~ Finding an alternative ~
Ever since Lin Lang brought news that the Lingyin party was starting in a month’s time, Shu Yu’s life began to be harsh. She thought that the previous three days of emergency training was strict enough but it’s at this point that she realised that that was just an appetiser. BOSS had noticed that she hadn’t fully adapted yet and had reduced the training intensity for her. Right now, the current situation is worthy of practise.
Every hour of the day was mostly spent on practising martial arts, her demeanour and her facial expressions. That’s right, although previously, she could still take some time off to sleep but now she has been deprived of it. Jin Yu doesn’t need to sleep daily. At her level, she could make do without sleep and food. It’s just because Shu Yu was a human and had yet to get used to it. Fu Wang had intended for her to be accustomed to it slowly but with the tense situation now, Fu Wang had to grab the remaining time to develop a series of lessons for her.
Speaking of the Lingyin party, it’s not comparable to within the Tian Feng Household. In any case, the Tian Feng Household is the Fox Clan’s head household and Shu Yu can afford to slip up. But if she slipped up in front of the Four Demon Clans during the party, the Fox Clan’s enemies will definitely grab onto this. If things go bad, Shu Yu’s identity would be exposed, so this Lingyin party spelled trouble.
When Shu Yu saw herself in the mirror, her face was full of black lines and she felt like she had a kidney deficiency. You can’t blame her because this practise is too difficult, she’s not mentally strong enough. She’s only allowed rest for a mere fifteen minutes out of the twelve hours of practise, no one can withstand that, this is simply a hundred times harder than preparing for college entrance exams.
The practise is uninteresting, emptying the body’s power and bearing the tingling pain of recovering it before continuing to push limits over and over again. It’s hard to understand the science behind the practise. Even with Fu Wang’s explanation, she still had a hard time understanding, so why is Jin Yu able to understand it without any difficulty, and why is it so hard on her body to just repeat the practise?
She’d initially thought that she’ll be able to recover Jin Yu’s ability soon, but the problem for Shu Yu is time, everytime she faced a huge obstacle, the shadow in her heart would grow infinitely. If it weren’t for her partner Fu Wang who was also her teacher, friend, big brother, housekeeper and psychologist, Shu Yu would crumble under this day-to-day anxiety.
Shu Yu was dead tired everyday but looking at Fu Wang, she couldn’t bring up the thought to quit because Fu Wang was stronger and more hardworking than her.
Shu Yu wasn’t mentally strong but she had a tough body, Fu Wang was totally opposite, only having a low-class demon’s vulnerable body but he was mentally strong. Unlike Shu Yu, Fu Wang still needed to rest and eat but he accompanied Shu Yu and only had two minutes of rest everyday. At the same time, he had to sort out any questions and understand her level of knowledge before coaching her, correcting her attitude towards the big clans and clear up her messy memories. It started with coaching Shu Yu on her attitude, to correcting her behaviour.
In comparison, Fu Wang was more tired than Shu Yu yet she neither caught a glimpse of him looking tired nor his anxious face. His mentality affected Shu Yu to a large extent, having well-organised arrangements can also be very reassuring.
So to say, those who can be BOSS are definitely of a higher intelligence! Shu Yu lost count of the times she was this lucky to be in the same boat as BOSS. If she didn’t alliance with BOSS and only had Jin Yu’s chaotic and bloody memories to rely on, plus to be under this tremendous pressure, relying on that and the group of old demons that obviously didn’t have enough IQ, she’d probably be in deep waters already.
“It’s time for lunch, Shu Yu, come and have some food.”
Shu Yu had long smelt the fragrance of the delicious meat. Once she heard him calling, she immediately dashed to sit in front of the table, staring at the scrumptious dishes with glistening eyes as she waited for BOSS to say dig in.
These dishes are Fu Wang’s. Afterall to outsiders, she still consumed Spiritual fruits and water. Ever since she angrily dismissed a batch of male pets, Fu Wang’s position on TianXin Island had gotten higher and this was reflected in his daily meals. Fu Wang wasn’t concerned about his meals but since Shu Yu liked it, he appreciated her thoughts and it was also a reward for the hard work she’d put in.
You can tell that this girl has been through hardships before. To be in this unknown place all of a sudden, having to withstand all this pressure and practise things that she’d never touched before, everyday and without rest. Even if she had a great temperament, Fu Wang was ready to console and advise her at any time. But for many days, she never showed any signs of dissatisfaction though occasionally, when she couldn’t bear it anymore, she would look at him bitterly for some time before grinding her teeth and accepting her fate, not making a single complain.
