Chapter 62 - Honey Tangerine Flavored Shadow Guard Gong (20): The little tangerine is complete. Big papaya, wait for me oh!
Chapter 62 - Honey Tangerine Flavored Shadow Guard Gong (20): The little tangerine is complete. Big papaya, wait for me oh!
Editors: Vez, Blarghette
On the day of the ascension ceremony, the new Emperor was assassinated, leaving hundreds of officials shocked.
It was especially so for the old timers who had already experienced two reigns. This was not the first time they experienced political unrest because the new Emperor died before he could ascend, but the difference was, Emperor Wu’s brother had not even made it to the ascension date.
They quickly followed the Emperor Emeritus into the inner palace. The perpetrator was arrested on the spot and the new Emperor was lying on the floor. There was a knife in his chest and his eyes were wide open, showing his grievance when he died.
King An and Li Xi both had sweaty palms and their hearts were beating like a drum. Originally, they thought it was their own people who acted and were caught. When they followed inside, they were full of excitement and apprehension, however, when they saw who the perpetrator was, they were utterly flabbergasted—Zhong Yue?!
Emperor Wu looked at Zhong Yue who was looking at his blood covered hands in dismay and said incredulously, “How can this be, how can this…” His heart sank, he immediately understood that Zhong Yue had failed!
Emperor Wu’s vision darkened but was supported by the head eunuch. Having received a shock, he immediately ordered, “You audacious fiend, you actually dare to conspire against the Crown Prince’s life! Kill him for zhen!”
Before the YuLin guards could approach Zhong Yue, a person appeared in front of the palace.
“Who there, actually daring to trespass into the imperial palace!”
Commander Zhang barked and was about to act but for some reason, his entire person suddenly became stiff and frozen in place. He couldn’t move the slightest bit.
Emperor Wu still remained calm, “Which senior of the Zhong Clan is this?”
However, the person didn’t reply. Instead he rushed to Zhong Yue’s side. His brows were furrowed as he looked at Li Yan lying on the ground and suddenly, he let out a sigh of relief, “Yue’er, he isn’t dead yet.”
Zhong Yue looked at his grandfather with a dumbstruck expression. The Zhong Clan Head repeated, “You weren’t vicious enough, he isn’t dead yet. Do you know what to do?”
Zhong Yue looked at Li Yan, his eyes full of tears and terror. The Zhong Clan Head gripped his shoulders, “This moment decided everything, what are you hesitating for?!”
Zhong Yue finally snapped out of it. He staggered towards Li Yan, his hand gripping the handle of the dagger. However, just as he was about to add another stab—
Emperor Wu subconsciously hollered. The officials were pale with fright but were locked into place by an invisible force. They could only watch on.
At this critical juncture, a black shadow flashed past them and sent Zhong Yue flying with a kick. Zhong Yue knocked into the aged Zhong Clan Head and both of them tumbled to the floor, unable to get up.
The Zhong Clan members hiding in the dark revealed themselves—originally, they were afraid of interfering with Zhong Yue passing his ordeal, but now they could no longer be concerned with that. Zhong Yue spat a mouthful of blood and sat up while supporting his grandfather. He turned his head and discovered there were two people by Li Yan’s side—Gou Liang sitting in a wheelchair was suturing Li Yan’s wound while Zhong Quan stood to the side holding a sword.
Shadow guards had soundlessly appeared and held a cold blade against the necks of the Zhong Clan members, forcing them to stay still.
After a few sutures, the blood was successfully stopped. Gou Liang stuffed a medicinal pill into Li Yan’s mouth.
After a short while, life returned to Li Yan’s unfocused eyes.
Emperor Wu and the officials took in this scene. At this moment, everyone had their own thoughts.
However, no one cared about what they thought. Zhong Quan retrieved a wheelchair and sat Li Yan down on it. Gou Liang asked, “Do you recognize who I am?”
Li Yan moved his lips, but no sound came out. Weak and pained moans sounded intermittently through his breathing.
Gou Liang then pointed to Zhong Yue, “And him?”
Li Yan still could not speak, but the shock and frightening resentment in his eyes answered for him.
Gou Liang smiled at this, “Good.”
The crowd was stupefied by the current situation. Emperor Wu hurriedly said, “Chang Qing, you’ve come at the right moment. Hurry and have these people release the witchcraft casted on zhen and the officials!”
