Published at 18th of August 2017 06:59:58 PM

Chapter 19

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19. Yangyang's Fifth Part 1


Wei WuXian laid on top of Lan WangJi's body the entire night, reflecting on what happened all those years ago.

On the morning of his second day at the Cloud Recesses, he opened his eyes, only to see that Lan Wangji was nowhere to be found. Wei Wuxian was lying on top of the mat, his hands laying on his side and his body curled up underneath a quilt. 

Wei Wuxian pulled the quilt off him in one smooth motion, the fingers of his right hand running through his hair. He slept half the night, his thoughts filled with both an absurd fear of not being able to return to those happy times.

He was pulled out of his thoughts by two light knocks on the jingshi's wooden door, followed by Lan SiZhui's voice: "Young Master Mo? Are you awake yet?"

Wei WuXian replied, "why are you waking me up this early?"

"Early... ? It's already almost noon."

The Lan clan all routinely woke up early around 5-7 am, and went to bed at 9-11pm, while Wei Wuxian, who was exactly one time period behind, routinely woke up at 9-11 am and went to bed at 1-3 am. Having laid on top of Lan Wangji for half the night, his lower back was quite sore, and he called out, "I can't get up."

"Eh? What's wrong?" Lan SiZhui asked.

"What's wrong? I've been bedded by your clan's Hanguang-Jun!"

Lan JingYi's aggressive voice approached, "keep saying that nonsense, and we won't spare you! Come out!"

Wei WuXian replied defiantly, "it's true! He bedded me the whole night! I'm not leaving, I'm too embarrassed to see anyone. Why don't you two come inside instead?"

One couldn't just enter Hanguang-jun's room, so the two Lan clan juniors could only shout from outside. Lan JingYi angrily shouted, "You're truly shameless! Hanguang-jun isn't a cut-sleeve! Him, sleeping with you?! Be grateful he even let you in! Get up! And take your donkey away, it's so damn loud!"

Upon hearing mention of his mount, Wei WuXian immediately sat up. "What did you do to my donkey?! Don't touch it, it'll kick you."

Exiting the jingshi, he saw that his donkey had been led to a patch of green grass by Lan JingYi and Lan SiZhui, and was making quite the racket by braying loudly and incessantly. It was braying because it wanted to eat the grass, but was blocked from doing so by a dozen or more fluffy white balls.

Wei WuXian exclaimed fondly, "so many rabbits! Come come, let's catch them and cook them!"

Lan JingYi seethed, "Killing is prohibited in the Cloud Recesses! Make your donkey shut up already, the early readers have complained several times already!"

Wei WuXian gave his apple to the donkey, and sure enough, the donkey stopped braying after one bite of the apple, its mouth chewing on the fruit instead. He was simultaneously petting its neck and plotting how to steal the jade tokens from Lan JingYi and Lan SiZhui. He pointed to the rabbits moving about lazily on the grass, "You really can't cook them? Will you get chased off the mountain if you do?"

Lan Jinyi replied, "They're Hanguang-jun's - I'd like to see you try!"

Hearing this, Wei WuXian almost fell to the ground laughing, thinking, "This Lan Zhan! I tried gifting them to him before and he didn't want them, and now here he is, sneakily raising a whole bunch of them! And he said he didn't want them – who's he trying to fool? Oh my goodness, he actually does like these fluffy, white little things! Can he actually be like this? Hanguang-jun holding a rabbit with his poker-face? Aiyo, I'm dying just thinking about it...."

Thinking of the scene from last night, he suddenly stopped laughing. 

Right at this time, the sound of bells rang out from the west side of the Cloud Recesses.

These rings were entirely different from ones that announced the changes in hours – no, these sounds were quick and intense, as if someone with a frantic heart was hitting the bell. Lan JingYi and Lan SiZhui's faces drained of color. They stopped fooling around with Wei WuXian, and left him behind to walk towards the source of the sound. Wei WuXian realized something was wrong immediately, and followed behind them.

The sound was coming from the top of a corner tower.

This corner tower was called "Mingshi" — it was surrounded all four sides by a special material and had a seal with a curse on it. The building was used by exclusively by the Lan family for conducting rituals. 

When the bell upstairs rings spontaneously, it only means one thing: there had been an accident while someone was conducting a ritual inside. 

Outside the building, the younger members of the Lan family, as well as the GusuLan Sect disciples, were gathering in ever increasing numbers, but no one dared to rush in. Mingshi's front doors were pitch black in color, and were firmly locked, only openable from the inside. To forcibly open it from the outside was not only difficult, but also prohibited. Furthermore, for an accident to happen during a ritual... It was a very scary thing, because nobody knew what kind of spirit had been unleashed, and nobody knew what would happen if someone just barged in. Not only that, but ever since Mingshi was first built, there were almost zero cases where a cultivator had failed in their ritual, which made people very anxious.

