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Chapter 37 – Night Drinking
The fight between Duan Chongxuan and Cheng Tianyu, whether in performance or educational value, had reached the highest standards so far in this Flower Picking Festival. It was even more suitable as material for storytelling that enriched the Ye City folks’ entertainment.
Cheng Tianyu became famous in his youth and traveled the world, carrying the saber of the Qing Lu Sword Sect’s sage. Duan Chongxuan was nominally a disciple of the Sword Saint; however, more people considered him as the Academy Director’s relative1.
Gossip about saints could not be said frivolously, yet these stories of young prodigies were an interesting topic. There were also people who noticed the four shadows behind this battle. Thus, this was more a.n.a.logous to a confrontation between the Qing Lu Sword Sect and Cang Ya.
No matter how bad the rumors were outside, on this night, the story’s protagonists were sitting on the rooftop, drinking wine under Ye City’s moonlight.
Duan Chongxuan thought this was the most exhilarating day of his life. So exhilarating that he had a hard time expressing it and needed to punish himself with a big swig of wine.
Thus, he bought three wine bowls 2 and three huge jugs of ‘Drunken Immortal’.
Yin Biyue didn’t know how to drink. Or more precisely, he never drank before. But today, he was equally light-hearted and yearned for the feel of third shixiong’s grand sentiment of an ‘unrestrained jianghu man carrying booze’.
Luo Mingchuan sat by his side. Even with a huge coa.r.s.e-porcelain wine bowl in his hand, his posture was proper and his clothes tidy. A complete, gentlemanly air— if one could ignore the red flush emerging on his lower ear lobes.
Too close. Close enough to hear the person beside him breathe and feel the slight coolness of his body temperature. It reminded him of that day in the alleyway, when shidi supported him back to Lake Qiu.
Fortunately, Duan Chongxuan’s voice floated intermittently across, making the awkwardness be not-too-obvious. Duan Chongxuan had already laid down on the rooftop, hugging the liquor jug and crossing his legs. He seemingly was drunk in the moonlight, and his speech became incoherent as well,
“Feng Huo, Beckoning Fire; I actually used it. How did I just use it… I always thought I couldn’t. I’m indeed my father’s son, his actual flesh and blood… I worship myself… Father, I really miss you…”
Yin Biyue thought he was extremely embarra.s.sing .At this age, he still called for his dad when drunk. If this image was seen by Ye City’s ladies, they wouldn’t have to be worried about going outside anymore.
Luo Mingchuan only smiled and shook his head.
Duan Chongxuan suddenly stood up and walked to the roof’s edge.
His sash twisted in the evening breeze, and the sleeves fluttered, as if he was going to ride away into the wind.
He faced the moonlight, and with surprising articulation and intonation, he started to sing.
“The overlooking deep ravine was grudgingly distant, the ascending lofty peak was tormentingly far… Then the Milky Way tilted toward the left side of the world, the northern land chased the stars of the South; White Dew obscured the sky, the white moon drifted across the heavens. He hummed the verses of Qi, studying earnestly of the writing …3”
Just as Yin Biyue thought he was sober, he fell down from the eaves head-first.
After a moment, a m.u.f.fled voice floated up, “I’m okay —”
Then it was the sound of him opening and closing the door to his room.
Thus, there were only two people left on the roof, along with the bright moon.
The wind of the summer night blew over the humid air of Lake Qiu and the earthy, verdant scent. Nearby was the Lake Qiu; its waters shimmered with pale gold in the moonlight, and in the distance were Ye City’s towers, streets, and warm yellow lanterns.
This kind of nightscape with an evening wind was enough for someone to temporarily forget all their worries. Even if after sunrise, when the road of cultivation was still long and gruling, and both known and hidden dangers still remained, what of it?
Enjoy while you can.
Yin Biyue didn’t use core energy to dissipate the liquor, and he was already slightly tipsy.
He originally planned to discuss with Luo Mingchuan after the third round of the Flower Picking Festival, about what this Chatterbox said previously regarding the abnormal expression in his eyes and the matter with his mental state.
Yet maybe it was alcohol’s courage, but suddenly, he felt that there was no better time than now.
Luo Mingchuan saw the person beside him put down his wine bowl and stare into his eyes sternly, “Let’s talk.”
He was taken aback and replied, “Okay.”
