don’t get to meet Huai Zhen Jie.”
“There’ll be chances.” Huai Zhen shot a look at Chen Luonian and said: “That’s right, Luonian has agreed to join you guys.”
“Really?” Ye Weishan looked at Chen Luonian with wide eyes.
Chen Luonian could only nod and reply: “Really.”
“That’s great.” Lai Yixin asked with expectation: “Then what about Huai Zhen Jie?”
“Let’s talk about that in the future.” Huai Zhen smiled: “Lately there’s been a lot going on, I’ll consider it when I have time.”
“You must definitely remember consider it.” Lai Yixin said with a smile.
“Then, Huai Zhen…… I’ll see you out.” Chen Luonian stood up.
“Hm?” Huai Zhen felt it was a bit unexpected, but didn’t refuse. After saying goodbye to Lai and Ye, she walked out with Chen Luonian, one person in front and one following behind.
After the two exited the room, Huai Zhen laughed softly: “What do you want to know? If it’s something regarding monsters, you can just ask them.”
“There’s some things I can’t ask them…… Like why do I attract monsters?” This was the question that bothered Chen Luonian the most.
“The monsters aren’t drawn here by you, it’s just that they finally found an opening to pass through.” Huai Zhen explained with a laugh: “The Original Chaos Breath can generate cracks in the passage between this world and the Immortal World6.”
“Immortal World?” Chen Luonian exclaimed.
“Or you can call it the Monster World, Demon World, or even Other World. In any case it’s another world that is interconnected and overlapped with this one.” Huai Zhen walked to the entrance of the restaurant, paused her steps and said: “After the Phoenix returned to this world, it slowly disseminated Original Chaos Breath, causing tiny passageways to gradually appear. When your Original Chaos Breath dispersed outside, the breath concentration around you naturally becomes denser, and since passageways appear, there will naturally be inhabitants of the Immortal World trying to pass through. It’s nothing unusual.”
Chen Luonian also stopped walking, thinking to himself. If it’s like this, then that means, if his Original Chaos Breath gradually accumulates, every day at dusk when the breath disperses, a monster might appear?
Huai Zhen continued: “Right now the breath isn’t concentrated, at most an unintelligent monster will occasionally appear. Since there’s now a practitioner to protect you, I’ll concentrate on refining the breath. I won’t visit you much.”
“I understand.” Chen Luonian nodded.
Huai Zhen was going to leave, but after a thought, stopped and said: “Even though I don’t know if it’ll be any use, but you can try seeing if you got any new special ability.”
“Is it…… Is it that power to feel like time slowed down?” Chen Luonian said: “After using that power, I’d get really tired and sleepy.”
“I’m not talking about that useless ability.” Huai Zhen tsked: “It doesn’t actually raise your speed, so what’s the use of having more time? What’s the use of just being able to see other people’s movement in slow motion? If I wanted to catch you, can you escape? It’s only when you’re fighting against someone with about the same speed that it might come in useful.”
In an encounter with someone whose speed is greater than his, it really does seem useless…… Chen Luonian gloomily asked: “Is it better to have less time?”
“It represents that you could follow your intentions and leap into the future7. Whether it be in battles, robbery, cultivation, even just in daily life it would have benefits. If you knew how to use it, then even I might not be able to stop you…… What’s the use of having more time? It’s just more time to zone out.” Huai Zhen shook her head: “Don’t bring this up anymore, every time I think about it I get mad. Not only did you waste this precious opportunity, out of only two choices you still managed to pick the wrong one……”
Chen Luonian didn’t understand how “less time” would be useful, but he didn’t choose this ability anyways and there’s no need to research this right now, so he could only move on: “Why is it a waste for me to have the Phoenix’s ability?”
“Because you’re just a skill-less, ordinary human, you never had any foundation from the start.” Huai Zhen said: “After exchanging spirits you’re just an Original Chaos Breath dispenser. If it were skilled monster or immortal that got this power than the results would be completely different…… really such a waste!” As she spoke Huai Zhen got angry again.
