Edit: godly beast -> divine beast
“This is?” Lu Shi’s gaze shifted to the man beside Chu Ye, sizing him up.
“This is Huan Cheng, a friend of mine,” introduced Chu Ye.
Huan Cheng took a step forward and courteously greeted her. “Hello, Auntie!” However, because he had just lost his honored father, he couldn’t bring himself to laugh. Paired with his usual unsmiling face, his entire person seemed to be emanating a cold and callous air.
For a moment, Lu Shi was slightly stunned. The young man’s face felt somewhat familiar to her, but she herself was unclear as to how. “Ok, alright. Come in.”
“Me-aw!” By this time, Xiao Yin had already shrunk itself to its kitty form. Unwilling to be ignored, it extended its claw to tug at the hem of Lu Shi’s skirt, letting out meowing sounds.
Sure enough, its action immediately grabbed Lu Shi’s attention.
“Eh, where did this little stray cat come from? It’s so cute.” Lu Shi stooped down and happily brought it into her arms, eyes filled with fondness.
Chu Ye snickered. This majestic divine tiger was actually called a stray cat.
But the tiger didn’t take it to heart. It obediently laid in Lu Shi’s embrace, truly like a little kitten. It licked the back of Lu Shi’s fair hand, still trying to curry favor.
The ticklish feeling caused giggles to escape Lu Shi’s lips.
“Mother, this is Xiao Yin. I picked it up from the Nine-Layer Heavenly Pagoda. If Mother likes it, I can give it to Mother. If our house were to be infested with rats, there’s no need to worry with Xiao Yin around,” spoke Chu Ye, appearing to be both genuine and fake.
However, she really was entertaining the idea to leave Xiao Yin with Lu Shi. Although she had already asked Caroline to keep Lu Shi safe, she was afraid that Murong Chang, having suffered a crushing defeat at her hands, would go crazy with her revenge. Maybe so much so that she’d abandon her morality and target Lu Shi. Therefore, Lu Shi must have a strong personal bodyguard by her side. Only then could she feel at ease.
When Xiao Yin heard this, quivers wracked its body. She was making a grand divine tiger catch mice?
In this world, only Master would say this.
But when it heard that its master intended on giving it to someone else, it panicked.
“Roar!” Xiao Yin let out a gloomy tiger roar, no longer pretending to meow like a cat. Its small body jumped out of Lu Shi’s arms, falling right next to Chu Ye’s feet. It dug the ground with its paws, sniveling.
It felt brokenhearted.
It felt pained.
But it didn’t dare to refute.
It will follow whatever Master says.
Even though its heart was filled with sadness.
It could only tearfully continue plowing the ground, which held no hatred nor grievances for it, as a way of silent protest.
Its brokenhearted countenance really looked pitiful.
Lu Shi wasn’t an ignorant village woman. Having been by Boling Canglan’s side in the past for several years, she had some knowledge of the matters of the city. As soon as she heard that the “kitten” came from the Nine-Layer Heavenly Pagoda, she realized that this kitten wasn’t as weak and harmless as it appeared to be.
Watching the little kitten’s abnormal sorrowful behavior, she suddenly spoke up. “Lili, since this kitten followed you, how could Mother insert herself between the two of you? Besides, Mother can see that this kitten only recognizes you. The hearts of magical beasts are sometimes simpler, purer, and more valuable than those of humans. So Lili, you can’t let it down.”
Lu Shi’s words struck Xiao Yin deep in the heart. Although it can be a bit lustful and loved beautiful women, the only person it would be willing to wade through difficulties and die for was Chu Ye.
Chu Ye didn’t expect that her little actions and words would affect the tiger this much.
She lowered her head to Xiao Yin, who was still digging, a smile blooming on her face. She then crouched down and stroked Xiao Yin’s little white head. “I didn’t say anything yet. Do you have to be this sad? Besides, even if I leave you by my mother’s side, that would still be a task that I’ve given you. Not once have I harbored thoughts of abandoning you, understand?”
“Really?” said Xiao Yin through their spiritual connection, raising its head in surprise. Then its eyes narrowed in comfort, as it enjoyed the gentle rubbing of its head.
“You and I are spiritually connected. Do you sense lies in my words?” Then in a moment, the gentle strokes became akin to a vicious hammer when she flicked her fingers on its head, the force behind it so strong that it made a resounding noise. “In the future, act less pitiful in front of me. Otherwise… you really will have to catch rats for me every day.”