Wei WuXian had a bad feeling about this, since he didn't see Lan WangJi exit the building. If Lan WangJi was still at the Cloud Recesses, he would be rushing over immediately, unless... Suddenly, the black doors slammed open, and a white-clothed pupil stumbled out.

His steps were uneven, and he rolled down the stairs as he stepped out. Mingshi's doors closed on their own, as if someone angrily slammed into it.

The bystanders quickly went to help the pupil. After he was helped to his heet, he began crying uncontrollably, gripping on to his helpers. "This wasn't... It wasn't supposed to happen... Absolutely not, aah..."

Wei WuXian grabbed the pupil's hand, looking straight into his eyes, and asked with a heavy voice, "What kind of spirit were you looking for? Is there anyone still inside?!"

The pupil had a hard time breathing, and finally opened his mouth to say, "Hanguang-jun, he allowed me to escape...."

He hadn't finished his sentence when dark red blood came rushing out of his nose and mouth.

Wei WuXian passed him into Lan SiZhui's care. With the bamboo flute still tied to his waist, he went up the steps in two strides, put his foot on top of Mingshi's front doors, and shouted, "open!"

Mingshi's front doors jiggled for a while, but suddenly opened. Wei WuXian immediately dodged inside. The front doors closed after him. Several students were shocked, but also rushed to the door. However, it didn't open, no matter what they tried.

Lan JingYi threw himself at the door, frightened and furious, blurting out, "just what kind of person is this lunatic?!"

Lan SiZhui, who was supporting the pupil, gritted out, "...Don't worry about who he is, come help me. He's bleeding from his eyes, ears, nose, and mouth!"

As soon as he entered Mingshi, Wei WuXian was aware of an oppressive miasma pressing on him.

This miasma appeared to be composed of a hybrid of resentment, anger, and grievances, so thick it was almost visible to the naked eye, and it made those surrounded by it ache in the pits of their stomachs. The inside of Mingshi was 3 zhang in length and width, and at its corners were several fallen people. At the center of this room was the object used in the ritual.

There was just an arm, nothing else. It was the one taken from the Mo family courtyard!

It was stuck into the ground, sticking up straight like it was standing, four fingers curled in with the index finger pointing straight up, as if pointing to someone. The miasma flooding the entire Mingshi was being emitted from this arm.

All the people participating in the ritual had tried to flee, only to fall down, and only Lan WangJi, at the east position, was still standing. 

He was sitting upright, quite still, leaning over a horizontal zither. His hands were not on top of the strings, yet the strings were trembling and quivering incessantly. Originally, he'd been listening to the sound of something with rapt attention, but he finally lifted his head when he realized someone had come in. 

Lan WangJi had the same blank expression on his face, and Wei WuXian couldn't tell what he was thinking. He walked over to the west corner, pulled out his bamboo flute from its position at his waist, and held it up to his lips.

Originally, Lan QiRlen had been overseeing the west corner, but now he was lying on his side. He was just like the pupil who'd escaped Mingshi earlier, unconscious and bleeding from every orifice on his head. Wei WuXian replaced him, sitting opposite Lan WangJi.

On that night at the Mo family estate, there had been Wei WuXian's whistle and Lan WangJi's far-away tone. Only with both of them working hand in hand did they defeat the arm spirit. Lan WangJi locked gazes with him, understanding his intent, and raised his right hand. A series of tones came forward, and Wei WuXian immediately began to play his flute.

Together, they plated the song, "Zhaohun."

To a corpse, a part of the body, maybe during their life they had a love of the media, so that their soul would follow the music. Usually, just one segment enough was enough to see the outline of the soul's shape. But as they played, no soul was called forth.

The hand became angrier, blue veins now visible, and the pressure in the air became heavier.

It seemed like, in this moment, if the defender of the west corner was someone else other than Wei Wuxian, they would meet the same fate as Lan QiRen — bleeding from every orifice and unable to support themselves. Wei WuXian was silently fearful: his and Lan WangJi's duet of "Zhaohun" was unable to summon the spirit, and that was practically impossible. Unless... Unless the deceased's soul, and their corpse, were both severed!

It seemed like this dear friend was worse off than he was by a bit. Even though his body was torn to many pieces, at least his soul was still intact.

With the Zhaohun useless, Lan WangJi changed the tune, and began to play another song.

This song was strange yet awe inspiring, different from the first as night and day. It had a tranquil, peaceful tone, and was called "Anxi." These two songswere ltwo famous songs, known far and wide, could be played by anyone that knew how to play a wind instrument. Wei WuXian followed along automatically.