“I didn’t want this either.” What’s exchanging spirits?8 But right now they were short on time so there’s no time to ask about this term that doesn’t seem that important, so Chen Luonian changed the subject: “What are the other abilities that you were talking about?”
“I don’t know, but the Phoenix is one of the oldest Immortals, so it should have some special abilities? See if you can chance on a bit of the Phoenix’s other abilities.” Huai Zhen said: “Try experimenting when you have time.”
Chen Luonian tried asking: “What you’re saying is…… I have some sort of superpower? What kind?”
“Other than about the Original Chaos Breath, no one understands the Phoenix’s capabilities…… You’ll have to find out yourself, if you can’t, then oh well. As long as they’re around, you probably won’t die. In the future, during dusk, it’d be best if you stay close to them.” Huai Zhen extended her forefinger, with a smile flicked Chen Luonian’s forehead, and said: “Let’s talk next time.” Then immediately walked around Chen Luonian, turned around and walked out.
As Chen Luonian followed Huai Zhen with his eyes, he discovered that at the foot of the stairs stood three people who were staring at Huai Zhen with their jaws open. Huai Zhen was already used to these type of looks, so she gave the three a sweet smile, walked passed them and left.
Those three couldn’t stop themselves from turning back to stare until Huai Zhen’s figure walked down the flight of stairs and disappeared, before finally turning back around to rush to surround Chen Luonian. One of them, an athletic man with a suntanned face, grabbed Chen Luonian’s shoulders, and exclaimed, wide-eyed: “Junior Brother, who is that? Your girlfriend? Damn! How affectionate, how sharp, how dazzling!”
Chen Luonian frowned: “That’s…… my older sister.”
“Really?” The atheletic man’s expression immediately changed to a different one, and asked with a fervent smile: “How old is your sister? Does she have a boyfriend?”
“My sister is really old! Won’t suit you guys.” Chen Luonian replied in moody tone: “Twenty something.”
“You skirt-chaser, didn’t you say just yesterday that you like lolitas?” A different person who was skinny with a triangular-shaped face blurted out from the side: “Junior Brother, introduce your sister to me?”
“Shit. What I said yesterday doesn’t count.” The atheletic one forced a laugh: “From today on I’m going to like older women. Junior Brother, ignore him, introduce her to me!”
“Um…… ” Chen Luonian switched to topics and asked: “Senior Brother, why are you guys here?”
“Lai Yixin called us here.” The one with the triangular face smiled and said: “They wanted use to finish a part of our homework before coming here to eat. So? Did you agree to join?”
“I guess so……” Chen Luonian shook his head and said: “I’ll bring you guys there.”
“We know where it is.” The two of them moved to lead the way.
Behind them was a short, chubby, glasses-wearing youth who hadn’t spoken a word this entire time. As he passed Chen Luonian, he smiled embarrassedly, and in a soft voice said: “Your sister really is beautiful.”
“Thanks.” Chen Luonian could only sigh.
These three were precisely those three: Hou Tianliang, Zhang Zhiwen, and Huang Zongru. It didn’t seem to be their first time here, they walked in as if they were familiar with the place.
After returning to the seat, Chen Luonian continued eating the rest of his dish. Meanwhile Hou Tianliang and the others called the waiter and placed their orders.
As everyone talked, Chen Luonian found out that Hou Tianlian and those two had already joined. The teacher Zhu Guoyong who was also present at the time had tactfully declined because of family factors.
After confirming that Chen Luonian also planned to join, aside from Huang Zongru who didn’t utter a sound, Hou and Zhang actually energetically welcomed him. But regarding what they’ll learn after they join, no one brought it up, and Chen Luonian didn’t ask either. In any case, if they sincerely wanted him to join, they would take the initiative explain themselves.
After everyone finished eating and chatted another while, Ye Weishan looked at the time on her watch, then said to Lai Yixin: “They seem a bit late.”
“Maybe they’re busy.” Lai Yixin said.