This little rascal. Its heartbroken appearance actually tugged at her heartstrings!
“Master, I can’t play cute?” said Xiao Yin as it reduced its size even more until its body was just the length of a palm. With the size and appearance of a newborn kitten, it seemed more adorable and prettier than before.
No need to act pitiful. Its cutesy act was already faultless.
Chu Ye’s lips twitched.
Was this rascal really a male tiger?
Why do you love acting cute?
“I’m very cute, very adorable. Master, let adorable Xiao Yinyin give you a big big hug.” In its smug act of showing off its appeal, it extended its front paws to hug Chu Ye’s ankle before climbing up her leg, similar to the way a monkey goes up a tree.
It had been longing to jump into Master’s embrace for quite a while.
It had seen an opportunity. If it didn’t take the initiative now, then how much more should it wait?
“Get lost!” Chu Ye swung her leg, sending it flying into the air.
Thought she didn’t see through its sly thoughts?
Hmph, she was spiritually connected to it. As soon as evil intentions formed in its mind, she would sense it in an instant.
“Dare to pull off such sneaky tricks again, and I’ll pull out my knife and kill you once and for all.” After climbing up Chu Ye’s body with great difficulty, it was struck on the head by her vicious words.
Its limbs softened, causing it to lose its grip on her body and fall.
Was there a more ruthless master than Chu Ye?
Xiao Yin landed on its back, its four limbs raised to the sky, not uttering a single sound.
Lu Shi chuckled. Although she couldn’t understand what Xiao Yin was saying, that didn’t mean she couldn’t infer what its intentions were. At the sight of Chu Ye smiling more often than several months ago, joy warmed Lu Shi’s chest.
“Come in. Young Master Lanxi is waiting for you inside. Oh look at me. I nearly forgot about him soon after I started talking.” Lu Shi led Chu Ye inside, while intentionally shooting Huan Cheng a side glance.
It seemed like her daughter had made a lot of male friends. And they were all so outstanding and handsome. Why didn’t she discover her daughter’s affinity with people of the opposite sex before?
Could it be that Lili’s Red Luan Star is moving this year?
(T/N: Red Luan Star[紅鸞星] – Chinese fortune-telling concept; one of the peach blossom stars[桃花星]; concerns one’s marriage)
How could Chu Ye not notice the consideration in Lu Shi’s eyes? But she simply smiled, not bothering to explain. Some things were hard to express in words.
“Mother, has Chenzhu been okay these past ten days?”
“He…” Now that they turned to the topic of Chenzhu, awkwardness flashed across Lu Shi’s face.
Chu Ye’s heart skipped a beat. She quickly asked, “What’s wrong? What happened to him?”
As she was talking, she looked ahead. And right in the middle of the courtyard, she saw a black coffin laying on top of a bench that consisted of two wooden planks. Dried leaves drifted down onto the lid of the coffin. A still, melancholy scene.
“Chenzhu…” At that moment, it was like a hand was squeezing her heart. She stared at the coffin, her face crumpling.
Subconsciously, she connected Chenzhu with the coffin.
“Chenzhu!” Chu Ye shouted, voice filled with grief, as she rushed forward.
“Lili, you…” Before Lu Shi could explain, Chu Ye had already removed the lid.
But inside the coffin was a middle-aged man with charming and elegant looks. His face was serene, as if he was simply sleeping. But the fact that he no longer breathed nor had any heartbeat showed that he was dead.
“What…” Chu Ye finally understood that she had been too oversensitive. She rubbed her nose in awkwardness and stepped back.
In fact, it wasn’t completely her fault. It was easy to misunderstand with how bad Lu Shi’s expression was. Moreover, Chu Ye was very worried that Chenzhu could no longer wait and endure the mental blow before she got to return.
Chu Ye’s shout also alarmed Lanxi Liuhua and Ming Yuexin, who had been waiting inside the house, as well as Chenzhu, who had shut himself in his room.
The sounds of two doors opening.
Lanxi Liuhua and Ming Yuexin exited the room.
In another room, Chenzhu, dressed in black garments, stuck half of his body out the door, blankly staring at Chu Ye. “Chu Ye…” he whispered, trembling in excitement.
Chu Ye flashed him a smile as soon she caught sight of him. “Chenzhu, I’m back.”
The anxiety in her heart finally dissipated.
She walked over to him.
