Bu Tian Gang Ch59

Author: 梦溪石 / Meng Xi Shi

Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/


Chapter 59: One knock for the form, two knocks for the heart, and three knocks for a thousand years.

Hordes of corpses rushed towards him, grasping at him. Dong Zhi yelled and ran away! The ghouls seemed to have never seen such fresh life. After waiting thousands of years, they finally got to taste sweet, fresh flesh and blood. The ghouls rushed up to Dong Zhi, forming what looked like an overwhelming sea of dead corpses flooding towards him. He was embattled and had nowhere to escape.

Suddenly, Dong Zhi saw a black vine hanging in front of him. He didn’t have time to think before leaping towards it. He grabbed the vine and swung on it. The vine was surprisingly strong and had become a veritable lifeline.

In the next second, in the spot where he originally stood, ghouls had completely swarmed it. If he was half a step too late, he would likely meet the same fate as Takashima Kawa. Dong Zhi looked back and was terrified to witness the scene.

The cliff in front of him was getting closer. He gripped the vine tightly as he tried to step onto the cliff, but because it was too narrow and his body was unsteady, his center of gravity was titled back, and he was about to fall back. Suddenly, a hand stretched out and grabbed his collar.

“Let go.”

Dong Zhi subconsciously let go of his hand holding the vine, and Long Shen pulled him in the direction of the mountain wall.

The shock from narrowly escaping death and his surprise at seeing Long Shen again staggered his heart. Dong Zhi heavily panted, unable to say a word. Long Shen didn’t speak either. He was still standing not far from Dong Zhi with his back against the mountain wall, stable as a rock.

“Boss Long?” Dong Zhi was cautious, but his heart told him that it couldn’t be fake.

“How did you get here?” Long Shen asked.

Dong Zhi took a deep breath and then relayed the events of how he and Liu Qingbo dived underwater to attack the giant python.

“I rescued Liu Qingbo and washed ashore but found that it wasn’t the river where we were but a pool of water. The pool led to four directions. We chose the cave to the north. After entering, we met Xing Qiaosheng…”

Long Shen said, “Xing Qiaosheng is dead.”

Dong Zhi’s heart jumped. “Really dead? Then what we saw…?”

“What you may have seen is a Xing Qiaosheng who existed in the past, including yourself.”

Dong Zhi was confused. “What do you mean?”

Long Shen said, “Have you ever thought that your own existence isn’t true?”

Dong Zhi looked at him blankly, as if he was listening to the Book from the Sky*.

*Title of a book produced by Chinese artist Xu Bing in the Song and Ming dynasties but filled with entirely meaningless glyphs designed to resemble traditional Chinese characters.

“Boss Long, what are you talking about?”

“The Special Administration Bureau brought you all here at my behest, but my purpose isn’t to refine you all into warriors.”

Dong Zhi suddenly felt that Long Shen was behaving strangely. The two of them were close right now, but he felt as if they were thousands of miles apart.

The “dandelions” flickered faintly, swaying uncertainly, like nether flowers on the banks of the Yellow Spring*, drawing a vague line between life and death.

*(黄泉) Refers to the place people go after death, the underworld.

Long Shen finished speaking, Dong Zhi asked indifferently, “Then what is your purpose?”

“To let you all die here,” Long Shen said.

The gloomy wind blew from all directions, chilling the back of his neck and penetrating into his collar, making Dong Zhi involuntarily shudder.

“Why?” He heard his voice asking.

“Because you are the future elites of the Special Administration Bureau and the future pillars of the cultivation world. Thus, I came up with this plan to eliminate everyone without arousing suspicion. In the name of allowing you to gain experience, you’ll all perish here and never leave.”

Dong Zhi shook his head. “I don’t believe you. You are not Long Shen. What I’m seeing must be an illusion again.”

Long Shen’s face was hidden in the shadows, and in the faint light, Dong Zhi saw only the slight outline of his right hand holding a sword. It was indistinguishable whether he was joyful or angry, and unpredictable if he was good or evil.

“Not only will you die, but He Yu and Kan Chaosheng will also die. They will be destroyed in Yunnan together with group three. None will be spared in the end.”

Long Shen’s cold voice echoed in the cave as silence was all around. The ghouls opened their teeth and waved their claws below, waiting for someone to fall down to them. They made no sounds because their voices had died out thousands of years ago.

Dong Zhi leaned against the cold stone wall and felt an uneven feeling, making his back tingle slightly. In the past, he would straighten his back to avoid the jagged stones behind him, but now he needed the pain to stay awake.

Liu Qingbo, Xing Qiaosheng, Takashima Kawa, Song Zhicun, situations that had existed before, truth or lies, passed before his eyes. Dong Zhi forced himself to calm down and face this man who was more special to him than any other.

