MCAB - Chapter 66
When the weather gradually grew colder, Jun Zishu readied herself to travel back to Hangzhou City.
"Are you really leaving?" Qian Xing asked, standing by the cult's entrance as he looked at Jun Zishu.
"Will you really not regret walking on such a path?"
"I haven't even started, so how can I have any regrets? Also, I will never regret anything in this life," Jun Zishu said as she stroked her long hair. Although she ended her words on a playful note, her voice was as firm as steel. "I'm leaving. Call me if something happens."
"When do you plan on coming clean with her?"
"That's something for me and her to decide," Jun Zishu said as she waved goodbye at Qian Xing and jumped on her horse.
"Hey, Yan Xi!" Qian Xing suddenly shouted, causing Jun Zishu to turn back and look at him.
"What is it?"
"Come back if you get bullied. The Demon Cult can more than afford to raise a Saintess."
"I got it," Jun Zishu said as she looked at Qian Xing, the boy's black robe seemingly melding with the background.
Qian Xing had seemingly taken a liking to the color black nowadays. He had abandoned all lively colors and grown more and more mature.
Before taking her leave, Jun Zishu asked Qian Xing a question.
"Qian Xing. If you fall in love with a girl one day, but that girl has you and someone else on her mind, would you be willing to share her with someone else?"
"Ha? Do I look like that kind of generous person?" Qian Xing said, finding Jun Zishu's question to be absurd. Then, he added, "It only means that the girl doesn't love me enough. Why should I commit to such a relationship?"
Oh, but you did commit to such a relationship, pal.
Jun Zishu chuckled and left on her horse.
Qian Xing watched as the red-dressed girl left, a hint of envy coloring his face.
The girl's confidence, which was like a sharp blade that could cut through everything in her path, was something he could only ever hope to have.
Even if Jun Zishu came across a dead end, she probably wouldn't ever regret her decisions.
After letting out a sigh, Qian Xing turned around and walked back into the cult.
By the time Jun Zishu reached her destination, winter had already arrived.
Winter in Hangzhou City might seem gentle, but the cold air here could seep into one's bones.
When Jun Zishu arrived in front of Shen Zheyan while shivering, Shen Zheyan thought she was hallucinating.
"Aren't you going to invite me inside, Big Sister Zheyan?"
Jun Zishu sniffled, her face having turned pale from the cold.
"Why are you dressed so lightly?"
Snapping out of her daze, Shen Zheyan frowned as she hurriedly pulled Jun Zishu into the house.
"It wasn't this cold when I started traveling," Jun Zishu tried to defend herself. Then, she embraced Shen Zheyan and fawningly rubbed her head against Shen Zheyan's chest.
"Did you not bring any luggage?"
"I did, but they were a hassle, so I got rid of them at the last inn I stayed at. I only kept the things Yun Sheng asked me to bring her. I also dropped by Yun Sheng's place before coming here," Jun Zishu said, rubbing her palms together for warmth as she followed Shen Zheyan into the house.
"You visited her first when you came back?" Shen Zheyan asked, raising an eyebrow. She was a little displeased that Jun Zishu had visited someone else first as soon as she returned. It would seem that the heartless little thing wasn't in a hurry to see her at all.
"I gave her the things first so I wouldn't have to make another trip outside," Jun Zishu casually said as she quickly entered the house.
When Jun Zishu passed the previous Saintess's belongings to Yun Sheng, unprecedented excitement had appeared on Yun Sheng's face. Then, just when Jun Zishu was about to leave, Yun Sheng had stopped her and asked when she planned to confess to Shen Zheyan. The older woman also said that the longer she dragged things out, the more harm it would do to Shen Zheyan's feelings when the truth got out.
In response, Jun Zishu said she hoped Shen Zheyan could like her a little more before finding out about her identity.
Yun Sheng was at a loss for words when she heard Jun Zishu's answer. Eventually, though, she sighed and wished her good luck.
"Have you eaten yet? Are you hungry?" Shen Zheyan asked as she held Jun Zishu's hand and transferred some of her internal energy to help Jun Zishu warm up quicker.
"I'm good. I'm not feeling particularly hungry," Jun Zishu said with a smile, the abacus in her mind making a bunch of clattering sounds as she plotted out her scheme.
Jun Zishu naturally knew that the sooner she confessed, the smaller the damage she would do to Shen Zheyan.
However, that wasn't what she wanted. What she aimed for was more than that.
A hint of warmth spread throughout the house as the two girls quietly held hands.
Shen Zheyan had thought about many things during these past three months. She had also come up with many words to say for when she reunited with Jun Zishu. However, the moment she actually saw Jun Zishu, all of those words suppressed in her heart and lingering in her tongue vanished like smoke.
Shen Zheyan had never been good at holding conversations. She would look especially clumsy during times like these. So, she decided that it was best that she kept quiet and simply stared at Jun Zishu.
After the two quietly sat together for some time, Jun Zishu rubbed her belly and revealed an embarrassed smile. Then, she gripped Shen Zheyan's fingers and said, "I'm feeling a little hungry now, Big Sister."
"I'll go cook something for you," Shen Zheyan said, standing up.
"I'll go out and buy something to eat. It's so cold today, so you don't need to go out of your way to cook for me, Big Sister."
Shen Zheyan shook her head and made her way to the kitchen.
Jun Zishu followed and stood by the kitchen door as she watched Shen Zheyan start a fire.