“No need to rush.”
Gou Liang took off his mask with a smile and said, “It’s not too late to talk after we’ve settled some old accounts.”
“Chang Qing, what do you mean by this—”
“Master is speaking, who dares to interrupt?” Zhong Quan’s gaze was cutting, “Block his mouth. If anyone else dares to interrupt, cut off their tongue.”
Someone answered. A dark figure landed and roughly blocked the mouth of Emperor Wu who was powerless to move—there was not the slightest care for his royal status! Not to mention Emperor Wu, who was beside himself with shock and anger, the other people also felt an indescribable fear. They couldn’t help but tightly shut their mouths, deathly afraid that their tongue would be cut off. Even the sounds of the breathing stopped.
Gou Liang praised Zhong Quan with his eyes. He played with his mask and said smilingly, “Speaking of which, my Zhong Clan seems to have a deep fate with everyone here right now.”
“My predecessor was born on TianJi Mountain but merely because he went down the mountain to repay a kindness and interfere with the world affair, he was driven out from the Zhong Clan. He could only be wronged and become the State Teacher of this country. My predecessor has already paid his karma in full. We descendants only stayed in the capital because we were relied on and trusted by the Emperors, but who would’ve thought that there would be someone who betrayed this faith. Emperor Wu was muddle-headed enough to be played in the palm of a woman. You didn’t even realize that your daughter was turned into a Gao Clan member and instead treated your son like a treasure, sowing the seeds for Zhong Clan’s misfortune.”
The imperial secret was revealed by him, Emperor Wu’s eyes bugged out with anger as he made muffled ‘wu wu’ noises. The officials, on the other hand, sucked in a cold breath. However, they were warned by the cold blades against their necks and quickly suppressed any noise.
Gou Liang continued to say, “It’s a pity for my grandfather, who racked his brain to help you. He ended up going to the yellow springs because of you.”
“Your Majesty, did you know, on the year that you were born my grandfather divined that you are a calamity star and cannot co-exist with the Zhong Clan? A pity grandfather was too softhearted. He couldn’t bear to take your life. Even when you conspired to murder your imperial brother and replace him, he still held onto his loyalty towards the Li Clan and didn’t expose your crimes. Who could have known his softheartedness from back then would ruin the Zhong Clan?”
“As for me, I originally still wanted to carry on my grandfather’s will and continue serving the Li Clan. But what a joke!”
“Your son used me to climb higher, then, in a blink of an eye, in order to obtain this TianJi kid, he sentenced me to death.”
Gou Liang turned to Li Yan, “Back then when you allowed Zhong Yue to disfigure me, did you ever think he would one day personally kill you? When you broke my legs and tormented me in countless ways, did you ever think that one day, I’ll be the knife and you’ll be the fish on the chopping board?”
“Don’t get so worked up.” Gou Liang kindly reminded him, “If you accidentally die, this play won’t be nearly as interesting.”
Gou Liang then turned towards the Zhong Clan members, “Zhong Clan Head, Zhong Gu always had a question he wanted to ask you.”
“If I remember correctly, the Zhong Clan clan rules are as said: One, descendants may not enter the secular world. Two, descendants may not enter court, and three, descendants may not damage their own body. Back then my predecessor merely broke one of them and was banished. Zhong Yue had broken all three of them and is even now a withered flower and fallen willow before the age of twenty. Why does the Clan Head not expel him but even protect him so? Could it be after a mere hundred years, the Zhong Clan clan rules that had been passed down since ancient times are no longer valid?”
“Zhong Gu, don’t you dare talk nonsense!”
The Zhong Clan Head said darkly.
“Oh, I nearly forgot, Zhong Yue is not like other people.” Gou Liang said with an odd smile, “After all, the Zhong Clan can finally expect a son of heaven after centuries of waiting. If he could complete his heavenly fate, even the common people can be forsaken. What are a few clan rules?”
Hearing the two words ‘heavenly fate’, the Zhong Clan’s expression changed greatly.
The Zhong Clan Head yelled, but the blade breaking the skin of his neck gave him no choice but to close his mouth.
Gou Liang ignored him and looked at Li Yan with an expression that was full of interest. He asked him, “Do you know how Zhong Yue can become a true son of heaven?”
