For the most part of this chapter, the author was able to refer to XCM without having to use pronouns. This is kinda difficult to do in English, so I just resorted to using pronouns when I got stuck.
Previously, I said that I will be using she/her pronouns if Yu Qiu is referring to Xiao Chunmian. This still applies to Yu Qiu’s direct thoughts (usually in first person, and as such, text is italicized). But for regular third-person limited sentences where XCM is talked about, I will be using he/him pronouns instead, regardless of whose point of view it is, because that’s how the author did it.
And for dialogues where one would refer to XCM with she/her, and the other with he/him, it may sound puzzling how the two parties could still understand who they’re talking about. Just keep in mind that, in Chinese, he/him (他) and she/her (她) are pronounced the same way: tā. And hers (她的) and his (他的) are both: tā de
The words of the stall owner stunned Yu Qiu.
A beautiful young man with the sword Yu Qiu had bought hanging at his waist. This description fit Xiao Chunmian ah, but why did Xiao Chunman want a custom-made brush? Yu Qiu didn’t want to assume1自作多情 – To imagine oneself as another person’s favorite, but thinking left and right, aside from giving it to him, he couldn’t come up with a different reason.
Was it to pay him back for the sword?
Really, what returning gifts? What was the relationship between him and Xiao Chunmian? Giving the sword was only something he ought to do, so what was the point in calculating things so clearly between them? Yu Qiu’s mind was full of criticism, but his mouth couldn’t help but grin.
He quickly pinched his face, calmed his expression, kept down the music in his heart2压住心底的乐呵 – alternate translation would be “suppressed the joy in his heart”, and left the stall with a serious face.
But back to the topic, how could Xiao Chunmian even have any spirit stones to order a custom brush?
He couldn’t be doing something dangerous, could he?
Yu Qiu went back to the house with this question in mind, but then he found that Xiao Chunmian wasn’t there. Recently, the other party had been going out early and coming back late. In the past, Yu Qiu never dug too deeply, but now he couldn’t help but worry.
Yu Qiu quickly went back to the market to find Zhang Donggua, who was always watching over the plaza.
Encountering Yu Qiu asking about something, Zhang Donggua would naturally not conceal even half of the information he had. “Are you talking about fellow daoist Xiao? I just happened to see him walking to the north from here, probably going to Fang Beishan3Fangshanji’s northern mountain.”
Yu Qiu said thanks, then instantly walked all the way to the north. As expected, he finally saw Xiao Chunmian’s figure at the entrance of Fang Beishan. There were other people present, three men and one woman, and they were in the middle of discussing something with Xiao Chunmian. They looked quite familiar with each other.
It seemed like, in the places Yu Qiu didn’t see, Xiao Chunmian had already made new friends.
Yu Qiu should have been happy for him.
But in Yu Qiu’s heart, he was actually a bit sour.
He sourly walked forward. The oldest man among them was the one who saw him first, and then the others turned around.
“Xiao Qiu?” Xiao Chunmian asked in surprise. “Why are you here?”
Yu Qiu raised his eyebrows. “I also want to ask why you’re here.”
“I and these fellow daoists have an appointment to hunt together in Fang Beishan.” Xiao Chunmian explained with a smile, and then turned sideways, so that he could introduce Yu Qiu to the people behind him.
Among the four people, one was in the fifth level of Qi Refining, and three were in the third level. The oldest one was the shifu4师父 – master, and the three were his disciples. Yu Qiu one by one went “nice to meet you, nice to meet you5久仰 – I’ve long looked forward to meeting you; It’s an honor to meet you at last,” but in fact, he didn’t remember any of their names and surnames.
According to Xiao Chunmian, ever since he got acquainted with these people a few days ago, they had agreed to hunt together in Fang Beishan everyday.
This Fang Beishan was not like Nanshan6South mountain. In Fang Nanshan, there were only some fierce birds and beasts that one in the second level in Qi Refining could still go across. However, since Fang Beishan was closer to Xuanyang mountain, its spiritual qi was more abundant, giving birth to a lot of demon beasts. Even one in the middle stage of Qi refining could easily get into an accident if they didn’t pay attention. Xiao Chumian and the others wouldn’t go in too deeply, just going around the periphery. This way, they wouldn’t easily encounter danger. They could even occasionally beat up one or two demon beats and earn a lot of spiritual stones.
“It’s just that… fellow daoist Xiao…” That middle-aged man in the fifth level of Qi Refining hesitated before saying, “That black tiger beast you mentioned just now, it’s not that we’re unwilling to help you, but coming across one is really not that easy.”
Xiao Chunmian frowned slightly. “But I heard from others that black tiger beasts are not uncommon in Fang Beishan.”
The middle-aged man stroked his nose and smiled bitterly. There were indeed lots of black tiger beasts in Fang Beishan, but they weren’t found on the periphery. He also took three disciples with him, so even though he was in the fifth level of Qi Refining, he didn’t want to take the risk in venturing deeply.
Xiao Chunmian could generally guess what was on his mind, and he couldn’t help but sigh.
“Black Tiger beast?” Yu Qiu asked timely. “What do you want the Black Tiger beast for?”
“I want to buy a custom brush for you,” Xiao Chunmian replied. “But that Tool Refining master said he lacked one kind of material, which is the mane of the Black Tiger beast.”Yu Qiu said “hey,” but secretly, he said: Didn’t I ask because I already knew the answer? Why are you so honest! Don’t you know how to leave me a nice surprise!