TN: Thank you for the encouragement, everyone! *hugs* Just to be on the safe side, I’m going to warn that there’s one line in this chapter that might make our MC seem misogynistic. But he’s really not, it’s more that he’s complaining about template harem female leads from his position as an all-knowing reader of the novel.
Shen Qingqiu is very clear about what’s going on in Ming Fan’s head. He must have heard Ning Yingying calling Luo Binghe so affectionately and thought that this hateful apprentice-brother had become too dazzling. The original work’s cannon fodder held an inexplicable hatred towards the protagonist that was only fueled by Shen Qingqiu, forever unchanged.
Ning Yingying is still only a little girl with a little girl’s heart, so she slanted her head and asked: “What’s the fun thing that big apprentice-brother has? Quick, take it out and let me see.”
Ming Fan’s face suddenly became all smiles and he untied a pure green jade pendant from his belt, dangling it in front of him: “Apprentice-sister, this time I went to my relatives to maintain relations. They gave me a lot of useful and interesting things. I thought this was particularly beautiful; I’m giving it to you!”
Ning Yingying took it, holding it up against the gap between the leafy canopy to shine against the sunlight. Ming Fan warmly asked: “How is it? Do you like it or not?”
Peeping, Shen Qingqiu suddenly remembered. This scene!
Not good, he shouldn’t have come here. It’s dangerous!
You can’t blame him for not remembering clearly. If a damned stupid writer wrote stupid words for four years to create a novel that seemed to span two hundred years, who can remember what happened at the very beginning? It took him twenty days to finish reading, he’d entirely forgotten that scene of pure abuse!
Sure enough, Ning Yingying completely can’t tell its quality, casually looking at it before throwing the jade pendant back. Ming Fan’s smile stiffened on his face. Ning Yingying wrinkled her nose and said: “What thing, this color is ugly to death and not as good as the one Ah Luo has.”
This time, it’s not only that the color of Ming Fan’s face is bad. Luo Binghe’s determination to appear to be not here completely disappears, his body jolting once and opening his eyes.
Ming Fan let out a few words between his gritted teeth: “……Apprentice-brother has a jade pendant?”
Luo Binghe hestitated and hadn’t answered yet when Ning Yingying hastily answered before him: “Of course he has one. He always wears it around his neck. It’s his treasure, he doesn’t even let me look at it.”
As calm as Luo Binghe is, his color also changed and he clutched unconsciously at the jade Guanyin1 hidden beneath his clothes.
The intelligence of the female leads in this novel made Shen Qingqiu drunk2 with disbelief.
Ning Yingying’s words completely do not give any thought to the consequences of saying them, only focusing on the fact that Luo Binghe wears a jade Guanyin pendant that never leaves his body.
Towards the things their sweethearts have, all girls will want to get into their own hands. Only Luo Binghe stubbornly refuses to give his. She only raised the issue because she was unhappy.
Of course he’s not willing to give it to you!!! That’s Luo Binghe’s deceased washerwoman mother’s present to him, a present that she spent the greater part of her life savings on just to procure for him! This was the tiniest bit of warmth during Luo Binghe’s darkest time; even when he was entirely washed black later, he could still think back to this warmth and become a little more human. How can he carelessly give it to people!
Ming Fan feels jealousy boiling up from his gut. In the end, it’s still Ning Yingying’s words that cause his anger to rise to the peak and gain the upper hand. He strode forward a step, snapped: “Apprentice-brother Luo is sure generous, even little apprentice-sister Ning Yingying can’t take a look at that jade pendant of yours. If this goes on, you won’t even give a hand to your own fellow disciples when we’re facing against a strong enemy!”
Dangerous! These two sentences and this scene are dangerous!
Ning Yingying also didn’t think it would become like this, hurriedly calling: “It’s fine if he doesn’t want to. Apprentice-brother, don’t bully him!”