“A son of heaven must experience an ordeal and rebirth from the ashes before they could be considered genuine. Zhong Yue’s ordeal just happens to be you. The reason he helps you so sincerely, it was so you would love him wholeheartedly. Then when you wear the dragon robe and are a step away from the top of the world, he will use a knife and take your life. This way he will be able to resolve his love ordeal.”
“You were destined to be a monarch, it is in your fate to hold the grasp of the world in your hands. The reason you are like this now, it’s all because of Zhong Yue, do you understand?”
Li Yan looked at Zhong Yue, his eyes incredulous. An urgent sound came from his throat.
The Zhong Clan Head looked at Gou Liang.
Gou Liang waved his hand, allowing the Quan guard to let him speak.
Zhong Clan Head, “How do you know all that?”
“What I know are not just these.” Gou Liang smiled, his gaze slid over the faces of the Zhong Clan people before falling on a person, “I also know, if there are two sons of heaven, only one may live. Zhong Chao, isn’t that right?”
Zhong Chao’s eyes widened. Zhong Quan was stunned for a moment and then sent a blade of sword aura to cut Zhong Chao’s sleeve. Sure enough, there was a wound on his arm.
“It was you.”
“Zhong Quan, come back.”
Seeing how Zhong Quan wanted to kill Zhong Chao, Gou Liang called out.
Zhong Chao saw that he had been exposed. He let go of Zhong Yue who had been kicked to the floor and got up. He questioned, “How did you know!”
“There is nothing that won’t come to light eventually.”
“Back then, the previous Head of your TianJi Mountain predicted that the son of heaven will appear in this generation of the Zhong Clan, but unfortunately, two people will appear at the same time with the same fate. One will appear in TianJi Mountain but the other one will appear in the capital Zhong Clan, a group of sinners that you have long banished. He wasn’t willing to let the heaven’s fate fall to another so before his death, he meticulously made arrangements to steal the fate and prevent any undesirable outcome from happening.”
“Because of this, when my Zhong Clan was exiled by Emperor Wu, you ordered the Wang Family assassinate them with their suicide soldiers before burning the bodies to hide all traces. Am I correct, hm?”
Seeing a ruthless light flash in Zhong Chao’s eyes, Gou Liang smiled and said, “It’s no use. The Zhong Clan suicide soldiers you have surrounding this place have already become departed souls. If you don’t believe me, you can try and call them.”
Zhong Chao clenched his fists and said, “So what? Given your aptitude, what qualification do you have to vie with Zhong Yue? The heaven’s fate, it always belonged to one person, you’re not qualified!”
“The heaven’s fate belongs to one person, that much is indeed true.”
Gou Liang wasn’t angered by him at all. Rather, he smiled even more deeply. He unhurriedly retrieved the jade xiao from his waist and tossed it into the air. He looked at the Zhong Clan members, “Clan Head, do you recognize this item?”
A lustrous light emitted from the jade xia. The jade xiao stood upright and looked exceptionally well with the black hair tassel falling from it. Then, in front of everyone, the two words ‘Asking Heaven’ appeared in glowing characters on the jade xiao.
“A-asking Heaven Seal?!”
The Zhong Clan Head called out involuntarily.
“That can’t be!”
Zhong Chao and Zhong Yue both exclaimed in disbelief. Zhong Yue was even more unwilling to accept this and crawled up from the floor, wanting to take it. However, he was repelled by an invisible force and was sent launching, causing him to spit out another mouthful of black blood.
However, this time, other than Zhong Chao and his father, no one paid any attention to the Zhong Yue on the floor.
Gou Liang raised his hand and the Asking Heaven jade xiao flew unhesitatingly into his hand. His finger slid across the body of the xiao and the jade xiao let out a happy cry.
“Since you know it’s the Asking Heaven Seal, why are you all not kneeling?”
Gou Liang looked at the Zhong Clan members and pointed at them with the jade xiao. A heavy force pressed against the top of their heads. The Zhong Clan members broke out in cold sweat and their legs shook. They subconsciously submitted themselves and knelt on the floor.
One, two…the Zhong Clan members knelt on the ground. The Zhong CLan Head also knelt anxiously and said, “The 109th generation of TianJi Zhong Clan greet the Lord. From this moment on, TianJi is yours alone to command, we are willing to serve you like a dog or horse!”