The Yiling Patriarch's flute was called "Chenqing," and was known far and wide. At this moment, he deliberately made some errors, making his playing much worse, his breath lacking. It was quite painful to listen to. He guessed that Lan WangJi has never played a duet with someone who played an instrument so badly. After playing for a while, he raised his head at stared at Wei WuXian.

Wei WuXian pretended he couldn't see, turned his body and continued to play, but played a two-toned tune. If Lan QiRen had been awake, he would surely be insulting Wei WuXian, telling him not to play if he couldn't play, and not to disturb or tarnish Lan WangJi's sound.

But even if he played badly, the power of the song was in the intent, not the ability. The hand was being slowly calmed by the flute and zither notes, slowly hanging downward. In a flash, Mingshi's front doors opened, and light poured into the room. 

It was probably because the bell on top of the building had stopped ringing, and the disciples began to enter. Lan SiZhui said, "Hanguang-gun, Young Master Mo, you two..."

The awful performance finally stopped, and Lan WangJi pressed his hand on the strings to stop the sound, and replied, "save people."

Lan SiZhui understood, and gathered the others to help treat the other bleeding bodies in the Mingshi. They started with acupuncture, while another set of students carried a bronze bell to re-cover the arm. Although the site was busy, everything was neat and orderly, and nobody made any loud noises. 

Wei WuXian returned the flute to its place by his waist, and squatted down beside the bronze bell, and rubbed away the dirt on the inscription, thinking deeply. 

That night at the Mo family estate, he determined that his hand's grievance was due to being dismembered. Because he knew a helping had had arrived, Wei WuXian didn't examine the matter further. For a regular corpse, even one with such a strong grievance, its killing power was unusually strong. 

Even Lan QiRen, the famous cultivator, who presided over this ritual and 1800 others, many of them dealing fierce spirits, couldn't stand against this resentful spirit. He was still unconscious, and bleeding. Figuring out the identity of this arm's body won't be easy. 

In all likelihood, they're also a cultivator. Moreover, it's very likely that it's an honorable, powerful cultivator with great hatred of the immortals.

But, there's been no word of any famous cultivator from the big sects being dismembered, or any whose bodies have disappeared posthumously.

He raised his head to look at Lan WangJi.

The GusuLan way was liberation first, repression second, extermination third. This arm spirit had killed several people already, it obviously could not be saved. Therefore, when the Lan family brought it back to the Cloud Recesses, they should have went to the second step, repression, first. 

But the Lan family hadn't do so, and tried to liberate the sprit. What good would that have done?

Different phantom attraction flags had different paintings and levels of power. The one used by Lan SiZhui and his group only had a functional radius of 5 li.

Yet it called forth this hand, with such a strong killing intent, that feeds on human blood and human spirits. If it had already been hiding within 5 li of the Mo family estate, with its strong killing intent, then the Mo family wouldn't have survived the night. However, it only appeared after the Lan clan showed up at the Mo family estate, as if it were deliberately taking advantage of this situation. Interesting.

Its target was obvious. Lan WangJi won't let this strange occurance go. The GusuLan Sect would get to the bottom of this. 

From the other side of the room, Lan Sizhui called, "Hanguang-jun, I didn't think that this hand would be... such a problem. Red iris and acupuncture aren't working, How is this good?"

Wei WuXian was waiting for someone to start an arugment, replied, "This is simple! Chase the source, find its body, and you find a way to save them."

By finding its body, they could follow the clues to figure out the body's identity, and no doubt the GusuLan sect would want to go down the mountain to follow the trail. And then, he could finally leave the mountain, and find a way to escape. Everyone was going to be happy.

Although Lan JingYi knew that Wei WuXian definitely wasn't a lunatic, couldn't help but say to him, rather critically, "You say it's simple, but if you can't find the spirit, even after all of this, then where are we going to search for it?"

Wei WuXian replied, "Where are you going to search for it? Didn't it point it out for you?"

Lan JingYi, unconvinced, said, "pointed it out? Who? Where?"

Laughing, Wei WuXian said, "ask your Hanguang-jun where."

Lan WangJi look at him for a second. "Southwest."

The arm was pointing in the southwest direction.


oh WWX, you can be so perceptive yet so unaware sometimes


*time period: people used to measure time in 2 hour increments in ancient China
*corner tower/turret: an auxiliary building built on the corners of walls, the most famous of which are the ones at the Forbidden City, if you google 'corner building' you can see examples of it 
*Mingshi: translates to build of deep thought, or building of meditation
*Zhaohun: translates to find soul
*Anxi: translates to peace
*Chenqing: can translate to 'to give the full account' or affection

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