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Chapter 179 - System vs. System (29): Caning, question and answer, original form unmasked
Three days later, Yan Jinhua’s judgment day came.
When he was pushed forward, Yan Jinhua appeared to be out of strength. He fell to the ground softly and “reluctantly” propped himself up to kneel, then raised his head, looked directly at Chi Yunzi in the upper seat, and said with a hoa.r.s.e voice, “Disciple Yan Jinhua pays his respects to s.h.i.+fu.”
In just a few days, the reservoir dog surrounded by the vast crowd, changed from Duan Shujue to him.
Wen Yujing was still recovering from his injuries, so Duan Shujue came to the hearing on his behalf.
Yan Jinhua was calm on the surface, but his heart was boiling.
What he had experienced in the past few days was the strength of interpreting what it meant to take a gamble. His jeep became a motorcycle to take the risk, and the motorcycle became a flying pigeon.
When he thought he had the opponent by the throat and could KO in one hit, the opponent pulled out a gun and caused his collapse with a bang. This feeling wasn’t great.
But Yan Jinhua didn’t think that he could be led like a dog so easily.
He had already composed a mental outline during the few days he suffered in Mingyue House.
So, Wen Yujing brought a demonic cultivator’s head. Was that ironclad evidence?
He had never conspired with those demons and never exchanged letters. Based solely on a red mouth and white teeth, whose guilt could Wen Yujing punish?
Besides, since he wasn’t here today, it seemed that Chi Yunzi also didn’t intend to completely accept his words.
Thinking of this, Yan Jinhua gained some confidence and made a face full of grievances, but he couldn’t help complaining in his heart:
It should be time for this d.a.m.n system to come back?
It was his bad luck that he ran into a high-roller in this game. He could admit it to himself, okay?
Anyway, he didn’t get anything and was also tired of playing. It should be alright for the system to pick him up and go to the next world, right?
Yan Jinhua thought about it for a while before realizing that Chi Yunzi had only told him to kneel in public, and he hadn’t said a word since the bell of the public trial had sounded.
He peeked at Chi Yunzi a few times and found no joy or anger on his face. He only stared at him quietly. Yan Jinhua felt even more inexplicable, fl.u.s.tered, and short of breath.
Yan Jinhua’s intuition was that this public trial was slightly different from what he had imagined.
Time pa.s.sed, and when hot sweat dripped down Yan Jinhua’s forehead, Chi Yunzi finally spoke.
Yan Jinhua regained twelve points of energy with a jolt and quickly reviewed the draft in his mind, “Yes, s.h.i.+fu.”
Chi Yunzi asked, “I don’t know how many years and months have pa.s.sed since you entered the mountain?”
Yan Jinhua bowed respectfully on the ground. His eyes s.h.i.+fted wildly, and sweat poured out as he thought, what is this inciting opening remark? Reminiscing about the past? Pulling affection?
After some deliberation, he chose to hit the snake and follow the stick and said earnestly, “Yes, this disciple has been in the mountains for many years, received the favor of the s.h.i.+fu, and is very grateful for it, so he would never…”
Chi Yunzi lowered his eyes and stared at the sweat-stained nape of the person below. “I am asking you something.”
Yan Jinhua’s overflowing words piled up in his throat. “…Ah?”
Chi Yunzi said, “I’m asking you, since you entered the mountain to the present, after full calculation, how many years have pa.s.sed?”
Yan Jinhua was instantly horrified. The hot sweat all over his body turned into cold sweat. Drops fell on the stone ground in front of him, which quickly converged into a small pool.
Yan Jinhua’s trial didn’t require much effort at all.
Yan Jinhua was a living person, with his background and story registered clearly in the ultimatum, written in black and white, and could not be quibbled.
But why would The Mermaid Immortal spend ink and writing to detail the life of a supporting character?
Chi Yunzi was not in a hurry and asked three or four questions. Yan Jinhua’s elaborate mental drafts were all sc.r.a.pped and null. He was sweating like a waterfall, and his original form was unmasked.
