MCAB - Chapter 71
Steam slowly rose from the teacup.
"What did she say to you? Where is she now? Why didn't she come to see me in person?"
As soon as Shen Zheyan sat down, she impatiently bombarded Yun Sheng with these three questions.
"I thought you would've hated her. She thought you would've hated her as well," Yun Sheng said, feeling slightly surprised. Although she hadn't been present at the scene that day, through the rumors flowing around outside and her conversation with Jun Zishu, she could roughly picture what had actually happened.
Shen Zheyan did not speak up. Instead, she held her teacup and looked at the hot tea inside with complicated emotions in her eyes.
Hate? How could Shen Zheyan not hate Jun Zishu? She had suffered many sleepless nights trying to make sense of what Jun Zishu said that day.
However…she couldn't bear to hate the girl.
Shen Zheyan had always felt that something was strange with this matter. How could Jun Zishu possibly react in such a way? How could Shen Zheyan not detect the sincerity in Jun Zishu's actions throughout all these months and years?
"It seems the feelings you have for her are far greater than I expected."
"I want to know what the hell is going on."
Why would she say those words? Why did she not come to find her after she left?
Jun Zishu owed her an explanation. If she couldn't get an answer, she would never feel reconciled.
"She asked me to give this letter to you," Yun Sheng said as she handed a letter to Shen Zheyan.
Upon receiving the letter, Shen Zheyan impatiently opened it and read it.
To my Big Sister Zheyan:
I did not mean the words I said to you that day. I have always liked you and never hated you before. The only reason why I managed to endure through the initial hardships was because I kept thinking of you.
There is currently a tail on you. The situation will become incredibly troublesome if I meet up with you now. The next time we meet, you must recognize me.
Shen Zheyan kept the letter. She could roughly understand what Jun Zishu was trying to explain. However, Jun Zishu still hadn't told her why she had done what she did that day.
Moreover, there is a tail on me?
Shen Zheyan frowned. She had been absent-mindedly traveling to Hangzhou City these past few days, so she had not bothered to check if anyone was following her.
But how does she know there is a tail on me?
Realization quickly dawned upon Shen Zheyan. If Jun Zishu knew someone was following her, it meant that Jun Zishu might be secretly observing her all this time. Moreover, based on the letter, did it mean that Jun Zishu might appear beside her soon?
However, Shen Zheyan quickly switched her attention away from this question and focused on the words "endure through the initial hardships" in the letter and the "struggling between life and death" Jun Zishu said that day.
Did she suffer through some kind of hardship without my knowing?
The more Shen Zheyan thought about it, the more her heart hurt.
"This is all she told me to do. I hope you two can have a happy future together. Don't end up living a life full of regrets like me and her," Yun Sheng said. Although she did not read Jun Zishu's letter, she could roughly guess its content by looking at Shen Zheyan's expressions.
"However, I still don't understand why she would say those things at the time. She clearly could've taken me with her. So long as she asked, I would've left with her."
"What's so hard to understand? She simply doesn't wish for you to be tainted with infamy. If you were caught colluding with the Demon Cult, none of those people in the righteous faction would tolerate your existence. Moreover, you aren't alone; you still have a sect behind you," Yun Sheng leisurely said. After taking a sip of tea, she continued, "Your wish is to become a righteous warrior, and her wish is to not become a burden to you. She wants to keep your reputation pristine even if it means she has to shoulder all of the infamies by herself."
A person's reputation could be both worthless and priceless simultaneously, and Yun Sheng's words ruthlessly hammered at Shen Zheyan's heart.
"But I don't care about those things," Shen Zheyan said in a slightly agitated tone as she stood up from her seat.
"You will care."
"I won't," Shen Zheyan repeated, gnashing her teeth as she looked at Yun Sheng.
"Your wish is to become a righteous warrior that upholds justice. This is also the wish of many people. Unlike others, though, you have already achieved your wish. You are already a righteous warrior right now. However, what if, one day, the people who used to sing praises of you suddenly started cursing at you? At that time, even if you try to help people, others might look at your help in disdain. They might even curse at you and scream at you to go away. How would you react in such a situation?"
"I don't care," Shen Zheyan said without even blinking. If it were in the past, she might have grown extremely disappointed and depressed if others were to treat her in such away. Now, though, she didn't care how others thought of her.
"But she cares. She cares how others think of you. She cares about other people's abuse of you. She cares about the justice in your heart," Yun Sheng said, exasperated by Shen Zheyan's dullness.
Shen Zheyan looked down, her heart aching as if something was tugging at it.
"A person's justice and morality are not meant to be upheld for the sake of others, Miss Shen. There are all kinds of people in this world, and not all of them are good. If things turn out as I described, can your kindness and morality survive through the ordeal? Can your heart bear to watch everyone blame your innocent self while they praise and revere the true evildoers?
"What she is trying to protect is your world and your heart, Miss Shen."
Shen Zheyan felt her whole body twitching in pain when she listened to Yun Sheng's words. Right now, all she wanted was to meet Jun Zishu right away and embrace the girl.
Shen Zheyan never thought that the little girl who was always smiling cheerfully and innocently would've considered so much for her.
Yun Sheng let out a soft sigh when she saw Shen Zheyan losing control of her emotions. Then, with a hollow heart, Yun Sheng said, "I didn't have it as rough as you back then. She was also the Demon Cult's Saintess. Despite having an unrestrained personality, she was willing to live a secluded life in a forest with me. She never grew disgusted with my legs, either. Unfortunately, fate is a cruel mistress."
Yun Sheng would often find herself thinking back to that night many times. Had she not set aside her anger and reached out to grab her hand, she might never have left her.