The others said simultaneously, “TianJi Zhong Clan greets the Lord!”
“I-impossible!” Zhong Yue pushed aside his brother. He held his stomach and yelled, “Impossible! I’m the real son of heaven! I am!”
Gou Liang chuckled.
He stood up and when he walked towards Zhong Yue, his feet didn’t touch the ground like he was being lifted by a wind. With every step he took, the scar on his face faded and revealed a peerlessly handsome and beautiful face.
Streaks of golden light containing the world’s most mysterious power surrounded him, making people not dare to look directly at him.
Zhong Chao and Father Zhong couldn’t bear the pressure and knelt on the ground. Zhong Yue stubbornly refused to submit with a distorted face, but in the end, he couldn’t resist Gou Liang’s might and fell to the floor.
Gou Liang stopped in front of Zhong Yue and bent to look at him.
His pair of eyes were full of smiles. They were deeply condescending and full of contempt. He smiled gently and lifted Zhong Yue’s chin as if he was admiring a prized artwork.
“Do you know when I inherited Asking Heaven and obtained the heaven’s fate?”
“Speaking of it, I have you to thank for it. If it weren’t for you and Li Yan forcing me to near death, and in turn helping me break through my fate, I probably would’ve died on the run.” Gou Liang said, “Do you know why I didn’t reveal myself and command the TianJi Clan, but instead allowed you to stir things up in the capital?”
“That’s because I wanted to see you tirelessly rack your brain to become the son of heaven. I wanted to see you personally consign your beloved Li Yan to damnation. Otherwise, how can I erase the hatred in my heart?”
“Tell me, how does it feel, hm?”
“No, impossible…it’s me, it should be me…”
Zhong Yue crumbled.
Gou Liang clicked his tongue and released him in disgust. He then looked towards Li Yan. That peerlessly beautiful face fell into Li Yan’s eyes and was deeply etched into his mind. It made Li Yan recall the time where he had first met Zhong Gu.
The willow tree bloomed with catkins and a scholarly youth leaned against the willow tree, leisurely playing a song. When he turned his head back to take a look, the myriad of colors in the world seemed to have lost their magnificence.
Li Yan desperately wanted to say something. Gou Liang very considerately walked towards him, “What do you want to say? Chang Qing, I was wrong? That you shouldn’t have treated me that way and are remorseful? That the one you love is me?”
Li Yan eagerly nodded his head, hot tears flowing from his eyes.
Gou Liang let out a peal of laughter like he had heard a great joke. He flicked his sleeve and looked at Zhong Yue, “Now do you know why you can’t obtain the heaven’s fate? Even without me, you wouldn’t have been able to do it because this man only loves himself. He never loved you. What he loves is the body you didn’t cherish and your TianJi background. It was never you, Zhong Yue. How could you not lose?”
Zhong Yue coughed another mouthful of blood. He looked at Li Yan like he wanted to make him into minced meat.
Gou Liang happily sat down, “TianJi Zhong Clan, I’ll ask you again. For trying to kill the Lord, what kind of punishment should be doled?”
“They should be removed from the clan registry and be hacked into a thousand pieces.”
“I have long inherited heaven’s fate but Zhong Chao has repeatedly tried to kill me. What do you say, does he deserve to die?”
The Zhong Clan Head clenched his jaw tightly. After a while, he finally said, “He does.”
“Very good.” Gou Liang looked at Zhong Yue, “I’ll give you a chance to redeem yourself. If you kill that sinner right now to make amends for your past mistakes, I’ll spare your life.”
Zhong Yue, “Y-you, what did you say?”
Father Zhong and Zhong Chao looked at Gou Liang in shock. The latter smiled and said, “If you’re not willing…Clan Head, tell him, disfiguring and humiliating the Lord, what are the consequences?”
The Zhong Clan head closed his eyes, “He will be expelled from the clan and his four limbs will be flayed off to feed the wild dogs and vultures.”
Gou Liang smiled with satisfaction. He looked at Zhong Yue who was shaking: “Well? Do you want to suffer together with your older brother or are you going to forsaken him to save yourself?”