How can Luo Binghe fight against Ming Fan? With a leg hooked below and a push, blocked by the disciples that Ming Fan brought, that beautiful jade Guanyin around his neck soon came into Ming Fan’s hands. He raised it up for a look, suddenly bursting into laughter with a ‘haha.’
Ning Yingying asked curiously: “You…… why are you laughing?”
Ming Fan threw that beautiful jade Guanyin into Ning Yingying’s hands and delightedly said: “I thought it was some kind of precious treasure for him to protect it so fiercely. Apprentice-sister, guess what? It’s Northwest goods3, hahahaha……”
Ning Yingying said confusedly: “Northwest goods? Fake?”
Luo Binghe fists slowly clenched, a deep current surging in the depths of his eyes. He enunciated each word: “Give it back.”
Shen Qingqiu’s fingers also flexed unconsciously a couple times.
He naturally knows that jade Guanyin is fake goods, and that it is Luo Binghe’s greatest point of anger.
That year the washerwoman lived a frugal life. Because she had little experience, she was easily tricked and bought fake goods for a high price. Heartbroken, her body quickly deteriorating afterward: this is a pain that will never dissolved in Luo Binghe’s life. This is the only point that Luo Binghe cannot tolerate!
As a bystander, Shen Qingqiu truly wanted to make a move and beat up Ming Fan, returning the jade pendant to Luo Binghe.
Also, maybe if he did so, Ming Fan won’t completely offend Luo Binghe and in later days will be able to keep his small life.
Ming Fan took back the jade pendant from Ning Yingying’s hands, twirling it disgustedly: “If you just want it back then I’ll give it. Don’t know from what kind of street vendor4 this kind of cheap thing was bought; if it’s given to apprentice-sister, I’m afraid it’ll dirty her hands.” So he said, but clearly his hands didn’t carry through with the action.
Luo Binghe’s face was taut. Suddenly he raised his fists, hitting the disciples restraining him.
When enraged, his fists and feet didn’t have any techniques or tricks. It all came from the waves of anger in his heart. At first he managed to scare those disciples, but then they found his weak points. Ming Fan easily walked closer and taunted: “What are you enduring for? For daring to use your fists and feet against this elder apprentice-brother, teach him what it means to respect your elders!” They all regained their courage and renewed their assault against Luo Binghe.
Ning Yingying was stunned, then yelled: “Elder apprentice-brother! How can you do this! Quickly, tell them to stop, or…… or I’ll never pay attention to you anymore!”
Ming Fan panicked: “Apprentice-sister, don’t be angry, I’ll tell them to not to beat that guy is all……” He hadn’t finished his words before Luo Binghe threw off those grasping hands and feet and leaped forward, punching Ming Fan right in the nose.
“Aiyo5!” he cried loudly. Two bright red rivers of blood ran from Ming Fan’s nostrils.
Ning Yingying’s face was full of tears about to overflow but at this sight, she couldn’t restrain laughing and let out a puchi6.
Shen Qingqiu:……Little sister, do you like Luo Binghe or do you want to kill him!
Originally Ming Fan was able to let go of Luo Binghe but now that he was disgraced in front of his crush, there’s no way for him to just forget about this!
Looking at the two people fighting in front of him, twisted into a ball, no matter how talented Luo Binghe is he’s still too young. Additionally, he hasn’t cultivated correctly so there’s an obvious difference in the force of their blows. Even so, Luo Binghe’s teeth were clenched and he didn’t let out a sound. Shen Qingqiu wanted to act. The system let out a burst of skull-rattling alarms: 【Serious OOC! Serious OOC! Serious OOC! Important things must be said three times! Under these conditions, ‘Shen Qingqiu’ will choose to remain a bystander! 】
Shen Qingqiu doesn’t know what the consequences of going against the system are so he can’t take this risk. Anxious, he suddenly has an idea, a kind of compromise.
Cang Qiong Mountain sect has a kind of spell named ‘Plucked Leaves Flying Flowers7‘ that isn’t very impressive and only looks good. The original writing notes that Luo Binghe easily captured the heart of N numbers of women using this spell. Shen Qingqiu who has been filling himself with all kinds of cheats these days8 also knew about this little spell.
