Wind and rain paused.
Ling Miaomiao half pried open her eyes only to discover to her amazement that the clay statue’s broken limbs piled up like a small mountain. It was split in half, with the black lotus standing in the center like an icebreaker effortlessly creating a path of radiance.
She sucked in a deep breath, chilling her lungs with the cold air. She nearly swallowed the pearls in her mouth, causing her to choke for a good while before harshly coughing it out with a ‘Pu!’.
“Cough cough cough… this… what is this?”
The red light around Mu Sheng had temporarily shrunk but the evil qi floating between his brows had not dissipated. With a fierce backhand, he slapped her thigh and shouted, “Swallow it!”
His slap on her thigh was far from considerate or light, and it shocked Ling Miaomiao so much she immediately put it back into her mouth without any stray thought of hesitation as her heartbeat sounded like a drum in her chest.
The sweet blood caused her to be unable to swallow. What kind of world was this? Forcing her to swallow this flavourless bead?
She paused for a moment and then mumbled in somewhat of an unintelligible voice with the pearl in her cheeks, “You… weren’t you going to discard me?”
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Yw Fbldt oyp pkzldv qsa y zsdt plnsde clqsal qklanlzu alvsavkdt, “Fyu ydsvbla osae yde R’zz vspp usw aktbv yoyu.”
Nkdt Ykysxkys oyp pkzldv. Fbl alyzkgle kv dso. Mbl czynj zsvwp pyhle bla yqvla vayhlzkdt esod nswdvzlpp xldvyz ryvbp nakppnasppkdt cynj yde qsavb. Lso, bl oyp pwzjkdt yv bkp sod nsxryppksd vbyv pbswze dsv byhl yrrlyale.
”Mbld zlv xl esod, R… R’zz oyzj cu xuplzq?” Fbl hlau nywvkswpzu pdlyjle y tzydnl yv vbl cynj sq bkp blye. Fbl piwkaxle voknl yde oydvle vs pzkel esod sqq sq bkp cynj cwv sdzu vs ekpnshla vbyv bla cseu bye vwadle aktke yzz shla, fwpv zkjl y czsnj sq pvsdl. Lsv vs xldvksd oyzjkdt, pkxrzu ‘piwkaxkdt’ oyp yzalyeu kxrsppkczl. Rd talyv pbsnj, pbl lmnzykxle, “Ebu nyd’v R xshl yv yzz!?”
Tla xkde prwd yde lhlauvbkdt qzkrrle wrpkel esod. Fbl pbswvle kd y hsknl qkzzle okvb taklq yde kdektdyvksd, “Pke usw pvknj vbyv eyxd vyzkpxyd sd xu cynj ytykd!?”
Yw Fbldt rywple qsa y xsxldv clqsal lmrzykdkdt kd yd ydtau, pwrralpple vsdl, “Zswa cseu byp ycpszwvlzu glas alpkpvydnl vs vbl yrbasekpkyn qaytaydnl. Ekvb vbl nzlydpkdt rkzz kd uswa xswvb yde vbl vyzkpxyd sd uswa cynj, usw nyd cyalzu alpkpv, wdelapvyde?”
Nkdt Ykysxkys qlzz yryav kd yd kdpvydv, “… sb.”
Mbkp cseu oyp qya vss olyj, olyj vs vbl rskdv vbyv kv oswze rkpp sqq rlsrzl yde tsep. Maydpxktayvsap obs olal yp olyj yde qaytkzl yp bla, olal alyzzu sdl kd y xkzzksd, dlhla plld clqsal.
Tszekdt sdvs Psoytla Usdpsav Hbys’p fyel vyczlv, pbl oyp pwrrsple vs qkde vbl Fyakay kd rzynl sq vbl Psoytla Usdpsav. Tsolhla, zssjkdt yv bla nwaaldv pkvwyvksd yde yv bla nwaaldv pkvwyvksd okvb Yw Fbldt elzkclayvlzu ekpvydnkdt bkxplzq vs oyvnb vbl lhldvp wdqsze… nswze pbl lhla lhld qkde kv?
Counting the time that had elapsed, it was already pass er geng (21:00 – 23:00), when could they regroup with the main leads?
“Hey, Mu Sheng—-”
Miaomiao was most afraid of a long, extended period of lifeless silence.
In the past when she would go out to play, she would be the one sitting shotgun talking endlessly to prevent the driver from falling asleep. Her voice was both crisp and bright so even if she were to lower it even more, it was still like the soft tinkling of a silver bell. On the long, tiring road, it would be the one to fill the air with laughter and merry.
When she finally decided that she would speak up, she became particularly ignorant and fearless: “Did you know that there’s a type of bug that’s blind? To prevent themselves from accidentally eating their young, they would secrete a type of liquid and wipe it all over the body of the newborn bugs. They use odors to differentiate so just now were you also…”
Mu Sheng turned around and coldly glared at her.
