Yu Qiu didn’t expect the door would open right away like this, so he hurriedly moved away his line of sight. After all, in his mind, Xiao Chunmian’s room was a young woman’s boudoir. How could he casually look at a girl’s boudoir!
But in the blink of an eye, he had already seen what could be seen. Xiao Chunmian’s room was quite clean. In the middle of the round table, there was a teapot before several cups. The bookcase at the side had its books arranged neatly and tidily. Then, there was one desk, one bed, and nothing else.
And Xiao Chunmian was in the middle of the room, sitting upright at the head of the bed, engrossed in refining qi. It was almost sunset, and the orange yellow light coming in through the window seemed rather warm on Xiao Chunmian’s face.
Yu Qiu failed to look away, his gaze affixed on Xiao Chunmian and looking like he wanted to count those long eyelashes.
Not knowing how long he was staring, those long eyelashes suddenly shuddered lightly before lifting up to reveal eyes as bright and clear as limpid autumn waters. Four eyes facing each other, Yu Qiu’s heart panicked, not knowing why he felt particularly guilty.
“Xiao Qiu.” Xiao Chunmian, in contrast, was extremely happy. He didn’t care the slightest about his rudeness. “How come you’re here?”
Upon hearing this, Yu Qiu blushed a little. Yeah, what did he come over for? It was simply because he got something and wanted to give it to the other party. And then he excitedly 1屁颠屁颠 – Actual translation would be “jolting buttocks,” and I think you can imagine why XD came over as if he were presenting a treasure… Looking back on it now, he was clearly the one giving something, so why was he more eager than the one across him who was waiting to receive it? Truly too eager ah.
But even after thinking about it, Yu Qiu still eagerly handed over the flying sword in his hands.
Speaking of flying swords, at first glance, it wasn’t much different from an ordinary sword. But if one looked closely, one could find that its surface was suffused with a little blue light. And carved on top of the sword body was a blue groove that was cold to the touch. Looking again at the light, one could see some exquisite lines on top of it.
Xiao Chunmian reached out and stroked the sword carefully. “This is…”
“I bought it for you!” said Yu Qiu. “Didn’t your previous sword break? Have this ba.”
Xiao Chunmian turned the sword over and over, stroked it several times, then shook his head gently. “This sword is too expensive…”
Yu Qiu didn’t expect that the other party would refuse, so he promptly cut in and said, “What expensive? How would you know it’s expensive? Don’t make blind guesses. I’m giving you this, so accept it.”
Though, it was indeed expensive… Thinking about those more than two hundred low-grade spirit stones, Yu Qiu’s heart still hurt ah.
Xiao Chunmian looked up at him with a faint smile. “You think I can’t tell the value?”
Yu Qiu choked. Not knowing how he should explain it again, he simply acted like a rogue. “Anyways, I bought it just for you. You have to accept it even if you don’t want to. If you insist on not accepting it, this sword will be useless. I’ll take it back and just smash it, and then forget about it.”
“Don’t!” Xiao Chunmian was obviously a sword lover, so he got anxious when he heard this.
He lowered his head again and stroked the sword. After a while, he came back to his senses. “You bought it just for me?”
Yu Qiu coughed. “Yeah.”
It was unclear whether Xiao Chunmian’s expression was of surprise or joy. He turned the sword over and over several times. “Why buy it for me?”
“Why should there be a reason!” said Yu Qiu. “You are my person. Your sword is broken, of course I should buy you a new one!” The words were uttered, and Yu Qiu found that there seems to be something strange about this sentence.
Sure enough, hearing this, Xiao Chunmian’s originally pleasantly surprised face turned shocked.
“I, I mean… You were led into the path of cultivation by me,” Yu Qiu quickly explained. “I have to be responsible for you… No, I, I mean, I have to cover you2我得罩着你 – To support / to protect / to help you with everything… Expression often used between lovers (●♡∀♡)…”
These words were tossed and turned by him as he spoke, but how come it’s only gotten worse3越描越黑 – literally, the more you touch things, the darker they get.. Yu Qiu thought in his heart: No good, Xiao Chunmian is a young lady; what if she misunderstands?
