Author: 梦溪石 / Meng Xi Shi
Translator: Kinky || https://kinkytranslations.com/
When Dong Zhi woke up the next day, as usual, he habitually lay in bed for a while, confirmed his position, then slowly woke up. He leaned to the side casually but touched a warm body. He couldn’t help being startled and quickly turned his head.
The spacious bed was enough for two people. He used to sleep on one side while letting the other side be empty with pillows, but now instead of pillows, there was a person lying there. The other person had a perfect appearance, but his eyes were closed, as if he were seducing others to wake him up with a kiss.
After Dong Zhi stared for a while, he looked away and turned his gaze to the ceiling, but the corners of his mouth couldn’t help but curl up quietly, the arc becoming bigger and wider.
“What are you smiling about?”
Dong Zhi didn’t know when the person next to him had woken up. Long Shen’s voice didn’t seem sleepy. Perhaps he had woken up a while ago and was just closing his eyes to refresh his mind.
“Master, can you pinch me?”
Dong Zhi was in a daze upon seeing Long Shen. He felt that this request would be too strange, so he coughed lightly. “I dreamed of the heavenly demon on the plane before, so I’m afraid everything now is an illusion woven by him…”
Naturally, Long Shen didn’t pinch him but instead responded by giving Dong Zhi a kiss. When the other party was almost out of breath, Long Shen finally eased up.
The hot and humid breath slowly rose, when suddenly Dong Zhi remembered a serious problem.
“Is the curse contagious?”
“What?” Long Shen didn’t understand.
Dong Zhi said embarrassedly, “Transmitting through kissing.”
He thought of this because he had heard that the poison the Gu witches used was actually a kind of bacteria that entered the body through direct contact between humans. If curses were homologous to gu, then they should follow the same principle.
Long Shen didn’t know where his apprentice had gone with his rich imagination. Even if it was contagious, they had kissed so many times last night that it was too late now.
Dong Zhi blushed and took the initiative to put his arms around Long Shen’s neck. “Then kiss again?”
Long Shen saw Dong Zhi’s shyness and anxiety, so he lowered his head and gave Dong Zhi another peck on the lips.
Dong Zhi shook his head. He was staring at the blue sea and bright sky outside, in a room with a comfortable temperature, in the company of the person he loved most, and he wanted this moment to last forever.
Long Shen rarely had leisure, so he didn’t rush Dong Zhi. The two cuddled like this, quietly leaning on the bedside while enjoying the hard-won tender moments.
“When the Changshou Sword was stained with my blood, it took me to a fantasy realm and showed me a vision of all you have experienced. Is the Changshou Sword your clone?”
“No.” Long Shen frowned slightly. He didn’t expect such a situation from the Changshou Sword.
Dong Zhi looked at Long Shen. “Does it have a spirit inside it?”
Long Shen was silent for a moment. “Did you see the process of how I was forged in the vision?”
Dong Zhi didn’t know whether this would offend the privacy of the artifact spirit and felt a little uneasy. “I saw it, but I didn’t mean to. The time and place that the Changshou Sword showed me seemed to be random.”
“I know.” Long Shen didn’t accuse him. “Then do you remember how I was formed?”
Naturally, Dong Zhi remembered.
“From the qi of the air of the mountains, the spirit of the green wood, the ice of the sky, the dew without roots, the chalcedony of the earth, the brilliance of the stars, the essence of the sun and moon, and the blood of Ou Yezi?”
Long Shen nodded. “These eight things are fused together and eventually refined into my sword. After thousands of years, they helped me transform and take shape so that I could decompose my own essence more easily than ordinary people. When you left Beijing, I injected a ray of my soul into the Changshou Sword, which is why when you dreamt of the heavenly demon on the plane, I could sense it.”
Dong Zhi also remembered. At that time, they did take a special passage, and he took the Changshou Sword with him. When he dreamed, he held it and didn’t let go.
He was slightly shaken.
He never thought that Long Shen had liked him so early. His master took such trouble because he was afraid that he was a fledgling, didn’t have the experience, and would lose his life. That was why Long Shen sent a wisp of his soul into the sword so he could perceive Dong Zhi’s situation at any time.
In this way, the spring breeze and rain gave life*, silently nourishing him. If he hadn’t asked about it today, he would’ve never known.