There was a little rabbit laying on his back with its fluffy head snuggling its head into the back of his neck, softly rubbing back and forth. He had no idea what kind of nonsensical joke she was trying to say but subconsciously, he paid attention to it all.
A bug that’s blind… who was she trying to refer to?
In the past when it was him and Mu Yao, his sister would only speak of spells and righteousness. After meeting other young ladies, they would all only try to speak in a winding, complicated fashion. However, when it came to her, everything was unusual.
He sometimes really questioned whether or not Ling Miaomiao was truly raised like a noble girl in a boudoir and not some animal from the wilderness and bamboo forests that had become sentient?
”Don’t be angry ah….” Miaomiao paused and let a long breath of air, causing his neck to feel itchy, “I didn’t mean to call you an old bug, I was just curious.”
His pupils were deep and unexpectedly, there was some mirth within. There was some sort of airheaded brilliance around her body, enough to cause others to feel reluctant to interrupt her.
”Once the reverse talisman is used, it’s hard to control. If you had licked off my blood, and I couldn’t recognize you because of that, you might’ve died.”
Miaomiao thought to herself, then did I guess correctly?! Why are you deliberately mystifying everything?
“However, my face is so big, so why did you place the mark on my lips? I couldn’t help but unconsciously swallow it yet you’re still scolding me…”
Mu Sheng turned his head around to look at her trembling lashes and the fire he had just suppressed once again burst out, filling his entire body in an instant.
Why was it that in that instant the bead of blood popped out, he couldn’t help but move towards her pale white face, towards the bright red lips of hers?
There were always some matters that happen in the blink of an eye and shouldn’t be overthought. If one were to forcefully try to understand, they’d only become irascible and unagreeable.
”…You speak too much.”
Ling Miaomiao could feel the jitteriness in the black lotus’s tone. Understanding pooled in the depths of her heart, she had once again crossed the line.
Presently, this critical moment was very sensitive. In order to level up from a cinnabar mole and replace the white moonlight in his heart, a step forward could lead to smooth seas while a wrong step could cause everything to crash down in an instant. Everything she did now must be done in great consideration.1  White moonlight = the girl you want. Cinnabar mark = the girl you need. LOL. Ok, on a more serious note, White moonlight is sort of the person you meet once and you fall in love with but you know you aren’t for each other. Cinnabar mark is like the childhood sweetheart, the one you were destined to be with from the very start… I think.
Moreover, she didn’t have the confidence to pull this off at the moment, not in the slightest.
Just like the difference between art styles, her face changed into the pondering, thoughtful mien of a young girl in a blink, “Right, do you think Sister Mu and them will also be affected by this aphrodisiac fragrance?”
Hearing Mu Yao’s name, Mu Sheng’s heart instantly leaped up. However, carefully thinking about it, Liu Fuyi and Mu Yao were both experienced demon hunters; Even if one of them were to become infected, it would only be the fragile Princess Duanyang with them instead.
In the next second, Ling Miaomiao’s voice suddenly appeared right beside his ear, dripping with sourness, “What if Princess Duanyang were to get affected by the aphrodisiac fragrance and make a move on Brother Liu? And then take advantage of Brother Liu? He’s so warm and gentle, he definitely wouldn’t refuse her, if that happens… ah!”
All the bones suddenly seemed to have insects crawling over them and the unbearable feeling completely overwhelmed her in an instant.
”Mu Sheng!” She could feel the tears burst out of her eyes.
Mu Sheng was in somewhat of a trance as he looked at the amulet in his hand and lowered his eyelashes. He had only heard half of what she said when a surge of evil fire surged to the top of his head and overtook his senses; Without a thought he simply ripped apart the talisman on her clothes.
“Oh… hurry and stick it back on me…” Miaomiao couldn’t control herself as she wriggled like mad on his back. She looked just like a nobleman suffering from a heroin addiction, forehead beaded with sweat, “Is there a friend who acts like you!? ”
Mu Sheng lightly turned his head and his cold eyes fell upon her, “Feel comfortable now?”
Miaomiao raised her head to meet his eyes. Her lashes had become wet and sparkled as she spoke in an incredulous tone, “What did you say?”
The black lotus shallowly smiled at her with black watery eyes that were like an abyss. His tone was exceptionally warm, “If you feel comfortable then stay quiet.”
Lin Miaomiao’s experience all along the way had been very eventful.
The aphrodisiac fragrance had entered her bones; She was currently in a half-dead state and she still had to hold that cleansing pill in her mouth. It was keeping her on the precipice, barely stopping her from losing consciousness.
In the midst of her muddle headedness, a hallucination appeared and she saw her original face floating in the air, gloomily sneering at her as if saying to her, “Stop overestimating yourself.”
”Sorry, I won’t scold you anymore.” Ling Miaomiao looked at her face full of mucus and tears, reached out her hand to grab at the air trying to hold her hands, “Brother, you’re pitiful, to be forced to marry this kind of person, you’re so pitiful…”
Mu Sheng was perceptive and felt movement coming from behind him, causing his nerves to become taut.