He readily plucked a leaf and inserted a bit of spiritual power9. The first time, he used too much and the leaf couldn’t withstand the power and split apart. The second try succeeded and he held it gently between his fingers, breathing out, then throwing it. The leaf flew like a knife in Ming Fan’s direction!
Hearing Ming Fan’s long scream, Shen Qingqiu shook his hand out and wiped a drop of sweat from his forehead.
No wonder they said that if a master makes his move, even a flower can hurt people. He shouldn’t have killed Ming Fan with that shot, right……
Luo Binghe suffered many fists and kicks before suddenly feeling Ming Fan pushing him away. Raising his head, blood ran down his forehead into his eyes. But strangely, Ming Fan held out his hand and there was also fresh blood there.
Ming Fan couldn’t help but anxiously accuse: “How dare you use a knife to harm me?!”
Ning Yingying earlier saw them fighting so furiously that she didn’t dare draw near, but now she inserted herself between them: “No, no, Ah Luo didn’t use a knife. He didn’t give you that injury!”
Luo Binghe also didn’t know what was going on, his lips pressed tight. He wiped away the blood on his forehead. Fresh blood emerges from Ming Fan’s back, a cut that looks like a sword had made it. He faced the other disciples and asked: “Did you see clearly earlier? Did he hold a knife?”
The disciples all looked at each other. Some shook their heads, some nodded. Everyone was confused.
Ming Fan this spoiled young nobleman had never endured this kind of physical pain. Seeing fresh blood all over his body, his heart trembled. Puzzled, everyone saw that there was no weapon on the ground or on Luo Binghe’s body. It shouldn’t have been missing.
Shen Qingqiu held his breath. In front of him there was a suddenly a mass of red as the system wrote in crimson.
【Violation: OOC. -10 Points. Points remaining after deduction: 90 Points. 】
Shen Qingqiu was suddenly able to breathe. He originally thought that he’d lose around 50 points for his actions or perhaps all of them. Only taking away 10 points, that’s a lot better than he’d thought. A little deduction now isn’t much, there will be opportunities to gain it back later. But he hadn’t finished breathing out for long when Ming Fan pointed at Luo Binghe and yelled: “Beat him for me!”
Shen Qingqiu almost vomited a mouthful of this old man’s blood.
Numerous disciples listened to his command and piled forward. Shen Qingqiu unconsciously pulled out a bunch of leaves and sent them whizzing into the air.
Out of his hands and he immediately felt regret.
What am I doing? Luo Binghe is that excellent male protagonist, it’s not like he hasn’t been ganged up on before. Can he even be killed?!
Does he need you to fucking worry about him?!
Earlier he could muddle his way through but it’s great now, no one can avoid noticing that something’s wrong!
All the disciples stopped, not daring to surround Luo Binghe. Surprised and uncertain, they huddled around Ming Fan: “Eldest apprentice-brother! What’s going on?” “Eldest apprentice-brother, I seem to have been cut by a knife!”
Ming Fan’s face turned green and white, taking a long moment before he threw out these words: “Go!” and everyone retreated with bare asses but great vim and vigor. They came like the wind but also left like the wind. Left behind, Ning Yingying dazedly stood up and said: “Ah Luo, were you the one who beat them into running away earlier?”
Gloomily, Luo Binghe shook his head. He was barely able to stand upright but with a tense expression, he bent his head and waist to look for something on the ground. Even though his pants were all over mud, he continued to search diligently.
Shen Qingqiu knows what he’s looking for. It’s naturally the jade pendant that had been lost in the melee and confusion.
As the bystander, he saw clearly. At the beginning of the fight, Ming Fan extended his arm and threw out that pendant. The pendant’s red string hooked onto a tall tree above their heads. It’s not something he can mention. Plus, after throwing out that bunch of leaves earlier, he heard the system’s alarms again: 【Violation: OOC. -10×6 Points. Points remaining after deduction: 30 Points. 】
Instantly down by a lot!