*(春风化雨) Metaphor referring to good edification and education. || It’s basically saying Long Shen is a very good master because he was looking out for his disciple all this time.
But did he deserve to be treated this well by Long Shen?
“Master, can you take your soul back?”
Long Shen shook his head but didn’t explain much. He only said, “No, it doesn’t have much effect on me.”
Dong Zhi took Long Shen’s hands and clasped them.
“I think the most correct thing I have done in my life was on Changbai Mountain. Even when you said it was impossible for me to join the Special Administration Bureau, I didn’t give up.”
Long Shen smiled faintly but didn’t say it. It was precisely because Dong Zhi was unwilling to give up no matter what, and he passed the written test and interview with excellent grades, and he didn’t give up on any ordinary people during the zombie simulation, that his idea of taking on an apprentice came into being.
Perhaps since then he had put Dong Zhi in his eyes but forgotten that his eyes were connected to his heart, so his feelings could only slowly penetrate it from his eyes.
After lying around for a while this morning, Dong Zhi’s stomach finally protested, and Long Shen no longer indulged him. He called room service so Dong Zhi could continue to stay in bed.
The weather outside was lovely. The sun was shining brightly, and the surface of the sea glistened differently from the brilliance of last night. As far as the eye could see, there was a clear line between the blue and light blue, just like him and Long Shen. Originally, they were from two different worlds, but in the end, they became a common part of the sea.
Dong Zhi still felt a bit of regret. He originally wanted to take Long Shen parasailing and snorkeling, but now his body couldn’t handle any strenuous activities. If he had another angina attack while parasailing and died in midair, it would cause a lot of trouble for the owner of the company, so Dong Zhi dispelled this idea. Fortunately, Long Shen didn’t feel bored. Given his temperament, he had no problem staying in the room for the entire day.
After eating, Dong Zhi stretched his waist, sat on the sofa in front of the window, and took out the drawing board he had brought and started painting.
Long Shen took out a book and read next to him. The atmosphere was quiet for a while.
Since opening up last night, Dong Zhi wanted to kiss and hug Long Shen the moment he saw him, but he didn’t want Long Shen to think he was being too clingy, so after a few glances, he looked away and focused on painting.
“Master, do you have anything you wish to have drawn?” he asked.
Long Shen thought for a while. “Help me draw a picture of you.”
Dong Zhi was stunned.
“You only drew me last time.”
Dong Zhi smiled and said, “Okay.”
His pen moved quickly on the tablet, scribbling and changing. An outline soon appeared on the screen. The lines were slowly corrected from the draft, and then color was added. The sun slipped from overhead to the other side of the sea as an afternoon was spent in the aroma of coffee and tea.
Long Shen raised his eyes and saw that the drawing had been almost completed, just short of its finishing touches.
The picture Dong Zhi drew wasn’t complicated. It was still in a dark environment. Long Shen, Dong Zhi, Liu Qingbo, and Huo Jie were walking forward in pairs. Long Shen recognized that this was when they were in the cave underwater, but he could see that his own image was finer and more attentive in the painting. Dong Zhi even remembered the details of his clothes at the time. When he compared that to the image of Dong Zhi, he found that Dong Zhi’s was much rougher.
Long Shen said, “You can draw yourself finer.”
Dong Zhi smiled. “I think it’s good.”
“When you finish coloring, send it to my email.”
Dong Zhi agreed and continued to color his drawing. Suddenly, Long Shen’s phone rang. He answered in the room without avoiding Dong Zhi.
After a while, he hung up the phone and said to Dong Zhi, “It’s a call from the Northwest Branch. Boss Che is out of seclusion and will be free in two days. We’ll go to Xi’an the day after tomorrow.”
Dong Zhi had heard about all the branches in the Special Administration Bureau, but only in the literal sense.
It was said that the director of the Northwest Branch was Che Bai. After they came out of the underground in Yinchuan last time, the aftermath was handed over to the Northwest Branch. Long Shen and Song Zhicun were relieved and immediately took a flight back. There was no need for them to stay in the local area to continue supervision, which showed that they had great trust in Director Che.
Seeing as how Long Shen hadn’t found a way to resolve the curse on Dong Zhi and thought about asking the head of a branch for help instead of going back to Beijing to find Zong Ling, Zhang Xiankun, or the other big consultants, this wasn’t due to personal feelings but because Long Shen thought Director Che was more capable.
