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AIP - Chapter 142: Farewell

Translated by: Hypersheep325
Edited by: Michyrr

"Then I would arrest you and take you back to Horizon Ocean Pavilion to be interrogated, forcing the location of Godhead Palace's treasure out of you," Xu Miaoran shouted, waving her fists around, but the look on her face didn't seem that wicked and fierce at all.

Tang Jie laughed. "Alright, then; I am. Arrest me and take me to Horizon Ocean Pavilion."

"Tsk, not even the slightest sincerity," Xu Miaoran pouted. "But since two major sects are looking for you, why are you wandering around here?"

"After Gu Changqing died, I've been making my way back to the academy. Because of the Heavenly Extinction Sect, they should know that Gu Changqing is dead, so they aren't in a rush to find me."

"They didn't seem too in a hurry before this. It's been more than a month, and they have a loan receipt, yet they still haven't rescued you. The Basking Moon Sect either is too incompetent or has no intention of saving you," Xu Miaoran snorted.

"If the Basking Moon Sect is incompetent, then what are the other five sects that it stands on the same level as?"

"So you're saying that the Basking Moon Sect doesn't want to save you?"

Tang Jie lowered his voice. "It's not that they don't want to save me, but that everyone benefits if I'm still in Godhead Palace's hands."

There were some things that everyone understood even if they weren't stated openly.

Why had the Basking Moon Sect been unable to get back Tang Jie all this time?

Was it really because Gu Changqing possessed such divine abilities?

Not necessarily!

Perhaps at the start, the Basking Moon Sect had been earnestly trying to save Tang Jie.

But as they pursued and turned up more and more Godhead Palace spies, the Basking Moon Sect realized that this process benefited them, so they naturally began to change their plans.

Gu Changqing needed time, Tang Jie needed time, and the Basking Moon Sect needed time. Everyone was willing to make the commitment to get what they wanted, and so the three parties had come to a tacit agreement to keep the pursuit going, never using their full strength.

Xu Miaoran was a clever girl, and she understood his meaning when he sighed.

This made her rather angry. "Isn't this making you into a chess piece?"

"I always was," Tang Jie replied.

"Then you don't resent the Basking Moon Sect?"

"'Resent'? Why should I resent it?" Tang Jie chuckled. "In your view, it might be extremely repulsive to be made into a chess piece, but don't forget: this is something that I've been wanting this whole time."

"Eh? Why?" Xu Miaoran was confused.

"'Why'? Heheh, if you don't become a chess piece, how can you prove your value? Perhaps in your view, becoming a chess piece is a lamentable thing, but don't you know? There are many who want to become chess pieces but never get the opportunity to. I was born to a poor family, so if I didn't bet my life, how could I possibly gain the attention of others? Rely on the heavens? Moreover, affairs of the world are like a chess game, and the heavens and earth are simply the board. All of us are really just pieces on that board. It's just that some pieces are more useful than others."

Xu Miaoran was stunned by what she was hearing.

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She had grown up in a different environment from Tang Jie and had not imagined that it was so difficult to cultivate Immortality in this world. Tang Jie's tale was a deep shock to her.

"No wonder…" she muttered. "No wonder you said that 'truth in nature' and 'doing as your heart desires' is a luxury."

She now keenly understood Tang Jie's words from last night.

The solemn topic made the mood heavy, and the two fell silent.

After a few moments of silence, Xu Miaoran suddenly stood up and began to walk out.

"Hey, the ducktail flowers down below are very pretty. Want to accompany me on a walk in the sea of flowers?" she asked.

"How can I dare to refuse the invitation of a beauty?" Tang Jie laughed as he stood up.

The two of them went down the mountain together.

They strolled around, gradually making their way back to the place where they had met yesterday, in front of a forest awash with flowers.

Xu Miaoran had been walking through this sea of flowers when she had seen that evil ghost.

The two of them walked through, stepping on the petals covering the ground. Occasionally, a ducktail petal would drift down onto their shoulders.

Xu Miaoran walked in the front, and as those petals landed on her face and shoulders, they appeared like little blushes of red clouds, making her face as beautiful as a painting.

Xu Miaoran continued to walk forward, and she soon passed through the sea of flowers, arriving at a small brook.

When she saw the brook, she gleefully rushed over and took off her shoes, revealing her exquisite feet.

Carrying her shoes in her hand, she stepped on the smooth stones at the bottom of the brook. She walked through the brook while shouting, "Our Horizon Ocean Pavilion was on the shore, and when I was at the beach, my favorite thing to do was to run barefoot on the shore. Unfortunately, Grandma never let me, saying that this was too unladylike and too unsightly!"

Tang Jie asked, "Doesn't Horizon Ocean Pavilion emphasize the truth and sincerity? Why does it also have rules for ladies?"

"There's no place under the heavens that truly has no rules!" Xu Miaoran shouted back. "My Horizon Ocean Pavilion emphasizes truth and sincerity, but if there were really no rules, then wouldn't it become a madhouse where everything is allowed? So Horizon Ocean Academy actually has tons of rules! Grandma said that only when the rules seep into one's heart such that rules come from one's heart can one truly do as one's heart pleases!"

"That's true. It's the same for Basking Moon Academy. It sets up rules, but it encourages breaking them. Now that I think about it, they seem like different approaches to the same destination. I'm guessing that this is what the Great Dao is about. In the end, everything in the world is about creation and destruction. With creation, there must be destruction, and that is the only proper path." 