Ling Miaomiao was more iron-willed than he thought, quietly staying still like a corpse for most of the path. Even though the tears she couldn’t control fell on his back with ‘pitter-patter’ sounds, she didn’t make a sound even when feeling half-dead.
At that moment, he heard her suddenly start to mutter to herself. His feet came to a stop as his ears listened carefully, only to hear her harrumph, “Ling Yu… I’m sorry… I won’t curse you anymore…”
Mu Sheng was startled and slightly turned his head, afraid that she lost her mind after being no longer able to resist. He purposely jolted her, trying to wake her up, “… why are you cursing at yourself?”
When the jolt hit, Ling Miaomiao was already dizzy. As soon as she opened her mouth, the cleansing pill in her mouth fell out and fell on the ground with a ‘thunk’. Then, it rolled far away into the darkness.
“Wah—–” Ling Miaomiao’s eyes instantly turned black as she passed out immediately.
Mu Sheng, “….“
He immediately tautened his back and felt somewhat helpless. This really was a disaster… that pill was also reserved for emergencies but now that they were in the wilderness, where would he get another cleansing pill from?
He hesitated for a moment and then lowered his body, wanting to let Ling Miaomiao down. However, who would’ve known that with her last vestige of brilliance she would wake up with bright red cheeks and shiny eyes filled to the brim with unshed tears, grab his sleeves with a death grip and exclaim in great fear, “I won’t eat anything picked up off the ground!”
The ground was littered with monster remains and blood, and with how they’ve been moving back and forth, who knew what kind of scene it looked like now.
Mu Sheng turned his head to look at her for a while, making sure that the look in her eyes was real resistance and that she had suffered long enough to lose her anger, “What do you want then?”
”Go over there.” As soon as she pointed out, she shook her aching arms and legs and sucked in a deep breath with great difficulty. She felt extremely conscious of her lying on Mu Sheng’s back and used one arm to tightly wrap around his neck as if she was afraid her horse would kick her off. “The golden Buddha in the center of the temple… can… can suppress the demons.”
That Buddha was the most important and precious statue within the Xingshan Temple.
The imperial family had extravagantly poured in money and used pure gold to create a splendid and shocking deific statue. Everytime Dowager Consort Zhao came to Xingshan Temple, she would always come and pay homage to it.
Of all the organisms on the earth, each and every one of them had some weakness. Even if the Xingshan Temple were more sinister, the moment the sacred appearance was carved stroke by stroke into the gold, it was inexorably stained by the ethereal nature of Buddha, silently watching over all of existence.
They didn’t know that it was in front of this very Buddha that blood flowed out from the apertures of Princess Duanyang. In her panic, Dowager Consort Zhao would hear a thin and raspy voice:
”Faithful Zhao Xinru, do you not think you’re worshipping in the wrong place?”
With the two candles placed on the table, the area was well illuminated. Miaomiao leaned on the sacrificial table, the bright redness on her face slowly withdrawing.
As long as she raised her head, she would see the golden body of the Buddha, lofty and tall like a mountain. Reflecting the muddy yellow light of the candle, everything was covered in resplendent yellow light. Its posture was slightly slanted at an angle, looking down at all with mercy.
Miaomiao laid against the side of the Buddha’s leg. Her heart was calm and filled with the feeling of leaning against a tall tree and relaxing in the shade.
“Mu Sheng, why aren’t you coming over?”
The youth stood in the center of the hall alone just like an immaterial black shadow. He was just like a world’s most unfathomable wandering ghost. It was only when the breeze shook the headband in his hair did he possess any of the youthful vitality a youngster should have.
He heard her and slowly turned around, walking close to her. He seemed to be trying to feel something, not even showing the least bit of respect as he raised his head up to look.
The Buddha’s countenance was full of serene benevolence.
Ling Miaomiao questioned her own ears when she suddenly heard something shaking behind her.
This sound was just like the sound of a little chick about to hatch from its egg, causing her to flush out of shock and become anxious…
It wasn’t until she saw Mu Sheng’s face that she opened her mouth slowly, turning her head over to look as if she were petrified.
”Crack crack crack…”
The Buddha was trembling at an extremely rapid speed as if there was something inside that had been strongly triggered.
Ling Miaomiao stared at Mu Sheng, “This… that’s…”
Mu Sheng squinted at the Buddha, his smile containing no warmth at all, “Demonic creatures are truly sensitive towards their own kind.”
 White moonlight = the girl you want. Cinnabar mark = the girl you need. LOL. Ok, on a more serious note, White moonlight is sort of the person you meet once and you fall in love with but you know you aren’t for each other. Cinnabar mark is like the childhood sweetheart, the one you were destined to be with from the very start… I think.
TLN: Heyyo everyone, how’s y’all doing this fine friday morning? >.> also sorry for the delayed chapter I kinda… finished putting everything up and then… kinda forgot to press publish lolol.