After staying in the Special Administration Bureau for so long, Dong Zhi gradually understood a rule. He would not be able to rise if he wasn’t capable enough. Some were purely for personal reasons, such as Long Shen. With his qualifications and abilities, he could have sat in a much higher position. Some people aspired for promotions as officials to make fortunes, while others liked to take action. Long Shen was obviously the latter, as he preferred to do things himself rather than watch others do it. Seeing the world achieve peace by his own hands would make him happier than getting any high-ranking position.
It seemed that this Director Che Bai was such a person.
“Master, is Boss Che very powerful?”
Long Shen said, “He doesn’t have a teacher lineage, but he is also a spirit that cultivated its form.”
Although he had expected this, Dong Zhi couldn’t help but be surprised. He now knew that most artifact spirits’ names hinted at what their true form was. For example, Long Shen was transformed from the Long Yuan sword. Tang Jing was a homonym for a mirror of the Tang Dynasty*. Ming Xian, if carefully thought about, was indeed related to the zither. So what would be the original form of Director Che Bai?
*Clarity: Tang Jing uses the Jing from clean (净) which is a homonym for mirror (镜).
He couldn’t help but come up with some guesses and then said, “Is Boss Che transformed from a carriage* of some form?”
*Che Bai (车白) means white car/vehicle, which is why Dong Zhi guessed this.
Even for a serious person like Long Shen, he couldn’t help but find this amusing.
“Why didn’t you guess if he’s a white deer or a white fox?”
Well, that would also make sense. Dong Zhi wrinkled his brows. “Then why is his surname Che? Was it randomly chosen?”
Long Shen: “Most names are accidental. Some people associate their origin with their names just to express a kind of gratitude or commemoration.”
Dong Zhi nodded. He knew that in Long Shen’s heart, he must feel deeply for Ou Yezi.
“Master, do you know where Ou Yezi has a shrine or tombstone that we can pay homage to? I want to worship him and visit his shrine every year in the future.”
Long Shen smiled and held Dong Zhi’s hand.
He had never experienced this kind of feeling; the feeling of someone knowing his own heart so easily. Although it felt unfamiliar, his heart was beating with a slight joy that he couldn’t ignore.
So this was love.
“No need. Everything becomes empty when you die. You only need the intentions in your heart. The form isn’t important.”
The topic returned to Che Bai. Long Shen said, “The name of Boss Che is indeed related to his origin, but it’s removed from his surname. If you take the left radical of Xuanyuan, you get Che, and taking the right from cypress you get Bai*.”
*Clarity: [Xuanyuan] (轩辕) Both characters use the radical [Che] (车) for their left radical. Cypress [柏] uses the radical [Bai] (白) as its right radical.
The speed at which Dong Zhi blinked his eyes sped up. Even if he saw the three-headed giant python or the Wuzhiqi at this moment, they wouldn’t shock him, because he had just learned that the director of the Northwest Branch turned out to be the Xuanyuan Cypress* planted by the Yellow Emperor himself.
*Refers to the cypress in the Xuanyuan Temple of Huangling. Supposedly, it was planted by Emperor Xuanyuan (Yellow Emperor) himself.
In other words, Dong Zhi was about to meet the ancestor of his own nation, the living Xuanyuan Cypress?
He had long known that the Special Administration Bureau had crouching tigers and hidden dragons, but when he heard Che Bai’s original form with his own ears, it took several seconds to digest it.
“I have seen testimonials that the Xuanyuan Cypress was actually planted in the Han Dynasty?”
Long Shen shook his head. “During the Spring and Autumn, Ou Yezi and I traveled all over the world. At that time, we already had a meeting with Boss Che.”
Dong Zhi was fascinated. Thinking about the era when heroes gathered and hundreds of families were fighting, he hated that he wasn’t born thousands of years earlier, even if Long Shen was still a sword at that time.
Long Shen said, “The reason why curse techniques are regarded as witchcraft is precisely because they’re related to the person who casts them. Even Boss Che may not be able to completely resolve it. I just hope you won’t be disappointed when the time comes.”
Dong Zhi smiled. “No.”
He never dreamed that his feelings would be accepted by Long Shen. Now that even this wish had been fulfilled, Dong Zhi suddenly discovered that life and death weren’t actually so important to him anymore.