“Mm.” Ye Weishan looked towards Chen Luonian, from her pocket took out the student ID and passed it over: “Here.”
“Thanks.” Chen Luonian said as he took it.
“From now on you’re one of us9.” Ye Weishan said: “Our ages are pretty close, so there’s no need to address us as Senior Brother, Senior Sister. Let’s call each other by name.”
Like this is best. From the start Chen Luonian wasn’t extremely heavy on manners, so he nodded without objection.
“Yeah, it’s fine to just call him Ah Hou or Perverted Monkey10.” Zhang Zhiwen said as he slapped Hou Tianliang.
“Shut up, you’re the pervert. Just call this guy Perverted Mosquito.” Hou Tianliang retorted.
“As for him……” Zhang Zhiwen looked at Huang Zongru, and laughed: “We all call him Unrivaled Giant.”
“Right, Unrivaled Giant.” Hong Tianliang also repeated, laughing, and at the same time, in a jeering manner, gave Huang Zongru’s shoulder a pat.
“Stop that.” Huang Zongru said, embarrassed, with his face flushed red.
“Why is he called that? Could it be that his something…… is really big?” Lai Yixin asked, surprised.
When Ye Weishan heard this, she couldn’t help but feel a bit awkward and softly tsked, shooting Lai Yixin a glare.
“No, it’s just the name that’s called Unrivaled Giant.” Zhang Zhiwen said, holding back his laughter.
“Why?” Lai Yixin asked with curiosity.
“Why don’t you ask him directly.” Hou Tianliang chuckled as he looked at Huang Zongru: “Why are you called Unrivaled Giant?”
“No……” Huang Zongru mumbled: “They…… those two just like to play jokes.”
Those three’s relationship, it doesn’t seem to be the way he thought it was? Chen Luonian was a bit surprised, but also didn’t care that much. As long as he knows now.
“Do you still remember those two female students at Banqiao Station?” Ye Weishan didn’t continue joking around with them, and said to Chen Luonian: “They were the one that gave the student ID to me. After the incident was over, as they were greeting the stranded policemen, the police was actually holding this while looking for you. When they asked, they found out that during that incident you were the first to rush towards the monster.”
This was the first time Hou Tianliang had heard about this incident. Hou Tianliang was the first to blurt out: “Shit! As expected, Junior Brother sure has guts.”
“Junior Brother…… No, Luonian, are you the type to seek death?” Zhang Zhiwen forced a laugh: “How could an untrained person defeat a monster?”
Chen Luonian didn’t know how to respond. His habit of losing rationality when he faces an urgent situation wasn’t something worthy of being proclaimed, so he could only awkwardly give a bitter laugh.
Ye Weishan continued: “They saw the student ID and knew that it belonged to someone at our school, and they also knew that we were looking for more people to join, so they asked the police for the ID, and suggested for us to consider trying to get you to join…… We got the ID two days ago when we bumped into each other, only then did we found out it was actually you……”
“Yeah.” Lai Yixin laughed: “When we saw it, both Weishan and I were super shocked. It was only then that we found out you had encountered yet another monster that night. After that you didn’t encounter any more, right?”
“Uh…… no.” Chen Luonian said as he laughed inside, if Huai Zhen was also counted in, then it could be said that he had encountered monsters five times that day.
Ye Weishan continued: “Because at night we……”
At this point, suddenly from outside came a voice: “I’m late! Sorry! Hi! Weishan, Yixin.” The brown haired girl that showed up at Banqiao Station last time suddenly appeared at the entrance of the room. Like last time, she still wore gym shorts, a short-sleeves jacket, carried that huge bag. She bursted in like a tornado and started laughing boldly with her mouth wide open.
“Malian.” Lai Yixin smiled: “What about Qiya?”
“Here.” Another graceful looking short-haired girl appeared now. She was also wearing a sports jacket paired with tight-fitting jeans, with no expression on her face, she quietly walked in.
Ye Weishan smiled: “You guys finally arrived.”