Fu Wang’s persona had always been to be harsh on himself and others. Even if he had a kind and gentle expression on his face, his heart was utterly cold. Now that he sees Shu Yu being so obedient, not saying a word though she looked miserable and tired to death, he strangely felt some hesitation in his heart. He questioned whether the training he’d drawn up was too much, if there was some other way to resolve the current issue.
With chopsticks in her hand, Shu Yu looked quizzically at Fu Wang who seemed to be in deep thought about something, calling out to him: “Fu Wang?”
Fu Wang came to his senses, placing the vegetable he had in his chopsticks onto Shu Yu’s plate and softly said: “What is the matter?”
Shu Yu bit onto her chopsticks and hesitantly said: “Are you tired? You haven’t had any rest for many days, why don’t we call it a day for today?” This afternoon, when she’d completed a phase of practise and was planning to ask BOSS about a few things, she saw BOSS sitting in front of the table and massaging his temples with knitted brows before picking up a pen and sorting things out.
That split second of exhaustion was hidden by him in an instant and replaced by an air of calm and peace, before turning around to look at her with an emotionless  look on his face. This guy is too good at faking. With his calm attitude and confident manner, Shu Yu constantly forgets the fact that he’s just a low level demon and when exhaustion flashed through his brows, she’s reminded that he’s not a god after all.
*sobs* My heart aches, it’s unbearable! Comparing a strong person that reveals his fragile side to an iron man with tender feelings, this contrast is simply too hard to withstand!
In her mind, Shu Yu had an image of the tiny version of BOSS pushing forward with a haughty look, Fu Wang is unaware of that so when he heard Shu Yu, his first thought was that Shu Yu was tired, her tortuous reaction probably implied that she wanted to rest. Probably from overthinking and seeing the expectation in her eyes, Fu Wang thought for a while and said: “I’m fine, why don’t you take a rest and continue your training tomorrow.”
“You don’t have to worry, there’ll always be a way out. When things happen, there’ll always be a way to solve it. You still have me, things might not be that bad.” Fu Wang reassured as he filled her plate with her favourite vegetables. Softly, he spoke: “Have some rest after you’re done, you can have a good night’s sleep tonight.” No matter how hardworking the little girl was, she still needed to be rewarded, taking a break once in a while wouldn’t hurt.
Fu Wang thought with an easy-going attitude. As per the practise plan, the level that is needed to be reached today, he’ll have to make changes and see if he could find time to make up for it.
Shu Yu, who’d tried to persuade him to rest is instead urged by him to rest, felt like crying. BOSS is a good person and a competent babysitter, how could such a man like him become a perverted BOSS in the end! It’ll be great if he continued to be like this!
He works so hard, yet he urges her to sleep, she is definitely too guilty to fall asleep.
Fu Wang looked up to see an expression of genuine guilt in her eyes. He burst into a smile. She’s truly a sincere girl. He caressed her head, his voice gentle, “We are just delaying it for half a day. It’s ok. Isn’t it better if you’re more prepared when you’ve had rest? Go, I’ll wake you up when it’s time.”
Hearing his words, Shu Yu’s legs had already turned soft. Grabbing his hands, she said in a serious tone: “You shall take a break, I will not rest, I promise not to slack off, trust me.”
Seeing her serious side, Fu Wang then subconsciously realise. It turns out that she really only wanted him to rest and wasn’t using a roundabout way to express that she wanted to take a break.
Fu Wang paused, seeing that she was done eating, he passed her a handkerchief to wipe her mouth before standing up: “Follow me.”
Shu Yu followed behind him till they reached the Inner Hall, she stopped when she saw that he sat down on the bed, “Aren’t you going to sleep? Then I’ll continue training outside.”
“Wait. Shu Yu, come here.”
Shu Yu walked over and once she was close enough, she was made to seat along the bedside. All she saw next was BOSS’ skillful movements as he took off her coat and lifted up her leg to take off her shoes.
“Huh?” BOSS you’re taking off my shoes! And my chest didn’t even have time to register the fact that my coat was taken off, would you give me some time to react!
Pushed onto the bed and covered with a soft blanket, Shu Yu was still immersed in her thoughts of “BOSS actually took off my shoes, what will he do to me”. When she turned around again, Fu Wang was on the bed too, lying not too far from her. Seeing her gaze, he chuckled: “Then we shall rest together, I’m indeed tired.”
Shu Yu still had something to say but when she saw his curved eyes, she could feel that he is tired so she stay silent instantly. Instead, she nodded her head, shut her eyes and pretended to sleep. Once her eyes were closed, she really fell asleep not long after. She’s really exhausted, mentally exhausted.
Laying beside her, Fu Wang did not sleep at all. Turning to his side, he was met with the back of a sleeping Shu Yu. After watching her for a while, his eyelids turned heavy. It’s tiring to have not closed his eyes for many days but it’s not unbearable for him. He thought he’d hidden himself well but she noticed his weariness. Coming from the least sensitive and oblivious person, she is surprisingly sharp at times.
