The grassy fauna bent over following the path of the wind. The continuous range of mountain peaks seemed to connect to the heavens, at the foot of the mountain, the erected eaves reflected the blood-like sunlight. Below the eaves was a whole nother color palette: An ancient tree that looked like a malevolent demon claw and uneven ash grey walls were all seemingly covered by a boundless gloomy fog.
She had seen ‘Heavenly G-String’1  ‘A Slit of Heaven’: Usually only seen in mountain ranges, only a long line/slit of sky can be seen from below… Fufufu liltato forgot to remove my rough translation so I shall keep it as is. before but she had never seen this kind of ‘uniformity’. Ling Miaomiao couldn’t help but furrow her brows, “What’s going on? Doesn’t this look too ominous?”
Mu Sheng didn’t make a sound. His pitch black pupils were motionlessly locked onto this sight and the corner of his mouth was drawn tight. Under his sleeve, He silently removed the Demon Restraining Circlet from his wrist and tightly grabbed it in his hands.
Ling Miaomiao knew that he was currently going into a wary stance.
The sharp, blade-like sunlight shone directly down onto his forehead. He didn’t dodge the gleam of sunlight and just held on against the light, only slightly narrowing his eyes.
The sky suddenly turned dark in a strange way. Dark clouds moved to cover up the sun, the light and dark screen chased after each other. The towering mountains in the distance seemed to suddenly cover up the heavens, in the several kilometers of space around them, there seemed to only be the two of them.
Mu Sheng’s hairband was blown about by the wind with a near whistling noise, lightly brushing past her cheeks.
Ling Miaomiao stuck herself towards his body: “This… this isn’t the same Xingshang Temple we went to that day, right?”
Mu Sheng gave a side glance at her. Ling Miaomiao raised her chin towards the dusky side of the temple hall: “Azure stream mountain softly flowing along, transported to the flower palace. The poem of the side of the wall is gone.”
The youth’s mouth tilted up, the pupils below his feather-like lashes were ink-black: “How smart, however…” His smile became deeper and suddenly turned into a mocking smile: “With the countless mountains that came out of nowhere, do you still need to pay attention to two lines of characters?”
Ling Miaomiao turned her head over to look at the endless range of mountains: “…”
As the Xingshan Temple grew more and more close, the sky also grew increasingly gloomy. The wind grew more and more fierce, engulfing fallen leaves and sweeping dust everywhere. It slowly grew to feel like the wind was cutting into their bones.
Ling Miaomiao raised her head high up to stare at the sky. The sky had already turned into a dark yellow color, both unclear and fuzzy. The trees in the distance were all violently rocking about with loud creaking sounds. “Hey…” She spoke up to remind him, “It looks like a sandstorm.”
Mu Sheng had been contemplating for a long time and now, upon Miaomiao’s words, raised his head up to look at the sky and slowly rotated his pupils around.
”Ah…..” Miaomiao also looked up and got a handful of dust blown into her eyes. She hastily reached out to grab Mu Sheng’s clothes as she started to wildly cough dryly with tears starting to roll out: “Can we find a place to hide?”
Mu Sheng lowered his head to take a look at the hand pulling at his clothes — having been thrown too many times into a human pit, her act of grabbing onto his clothes had become a habit.
Ling Miaomiao had coughed till she was half bent over. Her grip on his clothes grew tighter and tighter, till she had pulled him forward a step. He lowered his lashes at her: “Sand went into your eyes, not your throat. Why are you acting this insane.”
Ling Miaomiao rubbed her eyes and stood up. Her apricot eyes were red like a hare’s: “What would you understand, my father taught me that if I do this I can shake the sand out of my eyes.” She stuck her face out towards him as evidence: “See, take a look.”
“…” He easily reached out and grabbed onto her chin, ignoring her struggles and took a careful look. Within her glistening pearls, both large and black, a red the color of blood seemed about to spill out at any moment yet still maintained an abnormal color.