Zhong Yue cried out bitterly while Father Zhong kowtowed in fear, “Master, on the account that these two children are ignorant, please spare them!”
Gou Liang was amazed, “What, do I look like such a benevolent person? Zhong Yue, I’ll give you a cup of tea’s time to decide. If you still don’t move, then you will be punished according to the clan rule. Your arms and legs will be flayed off to make you a human stick. After tossing you into the mountains, even if the wild dogs don’t eat you, you’ll have to watch helplessly as you fester and rot away…but you can be assured, I won’t let you die too fast. I’ll let you thoroughly experience the feeling of waiting for death.”
Zhong Yue’s face was colorless. There was no need to wait for a cup of tea’s time, he was already looking towards Zhong Chao, “B-brother…forgive me.”
Zhong Chao widened his eyes. ‘Yue’er’ barely came out his mouth when a blade already sliced his throat.
Father Chao rushed over. He pressed against Zhong Chao’s throat, desperately trying to stop the bleeding, but blood flowed through his fingers, taking Zhong Chao’s life with it.
Zhong Yue cried while hugging himself, “I did it, you can’t kill me, you can’t kill me!”
Gou Liang sneered and looked at the stunned Zhong Clan members, “This is the son of heaven that you’ve chosen?”
Seeing their ashen expression, Gou Liang stood up, “Zhong Quan, bring the two of them away. As for the rest of you, return to TianJi Mountain and kneel in the TianJi Hall. When you’ve thoroughly memorized the clan rules and learned how to be a proper Zhong Clan descendant, then you may come out.”
Quan One received an order and carried Zhong Yue and Li Yan in both hands.
The restriction on everyone was lifted. Seeing that Gou Liang was about to leave, Emperor Wu called out, “Chang Qing, if you are the son of heaven then surely you can borrow lifespan, hurry and save zhen!”
Gou Liang stopped and looked at him, “I can, but why would I save you?”
“You, you part of the State Teacher line that have always served my imperial clan—”
“What, why don’t you continue talking?” Gou Liang disdainfully retracted his gaze, “Life and death is up to fate. You’ve already lived past your time.”
Gou Liang raised the xiao and began to play. The eyes of the officials in the palace slackened and they fell to the floor. When they woke up, they would forget about anything that had to do with Gou Liang. As for the Li Clan…Li Xi looked at Li Yan who was brought away, then at Emperor Wu who was coughing up blood and King An who was infertile. He stood up. Meanwhile, King An watched as his most trusted advisor—Niu Bi—knelt in front of Gou Liang and Zhong Quan before leaving with them. A chill set in his bones…
He finally understood. From the start to the end, he was only a chess piece in Gou Liang’s hand.
The Crown Prince was assassinated on the day of the ascension ceremony. Later that day, Li Xi, using the reason that Emperor Wu had murdered his imperial brother, forced Emperor Wu to pass the throne to him. As for King An, the matter of his offspring root being damaged was exposed, and he was currently still unconscious.
Gou Liang no longer cared about these matters. He took Zhong Yue and Li Yan and left. He kindly fed Li Yan a medicine to save his life before feeding Zhong Yue the same medicine he had fed the original host back then and left the two together in a locked room.
The two people who abhorred each other faced off every day. Zhong Yue knew nothing of moderation and within three days, he had sucked Li Yan’s essence dry to the point it was hard for it to get up again.
He berated Li Yan for being useless. Then later on, the people arranged by Gou Liang came and brought him release.
Li Yan watched Zhong Yue. One day, he finally decided to throttle Zhong Yue, causing the two dogs to bite at each other. In the end, Li Yan held Zhong Yue’s head and smashed it against the wall, killing him. Then, because the scar on his chest was ripped open by Zhong Yue during their scuffle, he died soon after due to blood loss.
He lay on the floor with an unresigned heart. His mouth cried out, “Zhong Gu, Chang Qing, save me.” He died like Zhong Yue, without peace of mind.
When he breathed his last, the original host’s negative soul force was completely purified.
Fifteen years later.
On a certain day, Gou Liang sat in front of the mirror as Zhong Quan helped him brush his hair.
The person in the mirror was smiling broadly. The two dimples were extremely eye-catching. Zhong Quan was a bit absentminded as he muttered, “Little Fool, do you feel like soaking in the hot spring today?”