It was dawn when Shu Yu woke up, the sky was still dark. After a night and afternoon’s worth of rest, the tiredness from before had completely vanished and she could feel an endless supply of power in her body. When she woke up this time, she wasn’t hugging Fu Wang like a pillow because he wasn’t even on the bed and she had the big bed all to herself.
With her messy bed hair, Shu Yu wore her coat and went out. Sure enough, she found Fu Wang in the study room just outside the outer Hall. He was sitting before a desk and writing something, his long hair untied with a few strands dangling from his temple. His eyebrows slightly raised as though he were pondering a problem. Spread out on the desk was many books and jades.
Large windows on the side of the room are opened, chilly air from the night flowed into the room through the wooden window, the shadows from the trees outside the courtyard and the moonlight are reflected on the floor made of white jade, reflecting a cool radiance.
Fu Wang was sitting alone in this quiet and cool room, staring at the glimmer of light that radiated from the candle. Shu Yu turned her eyes to the lit incense burner that was emitting smoke on the side of the desk, the scent was personally concocted by Fu Wang to keep himself awake, surely he has not rested for long and is about to become busy again.
BOSS’ flaw is that he’s very dedicated and persistent. Shu Yu scratched her head and wondered if she should greet him now or stay on the sidelines and continue her practise. Before she could decide, she was noticed by him.
Seeing that she wasn’t wearing her red outfit properly with her collar all over the place, standing by the door with a dazed look and her messy bed hair Fu Wang smiled as he put down the brush in his hand and asked: “You’re awake, did you get a good rest?”
Shu Yu nodded and asked sheepishly: “Did you not get any rest?”
Fu Wang noticed her concern and smiled: “I am well-rested, I’ve always not rested much before. Since I’m awake, I went to the study room to take a look.” He said as he signalled for Shu Yu to come over. He first adjusted her collar before saying: “Sit over here, I’ll help you to tie your hair.”
Before she transmigrated here, there was never a need to tie her mid-length hair so she doesn’t have the skills to tie her hair, not to mention tying complicated hairstyles. But after arriving here, because she had to avoid meeting too many people and had dismissed those who were serving her, things like combing her hair, preparing clothes, food, etc, were all now handled by Fu Wang. Once she’s used to it, there’s really nothing to feel uncomfortable about. Shu Yu sat on the mat and waited for Fu Wang to comb her hair, her eyes darting to what he’d written earlier on.
“……Clear Wilderness……” she read out the words on the paper that were marked by cinnabar. Curious, Shu Yu turned towards Fu Wang.
Fu Wang walked to her side, handed her the wooden comb and explained: “The Clear Wilderness is among the unknown mountains, close to Xincheng where the LingYin party is located. Based on your current level, if you participate in this performance, you’ll be noticed. As for the sons of the Four Great Demon Clans, they cannot be underestimated too, even Jin Yu would be cautious about it.”
“That said, participating in the performance is out of the question so we can only find another way. Those who enter the Clear Wilderness will have to stay for at least a year before they can come out, even the descendants of the Great Five Demon Clans took it as a training ground. Besides, everyone who enters the Wilderness will appear at different places, it’s a good place to practise quietly.”
Hearing this, Shu Yu searched through Jin Yu’s memories and found one of her cultivating in the Clear Wilderness. There were many monsters there and it was so huge that even after a year of being there, she had yet to explore the whole place. Jin Yu was like a killer machine, killing all the beasts in Clear Wilderness and because she killed too many, the rest of the Four Great Clans even prohibited her to re-enter, fearing that she’ll kill all the monsters inside.
The Fox Clan also agreed and never let Jin Yu enter the Clear Wilderness again. Since Jin Yu loved to kill and there was no restrains in Clear Wilderness, she didn’t know when to hold back, even daring to provoke the huge beasts at the depths of the Clear Wilderness. It’s as if she wanted to die. The Fox Clan feared that Jin Yu, who was unafraid of death, would end up paying with her life so they had to restrict her.
After going through Jin Yu’s memories of the Clear Wilderness, Shu Yu felt a familiar feeling surge in her stomach. Everytime she looked through the host’s memories, Shu Yu felt like she had just watched a gruesome movie. She shredded beasts and scooped out their nei dan with her bare hands, dug out eyeballs, organs and brains, even swallowed raw flesh. This insane behaviour of going on a killing spree when she’s unhappy already cannot be summed up by the word deranged.
Fu Wang caught Shu Yu’s expression and knew that she was disgusted by Jin Yu’s memories so he changed the wake up incense to a tranquil incense before continuing to inform Shu Yu of his plans. “Before the start of the performance, I’ll be framed and thrown into the Clear Wilderness. As for you, you’ll have to arrive at the critical time and in order to save me, “mistakenly” enter into the Clear Wilderness.”