“Haha, sorry, sorry. Earlier, I couldn’t stand my stomach growling anymore, so I dragged Qiya to a noodle shop on the road for a meal.” Malian said while laughing: “I thought we would definitely be able to make it in time, sorry.”
“When she was half-way done, she spotted a flyer on the wall, so we ended up late.” Qiya said.
“What flyer?” Lai Yixin asked.
“If you can eat 3 big bowls of beef noodle soup in one sitting, the meal will be free!” Malian patted her stomach and laughed: “Of course I had to try.”
“Did you really eat three bowls?” Ye Weishan asked.
“Yeah.” Malian gave a satisfied belch and said: “Anyways, aren’t we just helping you with welcoming new members tonight? We don’t have to work.”
“Malian……” The always serious Ye Weishan’s face turned slightly red as she frowned: “Don’t joke with us.”
“Okay, okay.” Malian laughed happily.
“I’ll introduce you guys.” Ye Weishan composed herself, turned her head to look at everyone: “This is Miss Malian and Miss Qiya. They’re our seniors, make sure to be respectful towards them; these new people are……”
“You don’t have to introduce them, it’s such a pain. Ah, that’s right, hurry up and tell me who that brave hero from last time is?” Malian said as she casually leaned on the back of the chair. As for Qiya, she didn’t utter a sound, only sweeping her gaze over the four once, as if that counted as an explanation.
Ye Weishan smiled and didn’t try to continue, only pointed at Chen Luonian and said: “He’s the owner of that student ID, Luonian.” She said to Chen Luonian: “Yixin and I need to bring those three to practice. Tonight, your agreement to join shows that your character is suitable to test, so we especially asked Miss Malian and Miss Qiya to help.”
“It’s this guy?” Malian leaned forward, looked him up and down, taking in Chen Luonian’s pretty weak appearance, and seemed quite disappointed. After several seconds she finally said: “Are you an idiot? Why would you risk your life and rush up to fight a monster?”
“I won’t next time.” Chen Luonian replied unhappily.
“What sports or martial arts are you good at?” Malian asked next.
“I don’t have anything I’m particularly good at.” Chen Luonian answered.
“As expected, you don’t look like the athletic type.” Malian cried: “Damn it! I heard you were the first one to rush up to face the monster, and I thought it was some brave hero. Forget it, I guess? And there’s also this! Can he even fight? Do you really want this kind of person to join the gang?” She said as she pointed at Huang Zongru.
“Don’t say the gang, we’re not some criminal group.” Qiya said mildly.
“Whatever.” Malian shrugged: “I’m not joking, even if they get the ability, their level of hand-eye coordination has to be good for it to be exhibited, otherwise isn’t it a waste? Qiya, don’t you agree?”
Qiya didn’t seem to have much interest, and only said: “Weishan’s team let Weishan decide.”
“But a part of the resources are provided by us……” Malian said, pouting.
Before Qiya spoke, Lai Yixin already started explaining with a smile: “This isn’t Weishan’s idea, I was the one that recruited them. I feel like they’re really capable.”
Malian was faintly startled, looked at Lai Yixin for a moment, humphed a warning not to overdo it and said: “Fine, do as you like.”
“Then we’ll be troubling you to look after Luonian tonight.” Ye Weishan turned to tell Chen Luonian: “Tomorrow afterschool, go to room underneath the teacher’s lounge.”
“The room under? Okay.” Chen Luonian felt a bit surprised as he nodded his head.
After this request, Lai and Ye led the three others out, leaving only Chen Luonian and these two girls.
Chen Luonian watched Ye Weishan’s departing figure, until it disappeared. Only then did he shift his gaze to the two girls in front of him.
Examining and appreciating a woman’s figure and appearance was Chen Luonian’s habit. Actually, this was barely related to desire, it was just a feeling of when seeing something pleasing to the eye, there was a slight feeling of being moved and joy.
This habit caused females to feel uncomfortable, but even though he looks, his gaze doesn’t seem to contain any nasty desires, so though the receiving side aren’t happy, they usually don’t get angry. Also, if the other side looks as if they really hate it, he usually stops looking for the most part.