He neither remembered the exact time he entered the mountain nor could he name several friends who had entered the mountain with him that year, and he even stammered when asked about his parents’ names.
Yan Jinhua also knew that things were going to be bad. After he couldn’t answer two or three questions, he hurriedly said that he had been up in Mingyue House for a long time, there was no one to speak with, his head was dizzy, and for s.h.i.+fu to please be understanding.
It’s just that this patch was embarra.s.sing.
Chi Yunzi already had suspicions in his heart, and now that Yan Jinhua revealed his flaws, how could he allow him to make havoc in the body of his beloved disciple? He was so angry that he immediately used the soul attraction technique and raised a talisman to cover the top of Yan Jinhua’s forehead.
Daoism and system input data were similar in purpose, so Yan Jinhua’s soul was caught from the real Yan Jinhua’s body like a little chick in a short while.
The real Yan Jinhua whimpered and pa.s.sed out. Su Yun immediately held him by the waist and brought him back to the room to rest.
After a brief moment of confusion, the disciples present were in a collective uproar.
Yan-s.h.i.+xiong had been taken over?
When did this happen?
Amid all the chaos, Lou Ying’s voice rang in Chi Xiaochi’s mind. “Your idea really worked.”
Earlier, he had escaped from the system, disrupted Yan Jinhua’s plan, and used Yan Jinhua’s own game to counterattack. He brought the fact that he had once colluded with demonic cultivators to the forefront. One truth and one falsity successfully disrupted the situation and rescued Chi Xiaochi from the game.
Although this method was effective, ending it was difficult.
After all, they don’t have any objective evidence of Yan Jinhua’s exchanges with demonic cultivators.
But once Chi Xiaochi’s trick of drawing money from the bottom of the barrel was used, it didn’t matter whether Yan Jinhua’s rotten accounts of colluding with outsiders were clear.
Moreover, when the matter was exposed in public, the reputation of the original Yan Jinhua was also cleared and preserved.
In less than a day, all the disciples of the mountain would know that their Yan-s.h.i.+xiong was the most innocent person in this whole thing.
Chi Xiaochi didn’t answer but raised his eyebrows slightly, a little embarra.s.sed.
He thought Lou Ying couldn’t see.
But Lou Ying, who was recuperating from his injuries far away in Huaishou Peak, had already seen his childish expression and wanted to laugh a little and hug him.
Chi Yunzi, in the superior seat, held the talisman in his hand and immediately felt strange.
It was actually a mortal spirit that wrested control?
This time, Chi Yunzi was a little uncertain.
If this person were a scheming demonic cultivator, he would throw it directly into the furnace to be set on fire.
But the person struggling endlessly under the talisman had no spiritual power. Although he didn’t know how he took over his disciple’s body, he was just an ordinary person. Something likely had gone wrong, and he accidentally entered this body.
That lone soul was in a panicked rush, had no spiritual energy to protect his body, and suffered from being burned by the spell. He slammed left and right inside, jumping and screaming. Chi Yunzi saw that if he let it go on, he would be burned alive, so he quickly folded a paper figurine man, blew it away in one breath, and sent the soul to it, barely saving Yan Jinhua’s life.
Yan Jinhua was beaten back to his original form in public. As soon as he was released, he rolled around on the ground, barely suppressing the flames on his body.
His hair was all scorched, his face, which was supposed to be quite handsome, was half ruined, and not a single thread on his body. He was in a terrible state.
Some disciples hurriedly threw their robes over to cover him so as not to frighten the female disciples.
After he took a breath, Chi Yunzi slapped the table and barked, “How did you take my disciple’s body, explain one by one!”
Yan Jinhua knew he was finished and couldn’t explain it, so he had to fight with his last bit of strength. He rolled and crawled out of the crowd, trying to get a chance of survival.
Chi Yunzi was furious. He not only felt sorry for his innocent disciple who was possessed and almost had his reputation ruined, but he was also angry that this person dared to take the name of his disciple, disturbing the peak rules, and dangerously causing the disastrous division between disciples. Not caring about his appearance anymore, he kicked over the table, and said angrily: “Take this man down! Cane him a hundred sticks, and then escort him to Mingyue House! I’ll see how long he’ll keep his mouth shut!?”