“You mean you want to wipe us all out, but what good is that for you? Why are you doing this?”

For a moment, Long Shen remained silent before saying, “You should understand. In this matter, I’m on the side of whoever could get the most benefits.”

Dong Zhi shook his head. “You’re not Long Shen. Long Shen is not such a person. Who are you?”

“In your heart, do you really know what kind of person Long Shen is?”

Dong Zhi panted slightly, staring at Long Shen’s figure fiercely, as if Long Shen would transform into a monster or become a different person in the next moment.

“He’s very serious, stern, and unsmiling. Because he always pursues perfection, he doesn’t like others to make excuses for messing up, nor does he like others to intercede for his mistakes. However, he has a very soft heart. He will feed a pitiful stray cat and carefully observe the efforts of others. Although he said I was not qualified to enter the Special Administration Bureau, he would have praised me for my efforts, lent me his sword, and told me what I needed to do to get further ahead.”

Dong Zhi wiped his face, feeling that he was really worthless, and he choked up when he spoke. He raised his sword and pointed at the figure. “Who the hell are you?!”

The other party said, “I am Long Shen.”

Dong Zhi wasn’t even aware of how he lost his sword. He only felt a numbness in his wrist and involuntarily dropped the sword, which flew into the opponent’s hand in the blink of an eye. The opponent’s sword was pointed straight at him with its tip reaching his shoulder.

Only then did Dong Zhi realize how strong this person was. The words “Long Shen” not only meant that there was no need for his teammates to worry about him, but it also meant how much courage it took to fight against him.

“Do you want to kill me?” Dong Zhi asked.

“I’m going to kill you.” Long Shen replied.

Dong Zhi felt heartbroken. He reached out his hand to grab the sword’s blade, instantly feeling a sharp pain in his palm.

Long Shen frowned slightly. “Let go.”

Dong Zhi didn’t let go but held on to it even tighter. Long Shen directly withdrew his sword and retreated.

Dong Zhi felt overcome with joy. “You’re really Long Shen! If you were an enemy, you wouldn’t care if my hand was injured, let alone withdraw! Boss Long, I’m Dong Zhi. Do you still recognize me? Wake up!”

“…I recognize you. I don’t have amnesia,” Long Shen sighed softly. “How are your hands?”

“It hurts and it’s bleeding.”

“Let me see.”

Dong Zhi still had doubts. “Why did you say those things just now?”

Long Shen said, “You wanted to test me, and I was the same. I’m not sure if your existence is real, so I had to test it. Before you, I had met Liu Qingbo, Li Ying, and Lin Xuan in succession, but they were all fake.”

Dong Zhi frowned. “Fake? What do you mean?”

“As I said just now, the space and time here are chaotic, and the glowing grass everywhere has turned the entire underground cave into a huge illusion. It is impossible to distinguish between true and false, fact from fiction. I had to make this decision to test whether things were real or not. I’m sorry.”

Dong Zhi knew what he meant, because he had almost been deceived by the fake Song Zhicun before.

Long Shen had been in the dark for a long time, and his resilience was faster than most people, so he saw the tears on Dong Zhi’s face.

“My apprentice is not so weak that he’ll shed tears so easily.”

Dong Zhi subconsciously wiped his face with the back of his hand, but his hand suddenly stopped. He thought he had heard it wrong.

“Give me your hand,” Long Shen said.

Dong Zhi obediently stretched out his hand.

Long Shen knew how sharp his swords were. Even if he withdrew them quickly, the grip he just now most likely left a wound. Sure enough, when he looked, he saw there were two deep gashes in Dong Zhi’s hand. When he touched them, he felt the hands were sticky.

“Did you bring emergency medicine?” he asked.

“I brought it, it’s in my pocket.”

Long Shen opened his waist bag, took out a hemostatic spray and gauze from it, stopped the bleeding first, and then wrapped the gauze around the upper layer of his palm.

“Follow me.”

After walking through the steep cliff, there was a recessed place in the middle of the mountain wall that was big enough for them to sit down. After staying in this environment for so long, Dong Zhi had adapted to ignoring the external harshness and threw away his fastidious cleanliness. If not, he would’ve been sick to death lying on the python just now.

He leaned against the stone wall to rest, while leaving enough space for Long Shen.

“Why did you reach out and grab my sword just now?”

“Do you mean to accept me as your apprentice?”

The two spoke almost simultaneously.

Long Shen was silent, so Dong Zhi answered his first questions. “Because if it’s another illusion, I’ll just wake from it if it gets out of control. If it’s you, of course you’ll not sit back and watch me get hurt.”

