Menu

The Dragon

The Dragon By Dec 06, 2023 10 Comments
Table of Contents
Previous: Chapter 99

Chapter 100

Zhong Michu held her close, allowing her to lean more comfortably against herself. She deliberated for a long time before deciding to tell Gu Fuyou about Si Miao.

She didn’t want Gu Fuyou to know, but it was impossible to hide it from her forever. Perhaps Gu Fuyou would have guessed when she saw Zhong Michu return alone.

Zhong Michu had thought of many ways to phrase it gently, to make it easier for Gu Fuyou to accept. In the end, she realized there was no difference in how it was said. She began, “Ah Man, Si Miao, she…”

Gu Fuyou interrupted her, saying, “I know.”

Zhong Michu’s eyes lowered slightly, “I’m sorry.”

Gu Fuyou replied with a smile, “Why apologize to me? It was her own choice. Si Miao has always been like that, stubborn since childhood. Once she’s made up her mind, nothing can change it.”

Gu Fuyou continued, “It’s like her love for my brother. I used to think Gu Huaiyou had no merits, even though he was my brother, I didn’t think he was good enough for Si Miao. But once Si Miao decided on him, she loved him for so many years, never changing, even until now.”

Zhong Michu whispered, “Ah Man.”

Gu Fuyou responded, “It’s good, Zhong Michu. They can finally be together. It’s good, right?”

Zhong Michu looked at her, remaining silent for a long time before gently nodding, “Mm-hmm.”

With that, Gu Fuyou’s smile returned. Pulling Zhong Michu with her, she headed deeper into the hall and said, “You’ve come back at just the right time. I have something to return to you.”

She led Zhong to a long table in the inner hall, upon which lay a long box.

Before the box was even opened, Zhong Michu already sensed a familiar presence emanating from within. The object inside seemed restless, causing the box to jolt and bounce on the table.

Upon opening the case, a burst of blue light shot out, flying around the hall, stirring a cold wind like a wild horse breaking free.

Zhong Michu softly called out, “Gengchen.”

Gengchen circled twice before returning to her side, drawing closer.

Just as Zhong Michu was about to grasp its hilt, Gengchen moved away again.

Gu Fuyou remarked, “See? You locked it away for so long; it seems to hold a grudge against you.”

Zhong Michu smiled faintly, appearing somewhat helpless.

However, Gengchen swiftly returned, circling her once more before settling back into her palm.

Gu Fuyou observed, “It holds a grudge, but it can’t bear to be mad at you.”

Zhong Michu caressed the blade, and in response, Gengchen emitted a resonant hum. Her eyes were filled with tender affection and a hint of guilt.

After a long while, she slid the spirit sword back into her sleeve.

Gu Fuyou let out a sigh and said, “I wish my Yinhen was as vibrant and spirited as yours.”

Although Yinhen had been forged, it always seemed to lack something. Seeing Gengchen again, she realized what her spirit sword was missing – liveliness. She muttered, “Spirit swords are sentient, but Yinhen is like a dead thing.”

Zhong Michu’s eyes flickered. She understood the key point. The spirit of a spirit sword changes with the emotions of its owner. It wasn’t that Yinhen was lifeless, but rather that it mirrored Gu Fuyou’s gloomy heart.

Gu Fuyou decided to change the subject. “Let’s not talk about this.”

She then led Zhong Michu back to the table, arranging bowls and chopsticks, saying, “I prepared all of this myself. I’ve also invited Scholar Zhai and Yi’er. They should be here soon.”

Although Gu Fuyou, in her Azure Phoenix form, no longer needed food, she still maintained the habit of eating. However, as her conflict with the Zuo family intensified, Zhong Michu no longer even saw her eat, let alone cook.

Zhong Michu, with her sharp senses, detected the moisture on Gu Fuyou, indicating she had recently bathed with incense. She asked, “What’s made you so happy today?”

Holding a pair of chopsticks, Gu Fuyou leaned her hand against her cheek and gave a playful chuckle towards Zhong Michu.

It wasn’t hard to guess.

“When I arrived, I noticed quite a few people in the courtyard. Seven told me they were prisoners. Is it because of them?”

Gu Fuyou dished up a bowl of lotus seed soup, the spoon clinking against the bowl. She passed the soup to Zhong Michu, saying, “Try this.”

Zhong Michu asked, “Ah Man, what do you plan to do with the people from the Zuo family?”

“Hmm?” Gu Fuyou casually replied, “Of course, I’ll burn…” but she corrected herself mid-sentence, “I mean, kill them.”

“All of them?”

“What else?”

Gu Fuyou caught a glimpse of Zhong Michu’s expression from the corner of her eye and, understanding her thoughts, said with a hint of annoyance, “Zhong Michu, can we not talk about the Zuo family while eating? It ruins the appetite.”

Zhong Michu pointed out, “But as soon as you finish eating, you plan to execute them.”

