The Guide to Capturing a Black Lotus

Chapter 45 Soul and Sandalwood (9)

“Sis, let me take a look at your hand.”

Facing Mu Sheng’s glimmering yet intimate eyes, that extremely pitiful manner, anyone would be unable to refuse. Mu Yao’s long and delicate arms reached out of her sleeves with great reluctance before placing them in her little brother’s hand.

Mu Sheng very very carefully blew on the several scratches on her hand and then pulled her down to the side to sit, “Let me help my sister apply medicine…”

”No need.” Mu Yao didn’t know whether to laugh or cry as she took back her hands, “They’re all just surface wounds, I’m not that delicate.”

Mu Yao wore a plain, white-as-the-moon, coat. Her beautiful collarbone peeked out from between the two rivers of hair flowing down and the taro purple cloth covering her chest. Even though her face looked rather pitiful, she was still as elegant as before. As the night wind blew and fluttered her skirt, she lowered her eyes and the teardrop-shaped birthmark at the corner of her eye was so beautiful, it could move one’s heart.

However, she was worried about Liu Fuyi’s injuries, thus only staying a few minutes before her heart started to feel restless.

At first, she had some doubts regarding the oppressive and dominating aura Mu Sheng had when he acted. However, seeing his little puppy-like appearance, he was still the little brother she knew the best. There wasn’t any need to think too much.

As for the violent aura on him, it was most likely due to the overwhelming amount of blood from demons staining his clothes.

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In the past, all those little things that they had made bets over due to her temper, now seemed to have become precious.

This entire fantasyland was exactly the nightmare Princess Duanyang had suffered oh so many times— the journey from the new temple to the old temple. The resplendent starlight and the all-encompassing cries of insects during the fall was exactly the same as reality, not even a single aspect out of place. The night wind was slightly chilly, drilling into one’s sleeves and corners, blowing out all of the heat in one’s heart altogether.

Mu Sheng and his sister stood side by side with expressions of calm forged normally through countless years. On the contrary, his heart was just like a bundled ball of confusion. The last words Ling Miaomiao had exhorted him repeatedly knocked on the insides of his skill, “Rather than listen to it speak nonsense, why don’t you just go and ask your sister.”

Would his beloved sister truly know?

Even if she knew, would she tell him everything that everyone else had been covering up to the best of their ability?

Even though he had experienced many things in the last ten years, he had never experienced anything like this day. Everything was filled with doubt and confusion; even he had no way of dispersing any of it. This was just a beautiful facade but if he were to reach out and poke a hole in it, thus waking up, then what could he do?

He looked at the silent side-profile of Mu Yao. He understood in his heart. She had questions she wanted to ask him but her heart was currently worried for Liu Fuyi, so she couldn’t be bothered to deal with him at the moment.

His mouth curled up into a self-mocking sneer.

The two stood in the night wind, standing very closely to one another but mentally, they were in their own worlds. Physically close but too far to touch.

Princess Duanyang was like a protective mother hen.

Wherever Miaomiao went, Duanyang stared at her like a tiger eyeing its prey. Ling Miaomiao was stared down, down to the point she felt like her scalp was on fire, “Your highness, you… your highness, why do you keep staring at me so?”

Duanyang sat under the tree, leaning against its trunk, Liu Fuyi’s cloak still draped around her shoulders. She forcefully made the unconscious Liu Fuyi lay on her thighs. Even though her legs had gone numb, she still persevered in staying completely still.

Ling Miaomiao could only deal with her, “Can I take a look at how Brother Liu is doing?”

“You can’t.” Duanyang pulled Liu Fuyi towards her, haughty vigilance appearing all over her small face, “Brother Liu just drank medicine and fell asleep, don’t bother him.”

Miaomiao sympathetically looked towards the man being twisted around on Duanyang’s thighs. She would even pat him from time to time. She couldn’t help but say in her heart, who is the one doing the bothering here???

However, in the end, she didn’t utter any words of satire or mocking. She only cordially said, “Your highness, Brother Liu has saved me before—-”

“How is that considered anything amazing? He’s the one who saved my life, my life benefactor.” Princess Duanyang’s chin was raised high into the air, an aura of unquestionable royalty filling the young girl’s arrogant manner, “He has already saved my life three times.”

Her expression softened here, remembering how he suffered injuries from the demons but still managed to turn around, with a pale white face, pacifying her in a warm tone, “Your highness, no need to fear.”