Long Shen seemed to see through his thoughts, and his expression slightly softened. “Also, because of the need to hide his identity at work, Boss Che was once married, but his wife died prematurely due to illness. Although you and I are confirmed, it is best not to behave too much in front of him, so as not to arouse his sadness.”
Dong Zhi found this unexpected. “Artifact spirits could also get sick?”
His thinking was simple. Since Boss Che was an artifact spirit, then the person with him would naturally be one as well.
However, Long Shen said, “His wife was an ordinary person.”
From these few words, Dong Zhi could make up a thrilling and touching story, but what surprised him even more was an artifact spirit getting married. In his opinion, most of them were clear-headed, like his master, with the exception of Tang Jing.
Seeing that he wanted to say something but held himself back, Long Shen asked, “What did you want to say?”
Dong Zhi couldn’t restrain his curiosity. “Aren’t all spirits single-mindedly focused on cultivation?”
Long Shen was surprised by this question. “Since artifact spirits can take form, naturally they have also gained the seven emotions and six desires, which make them no different from ordinary people. They just have a longer lifespan and can’t have children.”
After a pause, Long Shen continued, “You’re not in good health now, so you can’t do too much intense exercise or there’s a risk it could trigger an attack. If you want, we can talk about it after the curse is lifted.”
Although Long Shen had a mild temperament, he was more magnanimous than anyone else. He was never keen on the human behavior of holding back one’s appetite and refusing to eat.
Dong Zhi’s heart collapsed. He wanted to say he didn’t want it, or didn’t need it, but such a reply would seem strange and would look as if he was trying to cover things up. His fair complexion suddenly turned red at a speed visible to the naked eye. He looked at Long Shen, trying to defend himself, but he felt it was a bit ridiculous, so he could only endure.
Apparently, the degree of spiritual communication between them wasn’t enough. Long Shen misunderstood his reaction and suddenly laughed, “In fact, if you want, we don’t have to have physical contact.”
Before Dong Zhi understood what the other party meant by this, he saw Long Shen reach out and point his finger at his brow.
A stream of heat immediately swirled in front of Dong Zhi’s brows.
“Close your eyes,” Long Shen said.
Dong Zhi didn’t know what was going on but still obediently obeyed.
Around his body was darkness, but suddenly there was a flash of light.
Dong Zhi found himself in an empty world that seemed to be between the ethereal universe. A breeze was rippling everywhere, but it was as warm as spring. However, it was hazy, like looking at flowers in the fog. He only felt a laziness emerge from his bones. When he woke up, he couldn’t help but want to stretch, but he couldn’t move. He was standing on a lone flower branch, and each step he took made it shake.
He had become a flower.
A bud on a branch that was waiting to bloom.
This thought rose vaguely in his heart. His soul was separated from his body. He clearly saw that he was drenched by the torrential rain, and he felt wet all over, but the rain wasn’t cold; it felt warm like a hot spring. The flower became more lazy as it was gently caressed by fingers, slowly stretching out into the sun and breeze. It swayed gently as the buds flapped out, petal by petal, in the wind.
The sun shone on him, drying out the raindrops, but he still retained their moisture. It was warm and fragrant, and he felt drunk but without the wine.
His soul was independent of the flower, yet he could clearly feel the texture and everything the flower felt. In a flash, between the heavens and earth, all things loved; as the mountains and rivers embraced, there was only him.
When Dong Zhi opened his eyes, he found himself lying on the bed, but his complexion was flushed and his chest fluctuated violently, as if he had just experienced an indescribable and wonderful journey. He felt extremely tired, like he had run 8 kilometers, and his body was in a delicate state of lethargy.
He gasped, “This is…”
“Divine intercourse,” Long Shen said.
There was no physical contact in this intercourse, but a mingling of the consciousness. It could achieve a more intense spiritual pleasure than the body. Dong Zhi had seen this in novels before. At that time, he thought it was just the novelist’s fabrication, and he didn’t expect one day he would be able to experience this firsthand.
It may not be possible to describe this feeling. If he had to use a word, all Dong Zhi could think of was: ecstasy.
He looked at the ceiling in a daze. He didn’t even have the energy to look at Long Shen. The sweat from his forehead was wiped off by Long Shen, but following it in his heart was a dense feeling of shame. His face flushed red, and he couldn’t wait to bury his entire being under the blankets.