Hearing Yun Sheng's words, Shen Zheyan sat down and preciously embraced Jun Zishu's letter.
"However, my situation was different from yours. I knew she was someone from the Demon Cult right from the very beginning. Even so, I still found myself hopelessly falling in love with her. Moreover, I was alone with no attachments at the time. I was not afraid of any moral condemnation, either. On the contrary, I'd be glad if people stopped coming to me for treatment. Unlike you, I don't have that much righteousness in my heart," Yun Sheng said as she rapped her finger against the table. Then, as if having thought of something, her mood brightened up significantly.
"Miss Yun, do you think the righteous and evil factions will go to war?" Shen Zheyan suddenly asked.
"While the righteous faction has a cause now, that hypocritical bunch knows the truth of the situation. They stand to gain nothing from starting a war, either. So, it is highly unlikely that they will act. Without them, there is no way the small fries can stir up anything, either. Only immature brats with justice coloring their minds would pit their lives against the Demon Cult. The only concern now is the Demon Cult's reaction. There is no way they will stay silent after their Saintess has gotten bullied to such an extent. The Demon Cult will probably take action soon," Yun Sheng said, shaking her head. She did not think that the farce that had taken place in the Sword Mountain Sect was enough of a cause to start a war.
Shen Zheyan nodded in agreement. While she didn't think that the two factions would start a war, they were certain to pull some tricks on each other.
Perhaps because of Jun Zishu's influence, Shen Zheyan no longer felt as much disgust toward the Demon Cult as she did before.
"Thank you, Miss Yun."
"No need to thank me. She has also helped me before. If you need my help in the future, feel free to find me."
"Okay. I will be taking my leave, then.'
"The next time you visit me, I hope you will be visiting with her."
Shen Zheyan did not remain in Hangzhou City. Instead, she traveled south and revisited the places she visited with Jun Zishu in the past.
This time, though, she noticed that there was indeed a tail on her.
However, she didn't pay too much heed. Her stalker didn't seem to be a bright person, and she guessed that the other party wouldn't be able to persist for very long.
Sure enough, just like Shen Zheyan expected, after she kept on wandering around for three months, the person following her disappeared.
Like she did in the past, Shen Zheyan continued helping people on her travels. This time, though, she made sure to only help those worthy of saving.
Meanwhile, because of Jun Zishu's letter, Shen Zheyan also felt her heart gradually settling down.
When Shen Zheyan was making her way to Hangzhou City, Jun Zishu was sitting with her feet crossed in front of Qian Xing.
"Care to explain the rumors circulating outside?" Qian Xing asked. Although he hadn't been at the scene of the crime, he did not think that Jun Zishu had stolen the Coldwater Blade. After all, Jun Zishu was not a sword user, and neither was he. There was no reason for her to steal the Coldwater Blade at all.
"Just a bunch of hypocritical dogs biting at each other," Jun Zishu nonchalantly said as she chewed on some sunflower seeds.
"Tsk. It seems those bastards are looking down on us seeing as they are openly bullying you. Do they think our Saintess is someone they can bully for no good reason?"
"They've gone too far, right? So, let's go and take care of them," Jun Zishu said, nodding.
"What? Do you really intend on picking a fight?"
Qian Xing was a little surprised. While he wasn't against the idea of starting a war, he didn't think that the Demon Cult could achieve victory easily. Though, if it were only causing some destruction here and there, it shouldn't be too much of a problem.
"We'll bully the Autumn Water Palace and scare the Sword Mountain Sect," Jun Zishu said, smiling.
Hearing this, Qian Xing immediately knew who the real culprits were behind Jun Zishu's bullying. Nodding, he said, "Feel free to mobilize our forces. Do you need me to go with you?"
"No need. I'm just going to vent my anger a little."
"What about you and that Shen Zheyan, then? Does Shen Zheyan know about your identity yet? What happened to your relationship with her?" Qian Xing asked. If he were to take a guess, he would say that Shen Zheyan had most likely severed all ties with Jun Zishu already. However, it didn't really seem that way either, judging by Jun Zishu's leisurely behavior.
"Nothing happened. Our relationship is still as good as ever," Jun Zishu said as she patted her dress and got rid of the sunflower seed shells on it.
Jun Zishu guessed that Shen Zheyan was probably feeling very stressed right now. Originally, she thought Shen Zheyan would despise her after what she said. However, based on Little Fairy's live feed, Shen Zheyan's reaction wasn't as intense as Jun Zishu originally expected. Though, it wasn't too good, either.
Overall, Jun Zishu found that Shen Zheyan liked her more than she thought, which was a good thing. Shen Zheyan should also be seeing the letter she wrote soon.
Originally, Jun Zishu had not planned to leave a letter and instead simply reunite with Shen Zheyan. However, she later found that there was someone dumb enough to put a tail on Shen Zheyan in an attempt to find her. So, she had no choice but to go with this option.
"Is it really good?"
"It is really good."
Jun Zishu nodded. Then, she held up her chin and began scrutinizing her childhood friend, whom she had not seen for more than a year now, her gaze causing Qian Xing to get goosebumps.
"What is it?" Qian Xing asked, feeling a little uncomfortable.
"Did you meet someone this past year?" Jun Zishu suddenly asked.
Qian Xing's mouth twitched. Then, he looked down and resumed looking through the internal affairs report presented to him by his subordinates, choosing to ignore Jun Zishu's question.
After being apart from Jun Zishu this past year, he found that he didn't like Jun Zishu as much as he thought. Though, it was still a fact that he treated Jun Zishu as an irreplaceable friend.
"Don't worry. I no longer like you in that way," Qian Xing confessed, the heavy burden in his heart disappearing when he said these words.
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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)