"Sit over here and warm your hands," Shen Zheyan said as she beckoned at Jun Zishu with her hand.
When Jun Zishu watched Shen Zheyan earnestly cooking a meal for her, a hint of reluctance filled her heart. Shen Zheyan treated her well and spoiled her a lot. Despite that, she was secretly scheming against Shen Zheyan.
Jun Zishu couldn't help but find herself to be incredibly naughty.
[If you can't bear to hurt her, you can use another plan, Host.]
However, Jun Zishu did not respond. She still insisted on enacting her plan. By keeping Shen Zheyan ignorant, she would have an easier time getting Shen Zheyan out of the upcoming scenario.
The upcoming scenario was when Qian Xing made his first appearance in Shen Zheyan's life in the original storyline.
Now that Jun Zishu had already pushed Qian Xing aside, she would naturally take on the second male lead's role as well. Although Jun Zishu didn't know whether the upcoming scenario would still occur now that she had made such drastic changes to the story, going by the trend thus far, that scenario should still happen. So, it'd be best if she prepared for it in advance.
[Your thoughts are conflicting, Host. You are clearly doing this for the mission target's sake, so why must you feel guilty over it?]
Sometimes, even if an action starts with good intentions, it is impossible to cover up the essence and harm it brings in the process, Jun Zishu said as she listened to the crackling fire coming from the hearth.
Jun Zishu and Shen Zheyan lived a quiet and peaceful life in Hangzhou City. Although they behaved intimately around one another, neither of them broke the ice, both chose to maintain a tacit ambiguity.
Using the cold winter weather as an excuse, Jun Zishu slept together in the same room and on the same bed as Shen Zheyan. Shen Zheyan naturally didn't have any opinions about it, and the two happily slept while embracing each other.
"The New Year is coming soon. Will you be returning to your sect, Big Sister?"
"I won't be returning this year. I've already sent a letter back to the sect."
"Is that so? Does that mean you'll stay with me?" Jun Zishu said as she lazily leaned against Shen Zheyan's body.
"Mhm." Shen Zheyan nodded as she patiently braided Jun Zishu's hair.
Jun Zishu simply let Shen Zheyan do what she wanted. She didn't have many requirements for her hairstyle. It was fine so long as it didn't look ugly.
Perhaps because it was because her horizons had broadened or because she had gotten what she wanted, Shen Zheyan's martial arts improved much quicker than before. Although it couldn't be regarded as rapid progress, her martial arts had become a lot more refined than before.
Jun Zishu didn't idle around, either. After all, her skills would regress if she failed to put in the necessary amount of training. However, as she had to maintain her setting as a girl with little combat power, she could only train by throwing pebbles at trees while Shen Zheyan wasn't paying attention.
If one mastered the art of hidden weapons, one could kill with even a leaf, let alone pebbles.
Jun Zishu and Shen Zheyan ended up spending a joyous New Year together. Though, they didn't really do anything different from normal. All they did was set up some festive decorations at home. Other than that, they still clung to each other like usual.
Then, when spring arrived, the two got ready to resume their journey once more.
They still had many years ahead of them. They had also barely scratched the surface of the world of martial artists.
After saying goodbye to Yun Sheng, the two continued traveling westward.
They met with many people and many incidents along the way. Some incidents were absurd, some were joyous, and some were sorrowful.
Shen Zheyan might be a righteous warrior, but she wasn't a soft-hearted warrior. She acted decisively, and she could distinguish between right and wrong. Thus, her reputation in the world of martial artists continued to soar with each incident she resolved.
Those who came across Shen Zheyan afterward would also know that a red-dressed girl would always be by her side. Wherever that red-dressed girl was, Shen Zheyan was bound to be nearby.
When the next winter arrived, Jun Zishu saw the arrival of the plot point she had been waiting for.
The Sword Mountain Sect's sect leader was celebrating his 60th birthday this year, and the sect had sent out invitations to the heroes of the land to participate in the celebration.
Jun Zishu had also received an invitation, and as she made her way to the Sword Mountain Sect, she heard many people talking about it.
"I heard that the Sword Mountain Sect's sect leader isn't just inviting the heroes of the land to celebrate his birthday this time. It seems he is also planning on showing off the Sword Mountain Sect's peerless sword."
"Really? I wonder what the number one sword in the world looks like? I really want to see it as well."
"You? In your dreams, maybe!"
"How would you know I can't get in?"
"You need an invitation to get in. Do you have one? Of course not. Only those recognized in the world of martial artists can get an invitation."
When this conversation fell into Shen Zheyan's ears, Shen Zheyan's eyes glowed with excitement and anticipation.
"I wonder if the rumors are true? It'd be great if I could see that sword."
Shen Zheyan was a swordsman, and no swordsman disliked swords. Although her current sword was good enough, it wasn't anything special compared to the Sword Mountain Sect's peerless sword.
"I think it's probably true. Anyway, we'll know once we arrive," Jun Zishu said with a smile. Similar to Shen Zheyan, she was looking forward to attending the Sword Mountain Sect's sect leader's birthday banquet. Only, her reason for attending the event was different from Shen Zheyan's.
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Other novels I translate on Hosted Novel:
Pantsu Hero Alice (PHA)
Reincarnation of the Strongest Sword God (Side Stories)
After Being Bent By Reader (ABBR)(GL)