She could imagine, the incense bath, the fine meal – all because what followed was a joyous event for Gu Fuyou, warranting such grand preparation.

Gu Fuyou retorted, “Zhong Michu, don’t argue with me over the people of the Zuo family.”

Zhong Michu replied, “Ah Man, we’re not arguing.”

“If we keep on, it will lead to that.”

After a moment of silence, Gu Fuyou put down her chopsticks and asked, “So, what do you wish for me to do?”

Zhong Michu also put down her spoon, saying, “Ah Man, during our struggle with the Zuo family, we had no choice but to exert all our strength. But now that the Zuo family is defeated and all of Nanzhou is in your hands, I hope you can judge those captives fairly, rather than mindlessly executing them.”

“Ha!” Gu Fuyou scoffed with a strange laugh. “Fair? Fairness is an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth, a life for a life!”

“Indeed, Zuo Yuezhi, Zuo Shaode, Zuo Tianlang, and the leaders of Xu Ling Sect are dead. Nanzhou is now in your hands.”

Gu Fuyou, her voice rising, “How is that enough! When our Gu family was annihilated, not one survived. How can just their deaths be enough! They mercilessly hunted you and me, with no mercy. Zhong Michu, have you forgotten!”

Zhong Michu replied calmly, “I haven’t forgotten. But Ah Man, do you know who exactly hunted us down back then? Who attacked Xuan Miao Sect and Xiaoyao City?”

Gu Fuyou paused.

Zhong Michu looked outside and continued, “It might not be the same people you’ve gathered in the central courtyard. Perhaps none of them participated, never attacked Xiaoyao City or Xuan Miao Sect, never harmed our loved ones, and never wielded the butcher’s knife. Debts have specific culprits; even if it’s a life for a life, you can’t impose the blame on those who aren’t guilty.”

Gu Fuyou stood up abruptly, “The one who wields the knife is the butcher. Even if they didn’t play the butcher’s role, they might have sharpened the knife, handed the knife, or cheered on. Among the tainted currents of the Zuo family, who can truly claim innocence? None are truly innocent!”

Zhong Michu countered, “The one who hands the knife should be punished accordingly, so should the one who sharpens the knife, and the one who cheers. You shouldn’t treat them all as if they were butchers. Even if you worry that sparing their lives would lead to them returning with vengeance, there are many ways to prevent that. Destroying their spiritual roots to prevent them from cultivating or binding them with a slave contract are both viable options.”

Gu Fuyou remained silent.

Seeing that her expression hadn’t softened, Zhong Michu sighed and mentioned, “Do you remember Zuo Qingqing? The girl who led you into the Thirty-Three Skies, Zuo Yuezhi’s great-granddaughter.”

Gu Fuyou looked up at her, perhaps curious about Zhong Michu’s knowledge of Zuo Qingqing.

Zhong Michu explained, “When you attacked me here in Wankong Hall, I investigated you privately, including her.”

Having explained, she returned to the main topic, Zuo Qingqing was born within the last seven hundred years, uninvolved in past events. She enjoys traveling and seldom stays in the Xu Ling Sect, having committed no sins. You’ve met her and understood her nature. Would you still subject her to extreme punishment? In these seven hundred years, many descendants were born in the Zuo family. Do you also plan on executing them all?”

Gu Fuyou suddenly said with a grave tone, “Being born into the Zuo family is their fault, just as it was for my Gu family. What wrong did Yi’er, so young, commit? Yet, Zuo Tianlang never spared him. His misfortune was to be born into the Gu family, to have my elder brother as his father, and to have me as his aunt.”

Gu Fuyou added with gritted teeth, “The sins committed by the Zuo family, causing others to lose their descendants, should have made them realize that one day, others would do the same to them!”

“Parents in this world can choose, but as children, we don’t have that choice. We can’t choose our birth. Remember? You told me this. Do you still remember?”

Gu Fuyou frowned and avoided Zhong Michu’s intense gaze. She disliked, really disliked how Zhong Michu would go to great lengths to defend the Zuo family.

“Being born is not a crime. Ah Man, if the sin wasn’t committed by them, you can’t do the same thing to them as the Zuo family did.”

“You used to detest injustice, you hated the Zuo family for their lack of fairness. Now that you’ve defeated the Zuo family and conquered all of Nanzhou, you have the power. It’s not difficult for you to investigate whether they were involved in the strife seven hundred years ago, whether they killed, and to judge and punish them accordingly.”

Gu Fuyou glanced at Zhong Michu, then looked her straight in the eye and sneered, “I don’t want to give them justice. They don’t deserve it.”

“Ah Man…”

Gu Fuyou said, “Xiaoyao City was burned down by Zuo Tianlang, leaving nothing behind. I will burn down their Zuo family, leaving no one behind.”