The two girls in front of him right now, Malian, being the boorish girl she was, didn’t notice Chen Luonain’s gaze, meanwhile Qiya didn’t even look towards Chen Luonian, so the two completely didn’t notice the fact that Chen Luonian’s gaze was impolite. Since it was like this, he took full advantage of this chance to see his fill.
Last time Chen Luonian was rushing to get away, and didn’t really look closely at the two girl’s appearances. This time with a close examination, he saw that even though Malian’s appearance was pretty average, she was neat and clean. It was just that her hair was messy and her body showed the effects of too much exercise, on top of that she often opened her mouth wide to laugh boisterously, appearing unladylike. However, even though at first glance she seemed to lack charm, but the tight curve of her butt and her toned pair of legs are still enough to attract people’s eyes.
Then there was the elegant short-haired Qiya, with delicate facial features, fair skin, matched with a rarely seen doll face, her looks were not inferior to Ye Weishan. However, Ye Weishan’s face always has a serious expression, but Qiya was actually completely expressionless. That large pair of eyes often looked into the distance, who knows what she was thinking about; Qiya’s figure was slender, her upper body was covered by the sports jacket, so he couldn’t see her figure, but the tight, hugging, skinny jeans exhibited beautiful slender leg shapes, allowing people plenty of room to speculate.
“Just here?” Malian turned to ask Qiya: “Let’s give an explanation first, I’ll do it?”
Qiya wordlessly nodded.
“Okay! Stop spacing out kid, where are your eyes looking?” Malian shouted towards Chen Luonian.
Chen Luonian snapped out of it, stopped appreciating the two’s figures, and looked at Malian, waiting for her to speak.
Malian started at once: “Formally greeting ‘Zong Zhang’ to offically join is something we will do later. The regulations in this group of ours is pretty loose. Besides gathering once in a while, everyone usually just works on their own. Qiya and I looked after Weishan when she first joined for a while so we get in touch more often. She’s actually pretty cute, it’s just that her personality is too serious, I think those two……”
“Malian.” Qiya couldn’t resist interupting, Chen Luonian couldn’t help but laugh. Those two really are more experienced than Ye Weishan, no wonder they called them Seniors, but what about Lai Yixin? Perhaps he was recruited by Ye Weishan? And what’s this Zong Zhang11, this sect’s head?
“Ah…… well, basically at the next sect gathering you can probably offically join……” Malian thought a bit, then continued: “That’s just fomalities anyways! In the past the conditions to join were really harsh, but now it’s become really lenient. Zong Zhang is fine with whatever, otherwise with the likes of you guys……”
“Malian!” Qiya called again, this time her eyebrows creased.
“Alright, alright…… got sidetracked again……” Malian gave an embarrassed smile, then continued: “In brief, as long as you abide by our sect’s regulations, joining isn’t much of a problem.”
It felt a bit like joining an underground organization. Chen Luonian asked: “What regulations?”
“Wasn’t I just about to explain?” Malian let go of the huge backpack, took out a black leather book, was about to open and read it, but on second thought said: “Nn…… the five Buddhist disciplines12, eight laws, ten regulations, are a pain to recite, you probably can’t remember either. Basically, it’s just, don’t flout the rules, don’t be an asshole. This is simple enough to understand right?”
“Understood.” Chen Luonian really didn’t want to listen to an entire lecture of rules, and frantically nodded.
“Hahaha, to tell the truth I can’t remember either. When you officially join they’ll give you a handbook which you can look through yourself.” Malian continued: “Members of the sect usually don’t run into each other much, and don’t distinguish between ranks. But when something happens, you must obey Zong Zhang’s instructions and unite to face the problem. Otherwise, most of the time, you’ll be fine as long as you listen to your group leader.”
“Group leader?” Chen Luonian was puzzled.