The one hundred strikes were a solid beating.
His body was a paper man, and each stick landed on his soul, which wasn’t much different from the pain of directly breaking bones.
Yan Jinhua was restrained by his hands and feet. He crouched on the ground, wailing loudly, but unable to move. He could only move his body like a carp, trying to avoid the stick, but there was no way to dodge.
The back of his b.u.t.tocks, covered by the outer robe, had a large patch of blood.
The last time he was punished, Yan Jinhua’s cultivated body had s.h.i.+elded him, offsetting much of the pain. His original body was that of an ordinary person who would get a stomachache after drinking tap water, so he had never suffered such pain. Howling in pain, like a pig being killed, shouting, I know I’m wrong, don’t beat me. I’ve died a few times. When a hundred canes were over, he was already out of breath and lied dying on the ground.
Chi Xiaochi moved at this point.
He walked towards Chi Yunzi and whispered a few words.
Disgust and hesitation coexisted on Chi Yunzi’s face. After thinking for a while, he finally waved his hand and let him go.
Duan Shujue took out an elixir pill from the pouch at his waist. He walked down the steps, walked to him, squatted down on one knee, pinched his mouth, and forced him to open his mouth.
After feeding him the pill, Yan Jinhua’s breathing smoothed out again, and the numb pain became clearer.
He was in so much pain that he couldn’t even speak. His ears were buzzing as if a cannonball had exploded in his ears.
Duan Shujue stroked his shoulder, his tone as gentle and tolerant as always: “s.h.i.+xiong, the days are long, be kind to yourself.”
This was the holy Virgin Mary tone that Yan Jinhua used to hate, but he tasted a chilling flavor from these words.
Yan Jinhua’s breath almost didn’t come out: “You…”
Golden stars flew in front of his eyes, almost covering his field of vision.
Yan Jinhua thought of a lot in an instant.
When capturing the Sword in the Stone, Duan Shujue made it to the end almost entirely by luck.
He wors.h.i.+pped a good s.h.i.+fu, who loved and protected him in every way.
In the Mountain of Time and Rain, he didn’t want the mountain ghost’s inner elixir, insisted on making friends with them, and still got it in the end.
How come he turned out to be so lucky? Why couldn’t he do it himself?
Why could he seize the opportunities he tried so hard to take while lying down?
All of this, was it because he’s the protagonist?
… just because he’s the protagonist!
Yan Jinhua suddenly felt remorse, his ten fingers fiercely grasping the tile cracks of the bricks in the ground, and he felt painful regret.
What the h.e.l.l was he thinking?
For this kind of person, he should only be clinging tightly to his thigh!
He grabbed a life-saving straw amid the extreme pain and refused to let it go. He stretched out his hand and pulled his robes, “Shujue, Shujue, save me. I saved you at the beginning, and I fostered you for so many years. You can’t leave me alone, you can’t!”
Yan Jinhu chopped the nail and sliced the iron on each “I” word
, afraid that Duan Shujue couldn’t hear him.
Don’t you talk about repaying kindness? Aren’t you a gentleman like jade?
Then you have to save me!
You can’t just leave your life-saving benefactor alone, right?
Duan Shujue held his arms, which were scratched carelessly, and gently soothed, “I know. I know everything.”
With blood dripping from the corner of his mouth, Yan Jinhua revealed a smile by fluke.
However, in the next second, Duan Shujue said, “s.h.i.+xiong’s kindness to me, he remembers everything so clearly. Then the enmity of killing my parents, how do you plan to repay it?”
Yan Jinhua’s heart suddenly clenched. He immediately tried to break free from Duan Shujue’s control, looking away, his face full of panic. “I didn’t, I didn’t do it!”
This wasn’t his fault in the first place.
Even without his intervention, Duan Shujue’s parents would still be dead.
But with such absurd reb.u.t.tals, he couldn’t say it all.
Chi Xiaochi quietly squatted in front of him. Seeing that he looked like a mess, he smiled lightly but was not angry.
