If Chapter 8 was the quiet calm before the storm as A'Heng gets a glimpse into Chi You's past and mating rituals, then Chapter 9 is the quick and fast thunder in which the only wisdom comes from a crazy lunatic.
Chapter 9: Heal the world but not one's self (Part 1 of 4)
Shen Nong Mountain was situated in the hinterlands of the Central Plains, the scenery was beautiful, its aura dominating, there were nine mountains, two lakes, twenty-eight peaks, the north was connected with the garrisons in the Ze State, the south faced the richly fertile fields of the Yan plains, the east was naturally protected by the Dan River, the west had the most bustling capital, Zi Yi. Only when you have seen Shen Nong Mountain, can you truly understand what is the meaning of an empire, and the reason why the Shen Nong tribe has the most citizens out of all the god tribes.
When A'Heng blearily awoke, she had already reached the bottom of Sheng Nong Mountain. She looked at Chi You*, then looked at Lie Yang and Ah Bi, "You, you... I, I... why am I here? Where is Sister Yun Sang?"
Chi You's playful smile leaned closed to her eyes, "Good wife to be, who would have thought you were willing to sacrifice your life to save mine."
"Nonsense! You are a trouble maker, I can't wait for you to die early!"
Chi You opened her palm, the wound had not healed yet, "If Yun Sang brought you up the mountain, the Yan Emperor will definitely be willing to save you, but there is only one antidote, if you secretly changed the antidote and ask Lie Yang to give it to me, how about you?"
A'Heng felt like her heart was being read like an open book, her embarrassment became anger, she pushed away Chi You's hand, "Don't think too highly of yourself, even if ten of you died, I will still be able to live well!"
Chi You grinned happily at her, "That is right! Don't ever do something so silly again, I only want you to treat me well when I am alive. If I die, just throw my bones into the mountain, the wild beasts will naturally clean it up, as if I never existed, you should also immediately forget about me, happily living the rest of your life."**
Although Chi You's expression was playful, he was very serious with what he said, A'Heng did not know how he could look through life and death so clearly. A'Heng's face whitened, "Don't say crazy things, although there is Ah Bi's fresh blood, we cannot last long, I don't know who is guarding the Sheng Nong Mountain, but we must quickly think of how to meet the Yan Emperor."
Chi You replied, "Zhu Rong, Gong Gong, Hou Tu."
Zhu Rong is said to be the highest skilled in Sheng Nong, Gong Gong was the Water God, Hou Tu was an elite who had risen in the recent years, his fame was not weaker than Chi You in Sheng Nong. A'Heng's face darkened, "How is this guarding Sheng Nong Mountain? There is clearly a plot. Who is actually the one who poisoned you? Is there any friend you can trust to pass a message to the Yan Emperor?"
Chi You's eyes were dark and rebellious, he said coldly, "It is hard to measure a person's heart, when it comes to life and death, besides one's self, no one else is dependable!"
This time Chi You appeared to be suspicious and serious, completely different from how he lightly laughed at life and death just now. A'Heng couldn't help becoming curious at Chi You's past, what must he have experienced for his personality to be so complicated?***
Chi You gazed at Sheng Nong Mountain in deep thought, as if he was planning a strategy, suddenly A'Heng made a decision, she did not care what her father or Big Brother will think, she said, "I will use the title of Xuan Yuan Princess to seek an audience with the Yan Emperor."
Chi You grabbed her, "I disagree! Xi Ling Heng!" He reached out his hand and fiddled with the Beauty Preserving Flower on her hair, "The Peach is the essence of wood, Jade is the spirit of the stone, the Beauty Preserving Flower is a special treasure that is only created by crystallising ten thousands of years of the jade spirit of the Jade Mountain and the wood essence of the Peach Forest, the meaning of "Beauty Preserving" is to allow you to have the looks you want to have, it's not just to preserve your current looks. Think of what you would like to look as, after a while, you definitely would not want to admit you are Xuan Yuan Ba."
Before A'Heng could understand his meaning, Chi You happily smiled at Lie Yang, "Since you have been at Jade Mountain for so many years, your divine power should have improved tremendously, see that city by the lake? Go there and practise your Phoenix fire, whatever displeases you burn it up!"
Lie Yang is someone who can truly cause havoc and have no fear of anything under the sky, he immediately became energetic at Chi You's words and flew off immediately. A'Heng did not even have the chance to stop Lie Yang, she was so shocked she grabbed Chi You, "That is the capital of Sheng Nong! You let Lie Yang burn down the city? Are you crazy?"
Chi You had a face of confusion, "It's not like I set fire to Xuan Yuan's capital, why are you so anxious?"
"Anxious? That's a city! If people realises that bird is mine, Sheng Nong will immediately commence war with the Xuan Yuan tribe!"
As A'Heng spoke, she saw that the west door of Zi Yi had already started burning, she covered her face and murmured, "I really should have no connection with this lunatic! Why is my memory so poor?"
Chi You coldly watched as Zi Yi slowly became a sea of fire, he lifted his head to the sky, and saw Zhu Rong riding his Bi Fang bird and hastily flying towards Zi Yi. Zhu Rong proclaimed himself to be in control of all the fires under the heavens, but Chi You knew that Zhu Rong still lacked the fire of the Phoenix. As the Phoenix was an auspicious bird and the King of the Hundred Birds, even Zhu Rong did not dare to be greedy. Therefore, when the Phoenix Fire had suddenly descended from the sky, he would definitely go down Sheng Nong mountain for it.
Chi You patted Ah Bi, as if indicating that he can fly them up to the main purple golden peak of Sheng Nong Mountain.
A'Heng could not bother to be angry anymore, she touched her face and worriedly asked, "Even a god who has greater divine powers than me will not be able to recognise me?"