"You seem to have understood everything," Xu Miaoran chuckled. "But I'm annoyed to death by all those rules, so I ran off…"

She made a slip of the tongue and immediately made a face and turned around. She saw that Tang Jie was standing on the shore and looking at her, apparently not noticing her slip of the tongue at all. Sighing in relief, she shouted, "Hey, you come too."

Tang Jie shook his head.

"So inflexible." Xu Miaoran pursed her lips. "You must be another one of those who think this lacks elegance."

Tang Jie chuckled. "It has nothing to do with inflexibility. I just don't like playing around in water."

"Then what do you like?"

"A lot of things. For example, while you like to run with bare feet in the water, I like to watch beautiful girls wash their feet."

"You pervert!" Xu Miaoran shouted. She grabbed a stone and threw it at Tang Jie, a look of disgust on her face.

"And while you like to play around downstream, I like to take a piss upstream."

"Ah!" Xu Miaoran shrieked, jumping out of the water and glaring at Tang Jie.

"Crude! Disgusting! Shameless!"

Tang Jie innocently spread apart his hands. "And here I thought you really didn't care about all that."

"How could that be!?" Xu Miaoran pouted. She found a large stone to sit down on, but she swung her bare feet over the water's surface, not daring to put them in for now. She probably really was afraid that someone had done their business upstream.

Suddenly, she said, "The women of Horizon Ocean Pavilion have always done what they pleased, acting according to their true nature. The common people are ignorant and call us people without restraint, fiend women. Here in Sageheart, most of the men I've met are like this. They only have eyes for my flesh, yet they speak grandly and play at being proper gentlemen. You're the first man I've met in Sageheart that's not like this."

"I suppose I should feel honored."

"Then why do you feel that this is okay?"

"Perhaps it's just a matter of individual opinion. In my eyes, you're a good girl."

"Is that so? Well, I can't do needlework. What do you think about that?"

"As cultivators, can we not even buy a few suits of clothes?"

"I don't know how to cook."

"Who cultivates Immortality to cook?"

"I don't keep the distance between men and women."

"Battle involves the meeting of fists and feet, and we can barely keep our lives, so why should we worry about propriety? Those who cultivate Immortality are not mortals, so we should not be bound by the unreasonable rules of mortals."

"My clothes don't completely cover my body, hurting my elegance and grace."

"I find you gorgeous beyond words, a sight for sore eyes."

"I… I…" Xu Miaoran still wanted to say more, but Tang Jie interrupted her. "I don't find a problem with anything that you've said so far. Not only is there no problem, I think it's very good, that it is as it should be."

Xu Miaoran was astonished. She glared at Tang Jie. "You're being sincere?"

"I've never been more sincere in my life," Tang Jie sternly said.

He suddenly understood why he found this girl so attractive.

It was precisely because she had a sincerity to her that others lacked.

Xu Miaoran stared in surprise at him, and after a while, she laughed. "You're quite the interesting person, not at all like a Basking Moon student. You're more like one of Horizon Ocean Pavilion's students, but even the students from there have never been as well-spoken as you."

Tang Jie earnestly said, "Then Horizon Ocean Pavilion should invite me to be a teacher so that they can find out how precious and rare their senior and junior sisters are. Trust me when I say that I can guide them on the Great Dao. They'll ascend like the sun rises in the morning!"

Xu Miaoran heartily laughed. "You've really got thick skin, but it seems more to me like you're daydreaming."

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"How else could I take the bites of a Nine Infant Ghost? Because my skin is thick."

Xu Miaoran found his words amusing and laughed even harder.

As they talked and laughed, time flew by.

In the distance, a multicolored cloud flew out at high speeds.

Xu Miaoran spotted it and said, "That should be someone from the Basking Moon Sect."

"Mm," Tang Jie grunted, barely reacting.

Xu Miaoran was a little taken aback, and then she realized. "You're going to leave soon, right?"

Tang Jie indifferently answered, "I have to return to the academy eventually."

Since the Basking Moon Sect's person was here, that meant that it knew what had happened, and that naturally meant that it knew about Tang Jie.

It was no longer possible for him to casually saunter back to the academy.

"Ah, I see," Xu Miaoran said, her voice suddenly growing much softer.

After a few moments of silence, she said, "What a pity. We just became friends, and we already have to part. Well… after being out for so long, I suppose it's time I headed back too. Let's just both return to our schools."

Tang Jie nodded. "Mm, you should also be heading back. I'm sure that your parents are starting to miss you now that you've been out for so long, right? Don't wait until True Lord Xu gets here. The Sageheart Kingdom has just been through a storm, and it certainly can't take another one so soon."

"You know I'm…" Xu Miaoran gasped, and then she realized and dejectedly said, "Yes, the Sageheart Kingdom is across the sea, so I must have been out for at least half a year now. No matter how much Horizon Ocean Pavilion is about doing as one pleases, a student can't just neglect their studies for this long. My surname is Xu, and I'm someone who dares to just run away from school, and I'm carrying so many treasures. It's practically written on my face that I'm Xu Guanghua's daughter! Given how freakishly smart you are, it's no wonder you were able to guess who I am."

hypersheep325's Notes:

It's time for everyone to go back home. Can Tang Jie and Xu Miaoran survive a long-distance relationship?

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Written by Yuanfen 0 缘分0. Translated by hypersheep325. Edited by Michyrr.