Thinking about this, Yu Qiu was also anxious. “Anyway, it’s the same thing. You want to accept it, then accept it. If you don’t want to accept it, then give it back to me!”
Saying so, he reached out and tried to grab the sword, wanting to get it back.
“Don’t! I’ll accept, I’ll accept!” Xiao Chunmian also hurriedly reached to grab the sword.
The sword was so long, yet Xiao Chunmian instantly grabbed Yu Qiu’s hand.
Yu Qiu froze, and then his hand was empty. Xiao Chunmian took the sword out of his hand with another hand, but the other hand was still firmly holding Yu Qiu’s hand.
“Since xiao Qiu bought it for me, then of course I have to accept it.” After successfully snatching the sword back, Xiao Chunmian raised his eyes in a smile, only to find that Yu Qiu’s face had become very delicate.
In Yu Qiu’s heart, frightful billows and turbulent waves were rolling over and over.
He was held by a girl! The girl’s hand was quite big, it could wrap around his entire hand… No, that’s not the point! The point is that he was held by a girl!
One should know that, although Yu Qiu had lived for hundreds of years, his focus was always on seals and talismans. In addition, Xu Hong had been in charge of everything in his previous life. Yu Qiu couldn’t easily talk to others, let alone shake hands with a girl. This thing had never happened before, truly the first time in his life ah.
No, think carefully. This wasn’t the first time. He had also touched Xiao Chunmian’s hand before when they first met in Yulian county. Following this memory, it seemed he not only held Xiao Chunmian’s hand but also touched Xiao Chunmian’s face ah!
Suddenly, the soft and tender feeling from that time once again lingered in Yu Qiu’s heart.
Poor little century-old virgin Yu Qiu. In this seemingly ordinary grip, his face slowly turned very red, all the way to the back of his ears.
“Xiao Qiu?” Xiao Chunmian was extremely surprised.
Then Xiao Chunmian remembered that Yu Qiu seemed to be a cutsleeve4Not sure if I’ve explained this before, but it basically refers to someone who is gay..
He quickly released Yu Qiu’s hand and apologized, “Xiao Qiu, I’m sorry. I was too rude.”
Yu Qiu gently shook his head.
Feeling the residual warmth on the back of his hand, Yu Qiu felt a little lost in his heart.
Was Xiao Chunmian also thinking about the warmth in the palm of his hand? Normally, he wouldn’t have cared about it. But now, seeing how Yu Qiu looked, he felt that the temperature on his hand had turned hot.
“Take good care of this sword. Now, you’re only in the second level of Qi Refining; you can’t control it yet. However, you can still use it for ordinary sword moves. Wait until the fourth level of Qi Refining, then learn how to control the sword.” After Yu Qiu explained, he resigned somewhat depressedly.
Xiao Chunmian kept looking at his back until Yu Qiu turned around a corner, the sight of him blocked by the wall.
After a while, Xiao Chunmian raised his hand and quietly looked at his palm.
“A cutsleeve, huh?” Xiao Chunmian suddenly chuckled. Xiao Chunmian could naturally tell that Yu Qiu’s reaction just now was because he was falling in love, and it was falling for him. And… having a man fall for him was, unexpectedly, not disgusting ah.
Xiao Chunmian’s eyes narrowed slightly.
“Right.” Yu Qiu suddenly came back and put a jade scroll on top of the table. “This is the sword manual I found before. I almost forgot to give it to you. You…”
When he looked up, Yu Qiu found that Xiao Chunmian was putting his lips to his hand. It looked like he was… licking his palm? Wait, wasn’t that the hand he held just now? What was going on!
Xiao Chunmian met his eyes indifferently. “Many thanks, xiao Qiu.”