Her nose soured and she nearly cried right then and there. However, she thought to herself that she couldn’t cry. She was the country’s most honorable princess. The riches the Son of Heaven possessed were like the four seas. As for her, she would possess at least all the rivers. Now that Brother Liu was injured, she would protect him from here on out. She would never let him suffer an injury again, not even a tiny weeny bit. She wouldn’t allow anything.

Ling Miaomiao saw the tears suspended in her eyes. She kept wiping her eyes for a long time before suddenly changing to a firm and resolute expression. Currently, it wasn’t the best time to disrupt her fantasy so she could only look toward the other tree far away and walk towards it.

Before she left however, she shot a look of pity towards Liu Fuyi. More specifically, his neck which looked utterly uncomfortable. She muttered internally, “I’m sorry Brother Liu! This time I can’t save you from this trial…”

The Phoenix Tree’s bark was glossy and smooth. Its branches were great in number and leaves in great abundance. Ling Miaomiao took off her outer coat and used it to cover her body, exceptionally satisfied as she leaned against the tree.

No matter how endless the dark night was, tonight was a good chance to rest.

“Hit him—-”

“Beat him to death!”

Far away from the streets and alleys, hidden in a narrow place where the fallen leaves had rotten in the water on the ground, was a place where drunkard’s would wake up early in the morning to pee on the ground as if there were nobody else present. All filthy things happened in places with no one to see.

Four or five young children stood in a circle, firmly holding the person in the middle as they beat the person up with fists and kicks. The small white figure was just like a dying fish, trying to wriggle its tail with all its strength to get away. Finally, he was able to find a gap amongst the encirclement, successfully climbing up and getting away.

A young boy’s long hair reached his shoulder but it wasn’t like the hair of other children, tied up into a ponytail. Instead, he let his bright black hair freely flow down to his shoulders. His face was like floating snow, his eyes like the star mercury. At first glance, he looked just like a beautiful girl.

The few kids behind him immediately split up and chased after him.

This was where the difference between them immediately became obvious. The kids originally beating him were at least 8 or 9 years of age. Their bodies were rather sturdy. Yet, the child being beaten was at the most only 7 years of age. He wasn’t tall and his limbs were also thin. He was at least a head shorter than the rest of them. After just running two steps, he was easily chased up to and knocked down.

He laid on the ground, breathing heavily for air. His black grape-like eyes reflected the gorgeous dusky horizons.

He looked at the edge of the sky where the horizon seemed to burn, looking at with all his attention.

“Hey, can you even speak?”

“You’re really a mute huh?”

The leader of the children kicked his leg and he looked over. His lips were tightly pursed and the look in his eyes was completely empty, lacking any emotions at all.

“It’s a monster! It’s not human!” They whispered amongst each other before looking each other in the eye, “Hit him!”

Their fists fell like the rain and he reached out his arm to guard his face. Very quickly, the cloth at his elbows was left with several holes.

“What are you all doing?”

Suddenly a male duck-like voice appeared, causing the children to pause. Fear surfaced in their eyes and expressions, “Big bro?”

He was the king of the kids in the alleys. He was 13 this year, both the tallest and the most robust of them all. He was on his first steps towards turning into a young man, light black stubble on his chin and his voice already having turned into that of a duck’s. He wore a sleeveless silk garment that looked tattered with his back hunched. In his hand, the club he wielded knocked against the ground twice, letting out menacing ‘thuds’.

Yet, the child on the ground didn’t look at him. Without a word, he sat up, arms and legs moving agilely in an attempt to get away yet again. There wasn’t the slightest expression on his delicate face.

“Did I say you could leave?”

The small white silhouette acted as if he didn’t hear him at all, causing fire to burn within him. In a few steps, he neared him and used his hand to pull him back, throwing him onto the ground.

The child raised his head to coldly look at him. His black pupils shimmered like limpid water, his eyebrows were long and the corner of his eyes beautiful.

His throat suddenly tightened, even the most beautiful of girls in the streets didn’t have this kind of eyes.

This was the age where they started to learn about matters of the world. They forsook learning any of the good things while completely learning all of the bad. He felt like there was a cat inside his heart scratching him, making him restless to the point of being unable to endure. He faced the little face and stared for a long time before turning around and smiling, “Kids, let gramps show you all something good.”

After saying that, his expression immediately changed, “All of you hold him down!”

The child looked at the multitude of expressions on their faces and some change to his expression finally appeared, panic and alarm starting to color his face.

No… no…

The face in front of him grew closer and closer, their eyes staring fixated at him.

He had seen those eyes before. He knew what they meant.

He shook his head as if his life depended on it. His heartbeat sped up as if something was slowly breaking apart within….

“Big bro, why are you getting so close to him?” One of the children asked in confusion.