His right hand rested on his knee.
If Duan Shujue wanted to, he could easily cut his throat and wipe him out with just one sword finger.
But Duan Shujue didn’t seem to have any intention of doing anything.
Chi Xiaochi felt something and stood up. “Because of your grace in the past, not killing you immediately is already out of consideration. In the future, I hope that s.h.i.+xiong will have a smooth and safe life, and don’t, don’t see Duan-mou again.”
Having said that, Chi Xiaochi turned around and asked in his heart, “Are you really not going to kill him with your own hands?”
“Ten years of benevolence, it’s not convenient to do it in public.” Duan Shujue wrote on the inside of his robe sleeve, “A sword will cut off the dusty roots for him and end his illness. Now, I only hope for him to stay in this world forever and live a hundred years.”
Chi Xiaochi smiled.
Over the past year, Duan Shujue had grown rapidly.
Perhaps, within the five years of accompanying Ye Jiming in his cultivation, Duan Shujue was no longer as youthful and ignorant as he used to be.
He could keep his manners and be respectful, self-disciplined, and self-cultivated, but he knows exactly how to use his abilities and who is worthy of his sincere treatment and protection.
Sword in his right hand while the left caressed scriptures. A compa.s.sionate heart and thunderous means both formed today’s Duan Shujue.
After the trial ended, Chi Xiaochi returned to Huishou Peak with Duan Shujue.
When he returned, Ye Jiming, in his snake body, was confronting the milk cat Wen Yujing on the bed.
Ye Jiming was afraid of attracting attention and didn’t dare to use his original appearance of a Hui-viper. He turned into a small snake, hissing and spitting his red tongue, shaking his head from side to side, trying to intimidate the white velvet kitten in front of him.
The kitten walked around in circles with him at first, tilting its head to look at it casually, and seemed far more interested in its soft paw pads than in Ye Jiming.
Ye Jiming became complacent. He suddenly probed his head, majestically stretched his neck, and approached the little white cat: “Hiss—”
Wen Yujing raised his paws with lightning speed and stepped on Ye Jiming’s head with one kick.
Ye Jiming: “…”
He was annoyed by being stepped on. He quickly broke free and opened his mouth to take a bite.
Wen Yujing slapped his face to the side.
Before Ye Jiming had time to go crazy, a hand came over and pinched his cheek.
Smelling the familiar scent but unable to close his mouth, Ye Jiming grunted, and his tail curled up along his wrist, wrapping around several times before the anger subsided.
He struggled. “Let go of me! This lord is going to swallow it alive!”
Duan Shujue didn’t say anything, only gently rubbed the knuckle of his right middle finger against his jaw.
Ye Jiming felt quite comfortable, and his anger wasn’t as great. He lifted his neck in the direction of the stroking finger and thought resentfully that this fish was pulling him away, really abominable. One day, sooner or later, he would stew and eat him.
Wen Yujing gave a “meow” and leaned beside Chi Xiaochi’s hand.
Chi Xiaochi looked down at him.
He disguised himself as a hand warmer, holding his wrist, and tilted his head to look at Chi Xiaochi. He observed him for a while before curving his eyes and showing a smile.
Chi Xiaochi: “…” I’ve been single for a long time. Even the cat is a beautiful sight.
He let go of Ye Ziming, whose brain was full of stewed fish, and then picked up the small ball of fluff. There were mottled scars once the pure white, soft fluff was pushed aside.
Chi Xiaochi took the ointment and gently applied it.
The balm was a little cold. His upper body was probably in a lot of pain, but the cat in his arms was obedient, not moving, not biting, scratching, or acting spoiled. At the end of applying the medication, he gently touched the tip of his pinkie finger with his mouth, like an unintentional kiss.
Chi Xiaochi asked, “Does it hurt?”
“It hurts.” Lou Ying’s gentle and somewhat helpless voice sounded in his head. “Take a mouthful of candy, and take it easy.”
Chi Xiaochi didn’t say anything, changed his outer clothes, laid down with the cat in his arms, and prepared for a lunch break.