The line of thought was correct, as it wasn’t easy for him to survive in this cave alone for so long and be safe.

Dong Zhi tentatively said, “So you just said—”

“You’re willing to worship me as your teacher and learn my teachings?”

Although Dong Zhi and Liu Qingbo competed with each other for the position of Long Shen’s disciple, there was a rule in this field. It wasn’t the apprentice who looked for the master, but the master who chose the apprentice.

In other words, Long Shen had the right to decide for himself whom he liked and disliked. It wasn’t up to the apprentice to deliver themselves to their master’s door. As such, Dong Zhi and Liu Qingbo could only try to brush up their presence more and establish a good impression in front of Long Shen. Even if Long Shen wanted to accept a third apprentice in the future, they were powerless to stop him.

Dong Zhi knew he had no chance of winning. In terms of talent, Liu Qingbo far outshines him. He had had a good foundation since he was a child, so his starting point was much higher and further than Dong Zhi’s. In terms of family background, Liu Qingbo has deep family roots, and his father is well-known and well-connected. Accepting such a disciple would be equivalent to indirectly getting a lot of benefits. While the master takes the apprentice, the apprentice brings him prosperity. It was like killing two birds with one stone.

What’s more, Long Shen had saved Liu Qingbo’s life before. With his arrogance, only Long Shen can subdue him. Presumably, his parents would be happy to see this relationship come to fruition.

To be fair and realistic, Dong Zhi had doubts about Long Shen’s choice, but the news came so fast and surprised him that it made him confused.

Long Shen couldn’t wait for his response, as he frowned and said, “You don’t want to?”

Then why did you keep saying you wanted to worship me as a teacher multiple times before?

“Of course I do!” Dong Zhi seemed to have pressed on a certain switch and finally had a reaction.

Long Shen snorted. “At such an extraordinary moment, in an extraordinary place, let’s start with simplicity. Just kowtow three times here, and we can make up the rest when we return.”

Dong Zhi stood up and straightened out his clothes. He knelt down and arched his hands, just like how Master Fang had asked him to when he swore in front of the memorial tablet of the ancestors of the Hezao Sect.

“Disciple Dong Zhi greets Master.”

His voice wasn’t loud, but it echoed between the caves, overlapping heavily. He slightly trembled, trying to hold back his excitement. He didn’t know if Long Shen could see it, but he kowtowed respectfully and seriously.

One knock for the form, two knocks for the heart, and three knocks for a thousand years.

From then on, the relationship between teacher and disciple has been bound eternally.

Tears filled his eyes unknowingly. Dong Zhi imagined that this scene should have been in an incense-filled hall among countless onlookers, just like all the rituals in those cultivating sects. He didn’t expect to pay homage to his master in a place like this. The only onlookers here, were those ghouls under the cliff.

Thinking about it like this, he felt both agitated and amused.

He heard Long Shen say, “There are no rules and regulations under my tutelage. The only thing to abide by is always have a trace of gratitude for all things under heaven and earth, and to guard the peace of the world with the sword in your hand.”

Dong Zhi solemnly said, “I’ll remember.”

Long Shen said, “If you become my disciple, it has nothing to do with whether you can pass the training exam. There’ll not be the slightest trace of favoritism. If you fail to pass at that time, you won’t be able to enter the Special Administration Bureau.”

Dong Zhi gave a soft hum with a thick nasal sound.

Long Shen frowned. “Why are you crying again?”

“This came so fast that it was too surprising. I felt it was a bit unreal and was afraid that I was trapped in another fantasy.”

He was afraid that this illusion was too beautiful to wake up from.

Long Shen stretched out his hand to pinch his wound. The pain was so agonizing that it made Dong Zhi scream and almost jump to his feet. Real pain had been transmitted to his brain, causing him to grab Long Shen and hug him while whimpering softly and crying.

Long Shen: …

Even if he was separated by a layer of clothing, Dong Zhi could feel the warm touch and finally believed that this feeling was real, and he wasn’t dreaming.

All his fears, doubts, and uneasiness in this moment were dispersed.

Long Shen wanted to push him away, but as soon as he made an effort, the other party’s crying became louder, causing him to let out a sigh.

Did he find himself an apprentice or a son?

However, compared with his own age, this one in front of him was still just a child. Long Shen thought about the scene where he did not hesitate to hold onto his sword empty handed just now. Long Shen decided to pat Dong Zhi’s back a few times, albeit clumsily.


The author has something to say:

A memorable chapter. Congratulations to Dong Zhi (^_-)☆


<<< || Table of Contents || Lore Glossary || >>>

2 thoughts on “Bu Tian Gang Ch59

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s