The king of the kids harshly pinched the child’s snow white chin, purposely leaving behind two red marks on his face as he laughed, “This is something you all don’t understand—taking liberties.”

”Oh!” The children all made a hubbub in half-understanding.

The young boy suddenly started to struggle violently, as if he was entering the final struggle of someone about to die, and a leg pressed down on his face.

”How dare you resist!” A palm bloomed upon his cheek with blood seeping out the corner of his mouth. The other children also rushed up, rigidly holding him down onto the ground.

With his two pupils that were as black as ink, he looked at the approaching face in despair. His lashes shivered and his eyes shut.

Don’t touch me.

Don’t push me.

Suddenly, red light burst out, the bloody red color and the warm yellow color of dusk layered atop one another. The child’s hair stood on end, growing in all directions. In that instant, it had reached his waist.

Each strand of the black hair had grown an entire inch, wildly growing on top of itself in layers. Nearly all the leaves on the trees were swept underneath his finger. Countless pieces of tile fell from the broken wall at the entrance of the alley and shattered. Rubble flew but all that could be heard was simultaneous screams suddenly being cut off, screams that did not seem to have come from humans at all.

His surroundings seemed to have become completely bathed in a fierce red light. It took him a long while before he finally opened his eyelids slightly, seeing the people lying on the floor in disorder and realizing it was the children who had been holding him down just earlier. Now they all still had their eyes wide open, staring into space while still maintaining their twisted forms. They had long since stopped breathing.

The boy calmly looked at the scene, for a while unable to properly react.

It wasn’t until his long hair fluttered in the wind and landed upon his shoulders that he moved. He reached out to caress it but only then did he react and suddenly show panic. He retreated two steps, spun around and started to run to escape the alley in loud, resounding thuds.

— His hair was long now, it grew so long in such a short amount of time.

— Madam was going to be angry.

Going up the old wooden staircase, he knocked vases and plants flying everywhere, caused someone to drop their fan, and from amidst the multi-colored group covered in makeup, his passage caused their screams to rise and fall like the tide, “What in the world—”

In his head, the heavy and bewildering fear caused him to think of nothing else as he ran to the second floor without even looking back.

The people behind him carrying the fan hopped about in anger, “How dare he! What kind of place does he think this is? Stop him immediately!”

Nobody could block him.

The mosquito net was lowered and the room was filled with a sweet but light fragrance. The room was so dark, the sunlight nearly couldn’t penetrate it. He blankly stood there staring at that familiar bed.

It wasn’t until the breeze shook the canopy, allowing him to see her pressed down by someone, forehead slick with sweat and hair stuck to it. Her red dudou 1 [1] Ancient bra hung from her neck and her exposed skin was as pale as white snow. It was just like the very last vestiges of dirty snow being melted away during the New Years. 2 [2] Chinese New Years is in february, usually when spring starts…

He had once been excited to build a snow-man. However, before he had been able to hold it in his hands, the snow had already turned into transparent slush in his hands.

It was gone in a blink of an eye.

“Mother.”

Those grey, lifeless eyes. That wasn’t her. That wasn’t the person who sat him in front of a mirror to comb his hair with a smile.

”After the sun sets, no matter what, don’t return to this place.”

The man, whose blue veins were clearly visible on his arm, reached out and picked up one of the tea cups by the head of the bed and threw it. As the tea cup flew through the air, so did his curses boom through the air.

Top-grade china shattered against his temple, warm fluid flowing down his cheek. Some redness started to cover up his line of sight.

The breeze still stubbornly continued to blow, continuously ruffling the canopy. Every time it did so, he would be kneeling on the ground, calmly staring into her eyes.

Tears finally rolled down her cheeks. Those foul tears snaked down her beautiful countenance, just like a crack, a gap that could never be closed.

“Xiao Sheng’er, why did you come back?” 3 [3] I don’t recall if I mentioned this before… but I’ll just add another note here. Xiao is kind of an endearing term you use on people you’re close to. Or just used to indicate someone younger and or shorter than you.


Entropy: I… can’t believe I didn’t publish this again… I didn’t notice until I was preparing the posts for the chapters this week…….


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Entropy [Translator]

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2 Comments

  1. Kitten
    Kitten

    Poor baby, Miaomiao he needs a huge hug! Your black lotus wasn’t born like this, he was constantly tainted by only the worst side of the world/people. (; ′Д`)ノ

  2. plush
    plush

    I forgot to check for updates! So sorry huhu, I was so worried for a second that I was abt to see a disgusting scene but thankfully it didn’t come. Thank you for the chapter!!