“Chu Ye…” Chenzhu once again called out. When he heard her call out his name moments ago, it was like his heart suddenly stopped beating. After opening the door and seeing her standing by the coffin, he could guess what happened. Chu Ye must have thought that the one lying in there was him.
Although this misunderstanding was quite inauspicious, Chenzhu felt happy.
She cared about him.
“Chenzhu, here!” Chu Ye didn’t know what was running in Chenzhu’s mind at that moment. She brushed her fingers on her gold storage lock, taking out the jade bottle with the earth elemental sprite inside, which she handed to Chenzhu.
“This is…” Chenzhu’s heart jumped. He could already guess what it was.
But it arrived too quickly. So much so that he didn’t dare to believe.
He wouldn’t be able to withstand the blow of disappointment.
“It’s naturally the earth elemental sprite I promised you. I always do what I say. Here, hold it.” Chu Ye placed the jade bottle in Chenzhu’s hand.
Hearing these words, Chenzhu’s breathing became ragged and disordered, eyes glazing over. His chest violently heaved, and the hand holding the jade bottle trembled. For a while, no words could escape his mouth.
For ordinary people, an elemental sprite was a precious resource for raising one’s cultivation. But for him, it was akin to a second life.
If he obtained one, he could live.
If he couldn’t, he would go die.
“Chu Ye!” Thousands of words and sentiments were condensed in this affectionate shout.
“From now on, everything I have will be yours.” From his body to his heart, even all the worldly possessions he would obtain in the future would be hers.
Once upon a time, Boling Chenzhu was ignorant and simple, practically like a blank piece of paper. However, after this tempering experience, he could now speak such sincere and emotionally touching words with calmness and maturity.
Chu Ye was slightly stunned into place, before breaking into a beautiful smile. No woman in this world wouldn’t like to listen to such sweet words. Not to mention, they weren’t simply sweet words, but also a vow. One that places her beyond his own existence.
She would hold the number one position in his life. Valued above anyone else.
Even above himself.
Chu Ye let out a laugh. “Alright, no need to be so serious. Just take it.”
Chenzhu took a deep breath and nodded, a serious expression forming on his face. “Okay, see you tomorrow.”
Chu Ye also nodded back. “See you tomorrow!”
One of the greatest advantages of elemental sprites is its gentle nature. People of all types of physiques could ingest it, even an ordinary person with no magic power. After ingesting it, one would need one day and one night to neutralize it. So long as there are no outside disturbances, the person who ingested the sprite would not suffer any abnormal conditions.
Hence why elemental sprites are so popular.
Chenzhu shot another deep look at Chu Ye before slowly closing the door.
Although Chu Ye had just returned and he wanted to stay with her for a while, he hoped to appear before her in perfect condition.
After Chenzhu closed the door, Chu Ye turned to Ming Yuexin and promptly extended the hand holding the wind elemental sprite to her. “This is for you.”
“For me…” Ming Yuexin’s eyes widened. She covered her mouth in shock, almost ready to scream out loud.
When she followed Lanxi Liuhua to Chu Ye’s house, she was of the impression that Chu Ye planned on giving her the elemental sprite. But when Chu Ye gave it to Chenzhu instead, her heart sank.
Turned out she was just overthinking.
Just when it started to feel painful to breathe, Chu Ye took out another elemental sprite as if performing a magic trick. How could she be not surprised?
Voice indifferent, she said, “The room next to Chenzhu’s is empty. You can consume it there.” She held no reluctance to part with the precious elemental sprite.
“Then… how about you?” asked Ming Yuexin in a trembling voice. Chu Ye was also a wind wizard. If she used it for herself, wouldn’t she be able to break through tenth grade?
If she could help her reach tenth grade, she would rather… only have one arm.
“Me? Do I look like someone who needs external support to improve their strength?” Chu Ye retorted.
“…” Ming Yuexin felt dumbfounded, before breaking into a smile. Right, how could a prideful person like her take a shortcut?
She could depend on herself to subdue everything.
“Thank you.” Those words were spoken profoundly. Ming Yuexin took the offered wind elemental sprite, before directing her staunch gaze to the room beside Chenzhu’s.
Perhaps it was only once she grew stronger that she could have the right to stand by her side.
At the side, Lanxi Liuhua, who merely acted as a silent spectator the entire time, was moved by the scene. When he met Chu Ye’s gaze, he felt himself becoming more and more obsessed. The woman he fancied was pretty good!