Long Shen looked at Dong Zhi’s fluffy head, which was exposed outside the blanket. “Although the pleasure of divine intercourse is stronger than physical contact, it does consume qi, so it can’t be done often. If you want, we can do it at most once a week.”
“I’m not a stallion that thinks with his dick*!”
*Sperm head (精虫) It’s used to describe impulsive and reckless behavior due to male hormones (sexual impulse).
Dong Zhi could no longer hold back. He emerged from the blanket and issued a strong protest. His face was flushed, unknown whether it was because he was angry or embarrassed, or because he smothered himself inside the blanket for too long.
When he saw Long Shen’s meaningful eyes, he knew that the other party was teasing him. For the first time, Dong Zhi realized that his master also had a sense of humor.
The good times always passed in a flash. The situation they were about to face was unknown and treacherous.
Two days later, they checked out of their hotel and flew directly to the historic ancient city in the northwest.
The Northwest Branch was perhaps the most formal office space among all the branches and offices Dong Zhi had seen. It was located in a small building next to a research institute in the city. The same signboard was hung outside the research institute. Only when they entered the small building did they see a small plaque on the wall that read: [Northwest Branch of the Special Administration Bureau of the People’s Republic of China].
Director Che of the branch was different from the gray-haired old man Dong Zhi imagined. The other party looked to be about 40 to 50 years old. His hair was combed back, and he was wearing a Chinese-styled suit paired with gold-rimmed glasses. He looked more like a university professor than a practitioner.
Facing the director of the branch, whose age was comparable to that of this nation’s civilization, Dong Zhi didn’t dare be neglectful and followed Long Shen to respectfully salute him.
Che Bai was amiable and smiled before he said anything. There were fine lines on the corners of his eyes. He had learned the story from Long Shen a while ago, and he didn’t delay much time with small talk. He directly asked how Dong Zhi was feeling.
Dong Zhi replied, “I just vomited blood yesterday, but I haven’t had any attacks today. I feel okay, but I’m easily tired, and my hands and feet often get weak.”
Che Bai took his pulse, pondered for a moment, and frowned slightly.
“This isn’t just a simple curse. I’m afraid that the demon has also placed certain restrictions through this curse, so it’s difficult to solve.”
This was the first time Dong Zhi had heard this, but Long Shen’s expression wasn’t surprised. It was obvious he knew about this already.
“Yes, that’s why I can only ask for Che Lao’s help.”
Che Bai sighed. “If this was ten years ago, I would still have some certainty, but now that my lifespan is approaching, I’m afraid I might not have the strength. I will try first.”
Long Shen showed an astonished expression. “We can think of another way.”
Che Bai smiled and said, “It’s okay. One’s life is determined by God, and there’s nothing humans can do. It has nothing to do with helping you or not. Come, Dong Zhi, sit down. Close your eyes and relax as you usually do with your breathing exercise.”
Dong Zhi closed his eyes and sat crossed-legged on the sofa as he practiced his kung-fu tona as usual. He quickly forgot about Long Shen and Che Bai beside him.
At this time, Che Bai took out a small bottle, opened the cork, and placed it under Dong Zhi’s nose. The mouth of the bottle faintly curled up with light smoke and quickly slipped into Dong Zhi’s nasal cavity.
There was a subtle change in his expression.
“Open your eyes,” he heard Che Bai say.
Dong Zhi slowly opened his eyes, and in front of him was a dense jungle that almost covered the sky. The sun was fierce above his head, but the soil exuded a humid smell. Most likely, it rained not long ago. The plants had such unique characteristics that Dong Zhi thought they were in the tropics as soon as he saw them.
Che Bai’s voice sounded, but when Dong Zhi looked around, he didn’t see anyone. He calmed down and started to move.
He realized that he wasn’t an entity at this moment, but more like a ghost passing through time and space. As he moved forward, the plants, branches, and leaves continued to rustle under the sun, providing shade for the soil.
The author has something to say:
A unique kind of car*…
*Euphemism for sex.
This is probably intentional by the author as the chapter that they have “sex” in also introduces a character named Che… which means car and is a euphemism for sex… If that’s the case, the author’s note would be a triple entendre.
Well that’s a first. I’ve never read about divine intercourse before, but I still prefer reading about physical intercourse. I mean, Long Shen looks like this (in the manhua)… How can you not want to get banged by that Dong Zhi?!