“Your group’s group leader is Weishan.” Malian said: “My group’s is Qiya. Qiya and I didn’t want to expand our group, so it has always only been the two of us. The materials we collect we all give to Weishan…… We’ll talk about this again later, in short our sect has quite a bit of classified information. Without permission it can’t be casually spread to others, understand?”
Chen Luonian once more nodded his head.
“The most basic regulations are just these……” Malian glanced at Qiya.
“Mm.” Only now did Qiya opened her mouth to speak: “Follow regulations, group solidarity, obediance, maintain secrecy, can you abide by them?”
Another oath? Chen Luonian couldn’t help glancing down at that bandage on his left ring finger, feeling a bit ridiculous. To casually promise was pretty simple, but how many people would truly sincerely take the pledge? Unless they use a contract vow like Huai Zhen to bind him to his promise, what’s the point of getting nervous over a verbal promise?
“Well?” Malian said: “This is the most basic requirement.”
The answer was simple anyways, whether he’d be able to do it or not he’ll deal with later, so Chen Luonian replied indifferently: “Understood.”
Qiya nodded her head, then said: “If you have decided to join, we’ll first send your information to the National Police Agency and National Security Bureau for examination.”
“That’s right.” Malian looked at Chen Luonian as she said: “We’ll check through the three generations of your family, health physical, elementary school grades, even information on the girlfriends you had in kindergarten will be dug out. Until it’s confirmed that your history is clean, your mental health is normal, you have upstanding behavior, only then would you be allowed to join.”
This notes are abridged, but as you can see, they’re still pretty long… I think I want to take out footnotes from my moonbunny chapters all together since they’re such a pain to transfer. What do you guys think?
(1) Chen Jie Jie = Chen’s Big Sister, it’s a way of addressing people you don’t really know personally. Jie Jie means older sister. It’s used between family, relatives, as well as by people completely unrelated as both a sign of respect or flattery.
(2) In chinese, skin is like an expression for pride/embarrassment. If you have thick skin, you’re pretty shameless. On the other hand, if you have thin skin you get easily embarrassed. In this case, Huai Zhen is doing something rude by inviting herself to dinner, even if she got permission, and she’s showing that she knows and apologizing for that by acknowledging it. It’s being casually polite.
(3) This is kinda a play on words. Monster in Chinese is made of 2 words, 妖, which means monster, goblin, etc, and 怪 which means strange or weird. Chen Luonian concedes and called Huai Zhen a 妖仙 which is ‘monster’ ‘fairy’, so I did some rearranging so that it sounds more natural.
(4) The meaning is to reduce to submission but I think it’s implying like taming them in order to use them for something.
(5) It’s not actually a question if it’s not clear enough. He’s teasing her for shamelessly declaring herself beautiful by suggesting her words are false because he never felt that way.
(6) Basically the place where Huai Zhen comes from. Other names could be Fairy World, World of the Immortals…
(7) I think it’s purposely vague but what I’m understanding is to choose “less time” would give him the ability to fast-forward into the future that he wants.
(8) I feel your pain Luonian… and to the readers, skills are like the skills martial arts practitioners get. The foundation is like strengthening their body and internal energy. Basically references to wuxia terms. Read some wuxia novels and you should get the general gist of it~ Off the top of my head, I think Douluo Dalu, Tales of Demons and Gods, and Against the Gods were pretty good.
(9) The saying is those on our side/one’s own people; one of us. Basically, it’s like once you join them, you’re like family so there’s no need to be so polite.
(10) His family name, 侯, sounds like 猴 which means monkey. Ah is just something you put in front of family names in chinese as an endearing/familiar way to call someone. Then another combination 色猴, basically carries the meaning of pervert/skirtchaser.
(11) It’s not explained yet so I’m leaving it in Pinyin for now, but the Chinese characters seem to mean Sect Leader. B/c if they said Sect Leader, does Luonian really need to speculate to figure out the Sect Leader is the head of the Sect?
(12) The five Buddhist discipline was the only one I found. It’s to not kill, not steal, not lust, not lie, and not drink alcohol.