A leaf’s feelings count as 10 points? Don’t make the math so crude!
Ning Yingying didn’t dare to speak either. After all, she was the cause of such a big incident. If it weren’t for her big mouth, Luo Binghe wouldn’t have lost that jade pendant and gotten beaten up. She also helped Luo Binghe search.
But they searched until the sky was getting dark and still there were no results.
Luo Binghe stood still and looked at the messy ground. A great tract of dirt had been turned over by them but they still hadn’t found it.
Ning Yingying saw his distraction and was a little frightened. She pulled at his hand: “Ah Luo, if we can’t find it then it can’t be found. I’m sorry, I’ll pay you back later, okay?”
Luo Binghe didn’t pay attention to her and slowly pulled his hand back. With his head hanging low, he walked towards the path out of the forest. Ning Yingying quickly followed.
Shen Qingqiu really admired himself. These two children searched for an entire evening but he also watched for an entire evening…… other than idly looking to have his balls ache, is there any other explanation?
Only after he was completely sure they had left did he emerge from the darkness. Raising his head, he looked above. As his foot tapped the ground and sent him flying up, he experienced what was called ‘lithe as a swallow’ and the jade pendant hanging above was easily picked up by him.
Shen Qingqiu wanted to give it directly to Luo Binghe, but he has this pissy system that’ll definitely consider it an erroneous act. He doesn’t have extra points to splurge.
Thinking it over, Shen Qingqiu guesses that he can keep it for now.
It may be that later this jade pendant will have its use. For instance, in a critical moment it might be used to trade for his life? Shen Qingqiu seriously pondered this possibility.
But the system’s three-dimensional text popped up in front of his eyes.
【Congratulations! You have received a key prop: False Jade Guanyin x 1. For changing the scene, ‘Shen Qingqiu’ will receive +100 Points for Intelligence. Current points: 130 Points. Please continue your efforts! 】
The points that were just deducted aren’t only back, but have even increased!
Plus this jade Guanyin definitely has a high effect on Luo Binghe, definitely a high-grade prop and suitable for saving his life!
Really an unexpected surprise!
Shen Qingqiu’s entire body is sore. He squatted down in the shade to hide for an entire evening without a bit of illumination, but now even the system’s ugly Google Translate-sounding voice is sweet to hear!
Outside the forest and already exiting the back of the mountain, Luo Binghe slowly opened his fist.
In the middle of his palm lie some green leaves. The edges of the leaves are sharp and stained with blood.
—End Chapter 4—
1Guanyin: A popular motif for jade pendants is the Bodhisattva Guanyin (or Goddess of Mercy). It’s kind of like hanging a cross around your neck for protection and/or luck among Christians.
2made… drunk: A funny saying that expresses how utterly unimpressed you are. So if someone touches a hot stove and complains about the heat, the bystander can be said to be ‘drunk’ at how stupid that person is. Not-so-serious-but-maybe warning: Please do not touch a hot stove with your bare hands. unless you’re Superman
3Northwest goods (pinyin: xi bei huo): Don’t ask me lol. Apparently this place is infamous for producing knock-offs or something. What they’re getting at is that the pendant is not made of real jade.
4Street vendor: Actual words in Chinese specify that Ming Fan is talking about the kind of vendors who can’t even set up a booth. AKA the ones who lay out a rug on which to place their goods and hawk the wares right there on the ground.
5Aiyo: In this instance, a cry of pain.
6Puchi: Snorted laughter SFX.
7 ‘Plucked Leaves Flying Flowers’ (pinyin: zai ye fei hua): A literal translation. Didn’t think anything would be lost in context if I left this translated vs in original pinyin.
8All kinds of cheats these days: Not very clear, but meaning is that our MC has been researching and studying ahead with foreknowledge of what is to come. Good thing he’s the Peak Lord of the literary Qing Jing Peak, eh?
9Spiritual power: Pinyin is ling li.