Ten years ago, the target’s favorability value had reached +100 and the mission progress rate reached 99%, making Gou Liang’s heart alarmed. Not only did he announce that his poison had been fully cured and that he no longer needed Zhong Quan to resolve it, he didn’t even dare to kiss Zhong Quan for a full three months afterward. This made his shadow guard head extremely anxious. He worried that Gou Liang didn’t find him attractive anymore and no longer liked him. He managed to endure until the third month before he couldn’t take it anymore and forcibly gave Gou Liang a round of loving, pouring out all the grievances in his heart.
He obsessively called him Little Fool, embracing him, his mind full of only him. Zhong Quan thought it was going to be their last time so he did not hold back at all and was extremely domineering.
After that, Gou Liang discovered that no matter how unrestrained he and Zhong Quan were, the last 1% never advanced.
Gou Liang was delighted and decided to join Zhong Quan in being outrageous.
Their gazes met in the mirror and both were full of infinite gentleness. A decade of memories settled in their eyes. No outsider could step in between their tacit understanding and love.
Quan One outside the door respectfully informed them, “Master, the Zhong Clan Head and his son are asking to see you.”
Gou Liang snapped out of it then. He stretched his arms towards Zhong Quan.
Zhong Quan lifted him up—Gou Liang had grown even lazier in the past years. If it weren’t for Zhong Quan making him walk regularly out of fear of his legs deteriorating, he was disinclined to walk even a step.
“What have you come here for?”
The Zhong Clan Head was already old to the point where he had to gasp as he spoke. He bowed and answered, “Replying to the Master, this old man is nearing the end of his life so has brought his son to seek instructions from you. The next Zhong Clan Head, do you intend to choose the person yourself?”
“No need, you can arrange it yourself.”
The Zhong Clan Head was relieved. He held his eldest son’s hand and got up. However, just as he was about to leave, his neck suddenly ached.
He stared blankly at his eldest son and soon died. Then, the same wound suddenly appeared on Zhong Quan’s neck, bleeding incessantly.
Gou Liang rushed up and caught him. Father Zhong smiled and said, “Today, I have finally gotten revenge for my sons! Hahaha! It’s no use, this is Zhong Clan’s most vicious life and death sharing technique. I can’t kill the son of heaven, but killing the person you care about the most, making you feel the pain of losing your beloved one, I can be considered as having taken revenge for my sons!”
He tried to flee but was captured by the Quan guards.
Gou Liang had no attention to spare for him. The xiao played frantically, but it was unable to stop the blood flowing from Zhong Quan’s neck.
The Asking Heaven jade xiao let out a weak cry and suddenly disappeared, leaving only a black hair tassel in Gou Liang’s hand.
【Ding! Attention mission undertaker No.0040, the world’s Lord God consciousness is about to recover, there is still 1% missing from the mission progress rate. Please complete it immediately!】
Gou Liang didn’t hear it. He hugged Zhong Quan and desperately tried to save him using his medical skills.
“I’ll save you, don’t leave me, don’t…”
【Warning! Mission undertaker No.00401, complete the mission immediately!】
“Zhong Quan, don’t die…”
【The Lord God’s consciousness has reawakened. The countdown will begin! There’s still three minutes, may the mission undertaker make full use of this opportunity!】
Gou Liang suppressed heartrending pain in his chest and lungs to say, “Zhong Quan, do you know why I can see the fates of everyone in the world clearly, but I can’t see yours? It’s because I love you…Zhong Quan, don’t leave me.”
Hot tears rolled down from Zhong Quan’s eyes. He strenuously lifted his hand to caress his cheek, “Master…live well and t-take care of yourself…”
【Ding! The mission progress rate has increased. Current completion rate: 100%!】
【The countdown has begun, may the mission undertaker make preparations to leave! 10, 9, 8—】
Everything before his eyes began to fade. In the end, Zhong Quan disappeared from his arms too.
Gou Liang wiped his tears and pointed his finger at the sky, “Piece of shit Lord God, I curse you to have no weewee!!!”
A lightning struck down but where was Gou Liang anywhere to be seen from where he was standing previously?
The fourth arc and fourth bowl of dog food: WuXiao: Papaya Flavored Senior Brother
I made a mistake when I first translated the synopsis. The next arc is papaya, not melon.