“Shixiong, have you been in a bad mood recently?”
Luo Mingchuan thought this person was also certainly drunk. He had no choice but to smile helplessly, “I haven’t.”
If Yin Biyue was completely sober, he absolutely would not bluntly continue on the way he did then,
“Impossible! Eyes don’t lie!”
Luo Mingchuan’s smile froze on his face.
He downed a bowl of wine, and the ‘Drunken Immortal’ left behind a bitter flavor in his mouth.
Shidi actually sensed it…. How?
Sure enough, did he underestimate shidi? It seems in the future he must be more careful.
He knew his own mental state had no problems. He only started to practice Jia Lan Spiritual Pupil Art’s second phase. Zheng Wei’s killing intent was admittedly terrifying, yet it was far from being enough to rock his moral core.
What genuinely made him feel danger was that, with his current strength, he wasn’t capable of opposing the will of those powerful figures and protecting shidi from harm.
Jia Lan Spiritual Pupil Art’s path to mastery was very treacherous, and it was impossible for him to believe this was an orthodox buddhist technique.
But since this was currently the fastest method, he had no choice.
Luo Mingchuan looked toward Yin Biyue’s eyes.
The night was dark like ink, yet it was not as dark as his pupils. He said,
“Shidi, I’m not in a bad mood, and I also have no problems.”
Yin Biyue thought he really had too much to drink, since he became dizzy for a second there.
However, no problems was good. No problems meant he can relax now.
He poured himself another bowl, looked up at the moon hanging from the sky, and remembered that night, after coming back from the Academy, the moonlight was equally bright, like a clear silver disk.
Ever since he left the mountain and entered the secular world, many things had happened, big things and small things. He had met many people; some he disliked and some he admired.
But he had companions who would fight beside him. Cang Ya had shixiong and shijie who awaited his return. In an unknown place in this world, there was a cheaply acquired shifu who dealt with bigger matters.
This was very good; he didn’t know how to describe this type of goodness. As if here in this place, he had really, truly lived. He was very happy. So happy that he drank bowl after bowl.
The moonlight in his eyes twinned.
He had already stopped wanting to play the ‘best friend in the early stages, backstabber in the later stages’ role. Luo Mingchuan was a companion, not some protagonist.
He also didn’t want to become a villain anymore. He wanted to live happily in this world. The current Yin Biyue did not know that one’s life had many affairs that wasn’t up to one’s self.
Ye City was up at the northern side of the Southern Continent, and the temperature difference between night and day was extreme. After midnight, the chill in the night wind would intensify.
Yin Biyue began to feel cold, but without a thought to circulate core energy, he still felt warm from drinking.
When he realized his own wine jug came up empty, he mindlessly tried to grab the other person’s beside him.
The slight coolness abruptly fell onto Luo Mingchuan’s chest, and he was stunned for a split second.
The person beside him was going to retreat after grabbing his jug of wine, but Luo Mingchuan pressed against his hand. Maybe it was the night breeze being too swift, but he heard his own voice slightly tremble,
“Shidi, heavy drinking injures the body. You can’t drink anymore.”
Yin Biyue felt warmth flowing from his fingertips, enveloping his entire body; it was familiar and indescribably calming. His last thought stopped at… Ah, it’s so warm.
Luo Mingchuan sat on the rooftop, stiff as a rock.
The moonlight fell onto the person on his chest. Three thousand strands of white hair glistened in splendor, and the aloof demeanor was like flying snow atop a tower.
Only his thin lips posessed a droplet of dark red, like a red plum flower nestled within the snow, luminously stirring one’s heart.
The person with his eyes closed on his chest mumbled to himself, bringing with him the pure, raw fragrance of wine and light frost.
Luo Mingchuan had to move a bit closer to hear what he had said. After listening, he was silent.
In the distant, the lights died out one by one. Not a single sound could be heard in this long night, and the moonlight was all the more brighter.
His voice wafted in the wind,
“Shidi, for each day that I, Luo Mingchuan, am alive, I will protect you completely.”
1)亲族 (relative): this can also mean someone close enough for nepotism
2) 酒碗 (wine bowl): it’s literally a bowl to drink wine
3) It’s a literary work written in the Southern Dynasty called ‘The Moon‘. Avocado Bro also found a book that also translated the poem, it’s a interesting read.
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