"This is an illusion created not by divine powers, no matter how strong someone's cultivation is, they cannot defeat what is naturally created by the elements, as long as you are careful, no one will be able to tell."
Just as A'Heng let out a sigh, she immediately anxiously asked, "There are soldiers heavily guarding everywhere, what are you thinking of doing?"
Chi You smiled and spread out both his hands, "Scared? My wife to be, my embrace is always open for you to hide in."
A'Heng took a deep breath and suppressed a strong urge to kick him down.
Guards appeared on both sides of the mountain peak, "The Yan Emperor has insulated himself to brew medicine, all visitors are rejected!"
Chi You let Ah Bi stopped in the middle of the valley, A'Heng was fully prepared, but Chi You knelt by Ah Bi's side and whispered to Ah Bi, "Do you like A'Heng a lot?"
Ah Bi immediately forcefully shook his tail, he opened his mouth and blissfully smiled, he leaned his head towards A'Heng's body, A'Heng was so nervous she could not be bothered with Ah Bi, she said in a small voice to Chi You, "We are already surrounded."
It was as if Chi You didn't hear her, he stroke Ah Bi, "But A'Heng will marry in the future, her husband might not like you, who knows he might even hate you."
Ah Bi was shock, his eyes immediately became full and round, his tail stood up straight in mid air, his curved mouth slowly flattened.
Chi You continued, "After A'Heng marries, she will give birth to her own children, she will like her own children, at that time she definitely will have no time for you. Do you remember the story of the stepfather I told you on our way to Xuan Yuan Mountain? All the stepfathers will think of ways to chase away the previous kids!"
Ah Bi gave a cold shudder, his tail dropped on the floor with a huge thud, his mouth slowly turned downwards, his eyes were filled with a mist.
Even if her full anxiety, A'Heng started to become angry, "Why do you tell Ah Bi stories of stepfathers bullying little kids!" She quickly patted Ah Bi, "Don't listen to this jerk's words, he is purposely scaring you!"
But Chi You stared at Ah Bi, he seriously said, "Think about it, when A'Heng has her own kids and does not want you anymore, if Lie Yang also does not want you, how pathetic you will be!"
Ah Bi started to cry, ever since he was born, he thought of A'Heng as his mother, he naturally thought that he will be with A'Heng forever, everyday living happily. After having Lie Yang, they continued to play every day with no troubles or worries. Only now, after realising that everything he had was going to vanish, for the first time he realised what was "loss".
A'Heng glared at Chi You in disbelief, "What time is this? You are still bullying little kids? You are truly crazy!"
A'Heng hurriedly tried to console Ah Bi, but when Ah Bi thought that one day he will lose such a good A'Heng, he became ever more inconsolable, as if that sad day had already arrived.
Chi You had chosen to stop in the valley that was called Echo Valley, it was a road you must walk to reach the Purple Golden Peak, all the soldiers in this mountain valley were carefully picked elites.
The geographical structure of the Echo Valley was unique, every small sound will have an echo, and the sound will be magnified. One generation of the Yan Emperor had used this natural advantage and placed a soldier at each special vocal spot, as long as someone entered, it would immediately garner the attention of the guard. Thus, in the thousands of years, no one had dare intrude into the Echo Valley.
Because of the echo effect of the Echo Valley, Ah Bi's sobs were magnified and it sounded like hundreds of Ah Bi were in pain, the painful sobs were like the tremors of the spring thunder. Originally, the sounds of the fox tribe could seduce a person's heart, since Ah Bi belonged to the species of fox that had the most beautiful voice, plus Ah Bi had eaten the peaches and the jade marrow from Jade Mountain and had abundant divine essence, his sobs could turn a mountain into a sea of doom, the vegetation also started to wither in tragedy, the sky started to turn colour.
Although the soldiers of the Sheng Nong Tribe had already surrounded them, they could hardly control themselves due to Ah Bi's sobs. At first, they used their own divine strength to protect themselves, but whose heart had no pain or sadness? Ah Bi's voice activated the long suppressed and hidden sorrows in their hearts, the past started to come back, each separations in their lives started to layer over each other, the pain congregated into a deep plunging sea, they could not help feeling sorrowful too and started to cry painfully.
The whole Echo Valley echoed a sad song that could cause the whole of Heavens to cry, even the divinely powerfully Hou Tu and Gong Gong did not dare to hastily act, they could only guard each of their peaks and stare at Chi You.
Chi You sat on a big rock, he wagged his finger at Gong Gong and Hou Tu, they looked suspicious for a moment, then sat on their rides and landed in front of him. Chi You smiled as he gazed at the surrounding soldiers who were weeping, "The Echo Valley is a natural sound formation, the soldiers unknowingly used their divine strength to activate this formation, the sadder they are, the more painfully they will sob, the more painfully they sob, the sadder they will be, until they have no more energy and die."
Both the faces of Gong Gong and Hou Tu changed, these hundreds soldiers were the elites of Sheng Nong Mountain, they cannot imagine the consequences of losing them.
Gong Gong gave a respectful gesture to Chi You, "Please be merciful, we are only carrying out our orders to protect Sheng Nong Mountain."
Chi You said, "I want to see the Yan Emperor."
** Ok, I confess my eyes started tearing at this. Yes, I'm a weakling.
*** When curiosity begins in your heart, that is when love starts.
Comments: Chi You is really brilliant when it comes to using the natural landscape to his advantage, which is why I think he is the manifestation of nature, in all its beauty and chaos - both creative and destructive at the same time.
And yes, the Yan Emperor is quite honestly one of my top three favourite characters in Once Promised and I am so excited that he will finally be making his entrance.