Shu Yu screamed, “Are you saying that we’re going to hide in the Clear Wilderness?”
“Yes, you will not be attending the performance, you’ll only be there before the “accident” happens. When the time comes, I’ll find a chance to create a dispute with someone and lure them to the vicinity of the Clear Wilderness. Prepare to come looking for me once you receive news about me, then pretend to enter the Clear Wilderness with me while trying to save me.” Finished with combing Shu Yu’s hair, Fu Wang sat down beside her and took out a map, pointing at it.
“Right here. As long as you enter the Clear Wilderness, firstly, you’ll get to avoid the performance and secondly, you can take this chance to practise your power. If you want to recover Jin Yu’s abilities, it’s impossible to practise alone here, you’ll need to fight for real. Since you don’t want to kill the Demon Clan, there are Demon-eating beasts in the Wilderness that you can practise on.”
“Once you enter the Clear Wilderness, you’ll have to stay there for an entire year before you can leave. That way, we’ll have a year to prepare so that we won’t have to rush like we have to now.”
Shu Yu felt her heart ache for the things BOSS had done for her. This method is really good but what will she do if the Elders secretly follow them into the Wilderness? Thinking about that, she asked this.
Fu Wang patiently explained: “The LingYin party is a contest among the younger demons from the Five Big Demon Clans, the Elders will generally not attend. Moreover, as long as the conflict between the younger generations doesn’t endanger anyone’s lives, it won’t lead to a falling out between the clans. If we enter the Clear Wilderness, someone will definitely come to search for us but there won’t be too many. Afterall, no matter how anxious they are to find you, you’ll only be able to leave after a year has passed, there’s no way to get out early.
“As long as you do not go to the depths of the Wilderness, it’ll be of no danger to Jin Yu so the Elders of the Fox Clan will not worry. It’s better to patiently wait for a year for you to come out before discussing the situation. Even if someone came to look for you, the Wilderness is big enough for you to hide from them. When you’re out after a year has passed, you’ll be capable enough to do things without constant obstacles
 like now.”
It seems like Fu Wang had already thought everything out, Shu Yu couldn’t think of a better idea so she just nodded her head, “I’ll listen to you!”
“But……” Fu Wang looked at her, his eyes held worry, “I’m afraid it’s going to be hard on you, you might not be used to the fighting in the Wilderness”
The more BOSS thought for her, the more Shu Yu felt like she was useless. Taking a deep breath, Shu Yu said firmly: “I will get used to it sooner or later!” After saying that, she looked towards Fu Wang with uneasiness in her eyes, “Will you go inside with me?”
Looking up to see her obvious expression of wanting to to rely on him, a soft smile came across his face, “Of course I’ll go with you.”
Having heard his answer, Shu Yu let out a sigh of relief and broke into a smile, “I’ll protect you.”
Fu Wang said resolutely: “Then I’ll be counting on you.”
“Great, then I shall go and practise!” Shu Yu got all excited as she stood up and hurried out, leaving Fu Wang behind as he laughed at the sight of her retreating figure.
Fu Wang marked a spot on the map, his smile not changing the look in his eyes. Maybe right here, is the place where Shu Yu will change. Shu Yu needed time and opportunity to grow and in the midst of that, he had to become someone irreplaceable to her. The Wilderness is dangerous place, being together for a year, Fu Wang believes that he can get into her heart.
A year later, Shu Yu is going to become “Tian Feng Jin Yu”, he wanted to become someone that Shu Yu couldn’t live without.
After today, what will become of Shu Yu? Maybe, in order to survive, she’ll become like him in the end, using all means and being manipulative. If an innocent and kind person doesn’t have enough help and power, he can only be called weak. Someone like him cannot survive for long in Meng Ze. What they’re doing now isn’t a long term plan. Therefore, he can only pamper Shu Yu for the remaining half month.
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1. 云淡风轻 (yún dàn fēng qīng) Literal meaning – Pale clouds, gentle wind. It’s an idiom that means ‘to look like nothing matters’.↩
2. Cinnabar is a powdered mineral that makes Vermilion, a brilliant red or scarlet pigment.↩
3. 内丹 (Nèi dān) – Inner elixir – (can’t find a definite explanation on google so sugakookie’s going off on what I know of it from watching dramas. It’s something that all beasts / non-humans will have. For example, a fox demon’s original form is a fox. In order for it to attain human form, it’ll have to practise / cultivate it’s nei dan.↩
4. 举步维艰 (jǔ bù wéi jiān) Literal meaning – Every step forward is tough. It’s an idiom that means to make progress only with great difficulty.↩
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