Much too delicate. He watched as her mind flew away, how could they turn red so easily…
The sandy wind buffeting them grew more tempestuous and their hair had basically grown a layer of yellowish dust. Miaomiao watched Mu Sheng motionlessly look at her, “You still have the guts to stare like this?” Ling Miaomiao was furious, “Are you not afraid of sand going into your eyes….” Before she finished speaking, his hand loosened its grip on her chin and he suddenly closed his eyes. In a split second, he had gone into a sluggish state.
Karma’s a frigid lady.
“Don’t move…” Ling Miaomiao carefully tiptoed and patted his shoulder to placate him: “You… first squat down.”
Mu Sheng was completely rigid like a statue. He slowly knelt down and entered a cross-legged position. His eyes were tightly shut and his long and soaring eyelashes had come down. He let Ling Miaomiao raise his face.
Hmph. Fortunes change and now, karma came for him.
Ling Miaomiao started to take joy in his suffering: “Young Noble Mu, you should cough. Or do you want me to help you blow on them?”
Mu Sheng raised his head without saying a word. Below the embellishment of his long, delicate lashes, the youth’s cheeks were so tender looking that it caused one to want to bully him.
”Alright, then please excuse me.” Ling Miaomiao took a deep breath and lightly clasped his head with her hands. His cheeks were warm and she suddenly felt her heart start to thump wildly.
“What are you waiting for?” After a long moment without any movements from her, he suddenly strongly opened his eyes. His moist black pupils rigidly stared at her and a star-like brilliance appeared within them. His eyes had already turned a shade of red yet his tone was indifferently displeased, “What a hopeless cause.”
Ling Miaomiao was shocked into reeling back her hands but she also couldn’t help but draw near to him to take a look. Their blood red eyes met each other and Miaomiao frowned: “Your eyes are very red.”
Tenderness flashed through her eyes like a thin strand of light, charging straight into his chest with a moment’s passing.
He tried to move his hand but was tightly locked down by her grip, “Don’t rub it.” She was earnestly trying to advise him, “It’ll hurt your eyes. Hurry and cry, use your tears to wash it out.”
Tears? Mu Sheng’s eyes blankly swiveled, the sand in his eyes seemed to be grinded into pearls, turning his eyes extremely dry.
Even though he was naturally born without tears, his pupils were always like an autumn pond, always misty and moist all year round. However, that ‘wetness’ was a most fabricated existence. It was the flower in a mirror, the moon in the water. It was his beautiful yet phony mask.
What was the taste of tears?
To bear with this sort of piercing pain was something he wouldn’t even bat an eye to, it was so familiar to him he didn’t even flinch.
While his mind was wandering, the girl suddenly cupped his face in her hands. She pulled her face close, bringing along with it a thick, yet faint fragrance of jasmine from her hair. She very softly blew on his face, so softly that only a few hairs of his lashes were moved. A cold wind caressed his eyeballs and he instinctively closed his eyes.
That warmth disappeared like as quickly as the ebbing flow of the low tide, she quickly tucked away her concern in a bid to avoid suspicion.
”Mu Sheng.” When he opened his eyes, she had already taken 2 steps back. She was slightly pursing her lips as she somewhat nervously asked him without facing him directly, “Is it better now?”
The sandstorm still continued to wreak havoc around them.
He silently sat down by the side of the dirt road, his hair blown about wildly by the wind: “Come over here, sit behind me.”
Ling Miaomiao scrutinized him for a while and thought that the magnanimous black lotus wouldn’t make things hard for her just because of a bit of sand. Thus, she nodded and lightheartedly hid behind him.
The youth had no expression. His lips pursed as he stretched out his right hand while rapidly sticking a talisman with his left hand. Brilliant light shone out from his chest and in an instant, a dust tornado had appeared. It was like a funnel, turning over and being absorbed into his palm. The forest creaked and groaned, seemingly as it was about to be uprooted, and the sky had turned an indeterminate gloomy tone.
The tornado struggled left and right like a tiger covering the heavens. Its twisting body struggled for a very long time before making a ‘whoosh’ and drilling into Mu Sheng’s clothes. It was like a piece of cloth had been ripped off from in front of them as everything suddenly turned bright.