Since he wanted to hide, Lou Ying pretended not to hear his drum-like heartbeat, snuggled under the quilt against his shoulder, motionless, as if asleep.
However, Chi Xiaochi’s shoulders were stiff.
Since their ident.i.ties were revealed, Chi Xiaochi hadn’t asked Lou Ying more questions, such as when Lou Ying knew that he was Lou Ying, how he knew it, and why he denied it.
Chi Xiaochi guessed a few answers but didn’t ask.
He thought it should have something to do with the Lord G.o.d, and maybe it had something to do with Lou Ying’s friends in the system.
To ask more is to cause more trouble.
Chi Xiaochi’s mind was quite adequate in dealing with other people’s problems, but he still hadn’t figured out how to face his own problems.
He thought, why was Lou-ge so nice to him? So good that he couldn’t help but want more, to dream more.
Chi Xiaochi turned his back, calmly avoided the warm kitten ball, and let out a slightly shushed sigh.
Sword practice. Rather than thinking blindly and foolishly, sword practice was better.
He was about to get up when an arm circled him from behind without warning and gently gripped his arm.
“Don’t move.” Lou Ying’s voice came from behind, “I have some questions to ask you.”
…When did he turn into a human?
Chi Xiaochi’s adam’s apple rolled twice and released a short gasp, “Hmm.”
Lou Ying wasn’t aggressive, and his voice was gentle and comforting all over, like warm water pouring slowly over the heart. Ever so quickly grabbing Chi Xiaochi’s heart, like catching the ears of a rabbit.
Chi Xiaochi turned his back to Lou Ying, who slept in the same quilt with him. In the pause between his words, he wildly thought that he must not be wearing any clothes right now.
Lou Ying asked, “Do you still want to go back to your original world?”
Lou Ying thought about this question for a long time.
He felt a little distressed for Chi Xiaochi.
He knew what a person would become after a few years unconscious, and it might take longer than the time lying down to learn to walk again.
As an adult with leg muscles that were completely lost, he would have to toddle like a baby. Lou Ying was afraid of him suffering like this.
Lou Ying felt that a person like Chi Xiaochi could live well in any world.
He could go to Ji Zuoshan’s world. Ji Zuoshan would remember him, take care of him, and let him live a good life.
And he only needed to take on another host, and he would be able to find him.
It would take less than a year, at most two.
The world Chi Xiaochi was in was the world he would go to.
Instead, Chi Xiaochi’s answer was, “Why not?”
He still wanted to go back.
Lou Ying agreed with all his decisions, but his heart ached for him. “It’s not easy to learn to walk.”
Chi Xiaochi smiled. “I can learn everything.”
Lou Ying asked, “When the time comes, will you wait for me?”
Chi Xiaochi said, “No, I won’t wait.”
This answer made Lou Ying slightly surprised. He whispered, “huh?” but didn’t wait for Chi Xiaochi’s next sentence.
He could tell that Chi Xiaochi’s answer wasn’t because he was angry, but it was more like there was something more in his words.
Chi Xiaochi spoke again before he could think about it further, “s.h.i.+fu, I also have a question.”
Lou Ying replied, “Say.”
Chi Xiaochi didn’t turn around. “s.h.i.+fu, are you dressed?”
…honestly, he was really concerned.
Lou Ying was startled, then laughed lightly, tightened his arms, and pulled Chi Xiaochi into his embrace.
His clothes were neat, and the two pieces of clothing rubbed together, causing some static electricity.
However, he didn’t completely put away the cat body, and the tip of his fluffy tail gently hooked Chi Xiaochi’s waist under the quilt.
Fortunately, Lou Ying didn’t take any further action and quickly let go of his hand. “Relieved?”
Chi Xiaochi’s face didn’t seem to fluctuate, but his face was already slightly red.
He stood up with his lapels closed and said, “It’s alright.”
“Let’s go out and practice swordsmans.h.i.+p.” Lou Ying laid sideways on the couch and raised his gray-blue eyes to look at him. The clothing around his chest was messed up a bit by Chi Xiaochi due to his actions just now. “Our mission should also be coming to an end soon.”