He was so unperturbed. Meanwhile, Yu Qiu was so embarrassed that he couldn’t stay calm. So he nodded, thinking that he must have seen wrong just now, and walked out of the room again.
Later on, no one ever mentioned this small episode.
After getting the new flying sword and sword manual, Xiao Chunmian was in a fighting spirit everyday. Whoosh, whoosh, whoosh did he train in the sword, several times more diligent than before. His daily qi refining also didn’t decline. In just a few days, he was finally able to make a breakthrough to the third level of Qi Refining. After that, he successfully marched all the way to the peak of the third level5 I just realized I’ve been using layer and level interchangeably sdfghjk. I hope I haven’t confused anyone. They have the same character in Chinese, so just keep in mind that layer = level. However, layer/level (层) ≠ stage (期).
Yu Qiu’s, however, had not been going smoothly. The day after Xiao Chunmian broke through the third level of Qi Refining, he had already reached the peak of the third level. But then, there was no further progress. He got stuck there, as he had expected.
Breaking through from one small realm to another was neither easy nor difficult, but a chance was needed. Yu Qiu was not in a hurry. Anyway, there were still three months before Xuanyang6It actually says 玄剑 (Xuanjian) in the raws, where jian is the character for sword. I think this is simply a typo, so I went with Xuanyang sect’s entrance exam. Even if he couldn’t make a breakthrough in a month, it wouldn’t be too late.
And Xiao Chunmian seemed to have found something new to do. He’d been leaving early and returning late everyday instead of practicing with the sword all day long. However, his sword-play and cultivation seemed to be forging ahead more vigorously.
Yu Qiu still drew talismans everyday to refine qi. After he could afford White Deer paper, he hadn’t been employing the new drawing method a lot. Instead, he’d been drawing with the conventional method. Afterwards, he’d take them to sell in the market. And in just a few days, everyone inside Fangshanji knew of the young seal cultivator named Yu Qiu.
After selling out the talismans, Yu Qiu would then stroll around the market. He wanted to buy a new writing brush. After all, he couldn’t always throw away mortal brushes after drawing talismans all day long.
But this kind of brush was not easy to find in Fangshanji. One should know that Fangshanji is composed entirely of a group of people in the Qi Refining period. First of all, there was a lack of Seal Cultivators who wanted a writing brush; second, there was a lack of Tool Refining masters who were at a sufficient level. So even though Yu Qiu would look for a brush everyday, he never got anything.
Until a certain day, at the stall where he had bought the sword for Xiao Chunmian, Yu Qiu found something.
“What is this?” asked Yu Qiu.
The seller lazily blew out a smoke ring. “Brush.”
“… Only the brush shaft?”
The seller smoked. “It’s not yet finished.”
“Why not finish it?” Seeking hope with great difficulty, Yu Qiu couldn’t help but ask.
“I’ve thought about it left and right, and the mane of the black tiger beast is the most suitable. The seller slouched sideways on the chair. “Unfortunately, no one has hunted recently. It might have to wait for several days ba, but it’s probably gonna happen soon.”
Yu Qiu thought about it, then glanced at him. “If I could hunt for it, how about selling this brush to me at half the price?”
The seller shook his head. “Can’t do, someone else had this brush made to order, so I’m not selling.”
Someone had it custom-made? This answer really surprised Yu Qiu. It wasn’t that he hadn’t thought about it, but the cost of having it custom-made was more than half of the original price.
He hadn’t had any idea of custom-made before, but the cost of custom-made was more than half of normal. Yu Qiu was not very willing to pay this sum of money when the mortal brush could make-do. And in Fangshanji, seal cultivators were extremely rare. Besides him, who else would need a custom brush?
“It’s a beautiful young man,” said the seller, but he also gave him a surprised look. “What, you don’t know?”
Yu Qiu was at a loss. “Why should I know?”
“But the person who had this brush made…” said the seller. “Hanging from his waist was the sword you bought from me before.”