The trees that had been blown into making pathetic cries suddenly all turned peaceful in a moment.
Ling Miaomiao stared at the sunny skies and was once again shocked by the black lotus’s daily combat abilities.
If the present times had Mu Sheng, the God and Goddess of Lightning2  The chinese goddess of lightning is Dianmu. Apparently uses flashing mirrors to send lightning strikes. She is married to the god of lightning Leigong. (Dianmu and Leigong both directly translate into Lightning Mother and Lightning Father respectively.) would lose their jobs.
She curiously moved her head over his shoulder: “If you had such an incredible talisman, why didn’t you take it out earlier?”
Mu Sheng looked down at the yellow talisman in his hand for a long time. He then slightly raised his head and brought the talisman over to give her a look, completely out of her expectations. However, his smile was a little strange.
If one looked closely, the talisman in his hand was actually two stacked atop each other. The talisman below was very old, its yellow was already turning brown and the edges were ripped and torn. But upon first glance on its shape, it looked exactly the same as the one Mu Sheng had, to the point that with them stacked on each other she nearly couldn’t tell them apart.
”—– You’re meaning is that this sandstorm was caused by this demon of an old talisman?”
“This is a seal, and only the first part. This kind of seal is used to isolate supernatural beings and prevent them from leaving.” The corner of his mouth tilted up. His expression turned dark and gloomy, “This is my family’s sealing talisman.”
”Mu… the Mu Family’s sealing talisman? Ling Miaomiao felt cold sweat on her back as she listened, “This talisman is so old, could it be that Dowager Consort Zhao hid the fact that she already summoned people of the Mu family many years ago?”
The warm sunlight shone down on Mu Sheng’s completely warmth-less smile: “How very interesting. Mu Huaijiang and Bai Jin worked together before to seal the Xingshan Temple in this wasteland.”
Miaomiao carefully scrutinized the mirage-like structure. There was not a soul anywhere near it and weeds covered the distance as far as she could see. No matter how she looked at it, it felt like she was looking at an evil spirit: “Is this really the Xingshan Temple?”
Mu Sheng coldly smiled: “Back against the mountain, zi facing wu sitting on the wang kong lines. Only this way can you easily leap out of the Three Realms and not remain within the five phases…. This is the true Xingshan Temple.”
“According to the rumors from many years ago, it was suppressed by the previous emperor.” Lu Jiu’s voice grew more and more low, causing Mu Yao to unconsciously get closer to him, ears listening with rapt attention.
“According to the rumors from a decade past, the Xingshan Temple was still newly built when something happened. The three head monks of the temple all died in a single night. Red light covered the temple grounds all day long, without dispersing for 3 days and nights. Ever since, the old temple was sealed. The imperial family carried out great construction works in the south of Chang An City, building a Xingshan Temple in the exact form and mold of the old one.
At the end of his spiel, his lips curled up into a secretive mocking smile.
Mu Yao’s lips trembled and she wanted to say something but in the end only let out a sigh in slight amazement.
”And so, does Miss Mu understand my meaning?” The young Incense Master was very thin, the bones of his face slightly protruded, giving him a slight feeling of illness. While he spoke, he didn’t look at Mu Yao’s face and only stared straight ahead, “Her highness the Dowager Consort, and even the entire imperial family, are not as simple as you all might have thought.”
Mu Yao’s footsteps paused as many thoughts flew through her head. She suddenly asked, “When we were in the hall, was Mr. Lu able to see that there was bone ash mixed within?”
Lu Jiu lowered his lashes and smiled. His face seemed to melt into the shadow: “How could that be. Just like what Miss Mu said, I am merely a businessman playing the part of a businessman.”
 A Slit of Heaven: Usually only seen in mountain ranges, only a long line/slit of sky can be seen from below:
 The chinese goddess of lightning is Dianmu. Apparently uses flashing mirrors to send lightning strikes. She is married to the god of lightning Leigong. (Dianmu and Leigong both directly translate into Lightning Mother and Lightning Father respectively.)