Gu Fuyou was on the verge of breaking down, her pupils darkening to a deep red, and her lips pursed.

Zhong Michu slowed down her speech and softly said, “Ah Man, you’re not like him. Do you remember the first person you killed? I’ve forgotten his name, but I remember it was in a cave in Ning City. He was from the Zuo family and deserved to die. You killed him, stained your hands with blood. You told me it was your first time killing someone, and you didn’t like it, you were disgusted.”

“Ah Man, the ones who deserved to die are already dead. Killing more innocent people won’t make you feel better. The only one to be tormented will be you.”

Suddenly, Gu Fuyou flipped the table in rage, causing dishes to shatter on the floor with a crash.

In a furious voice, Gu Fuyou exclaimed, “Ah Man is dead!”

Tears welled up in Gu Fuyou’s eyes, she looked at Zhong Michu and continued, “Zhong Michu. She died at Zhuling Platform, forced by the Zuo family, her soul shattered in humiliation. You don’t know, do you? Her body was corroded by the poisonous blood of Yuan Shan, turning into a pool of blood, her bones and flesh destroyed.”

Zhong Michu turned pale, feeling an unbearable weight in her heart. Her discomfort apparent, with fine beads of sweat on her forehead and her hand trembling, she clenched it into a fist.

Yi’er and Scholar Zhai had arrived earlier but seeing the two of them deep in conversation, they had waited outside without entering.

Hearing the commotion inside, both of them peered in from the door, followed by two others, Twenty-Three and Seven.

Gu Fuyou, noticing them, shouted fiercely, “What are you looking at? Get out!”

They were startled and quickly withdrew their heads.

The hall was eerily quiet, only Gu Fuyou’s heavy breathing remained.

After a moment, Gu Fuyou, realizing the impact of her words on Zhong Michu, regretted her outburst. She approached Zhong Michu and whispered, “Zhong Michu, you understand me, you should be the person who understands me the most in this world, stand by my side.” Her red eyes were fixated on Zhong Michu without blinking.

Zhong Michu replied, “Yes. I understand you, I know you.”

Her voice was soft and slightly shaky as she gazed at Gu Fuyou with a mix of understanding and pity, “You wanted to forge Yinhen, even if it took your whole life, facing everyone’s ridicule and misunderstanding, because you wanted to prove that even without talent, you could stand shoulder to shoulder with the legends. Array formations are your lifelong passion. You wanted recognition, respect, to be immortalized in history and admired by all. You wish to be the North Star, a hero adored by all…”

“You wanted me to always keep my eyes on you, to always watch you.”

“Enough! I told you, Ah Man is long gone, she died a long time ago!”

Gu Fuyou hadn’t expected these words from Zhong Michu. They were the last thing she wanted to hear. These words acted like a mirror, reflecting both her past and present selves. It felt as if she was being haunted by the ghosts of her past, with nowhere to hide.

“I hate you, Zhong Michu.” The words escaped her mouth without thought or consideration, blurted out in a rage.

“Uh-hmm…” Zhong Michu murmured, trying to steady herself. She reached out to lean on the table for support, only to remember it had been overturned by Gu Fuyou earlier. She stumbled backward a couple of steps before managing to regain her balance.

Zhong Michu opened her mouth, her lips trembling, and after a long pause, said, “I know, I know I’ve angered you, you’re in a fit of rage, that’s why you’re saying this. Once you’ve calmed down, we can talk slowly again.”

Even knowing Gu Fuyou didn’t mean it, the impact of her words was still piercing, leaving Zhong Michu momentarily breathless.

Zhong Michu clutched her chest, turning and heading towards the exit of the hall.

Gu Fuyou watched Zhong Michu’s retreating figure, thinking bitterly, “All this talk of life’s unpredictability, of fate being set, is nothing but sweet talk and deceit.”

Her anger clouded her judgment, and despite a faint voice of reason warning her, she couldn’t restrain herself and shouted after Zhong Michu, “Your Majesty, you’re so righteous, the epitome of fairness! If you dislike what I do, then go back to your Eastern Sea!”

Zhong Michu turned sharply, her lips pressed so tightly they turned white.

Seeing the redness around Zhong Michu’s eyes, the shimmer of unshed tears, Gu Fuyou realized the impact of her own words echoing in the hall.

She knew she had truly hurt Zhong Michu.

Gu Fuyou opened her mouth to speak but no words came out.

Zhong Michu turned again, transforming into a cloud of mist and swiftly flew away, disappearing from sight.

Yi’er hesitated, glancing between Gu Fuyou in the hall and the White Dragon in the sky, unsure of whom to follow.

Gu Fuyou remained still, shoulders slumped in defeat, with tears rolling down as she whispered, “Ah Man too dreamed of being a hero, of living a life of virtue and earning respect. But those dreams, they couldn’t save her family, couldn’t guard all that she held dear, nor could they avenge her. They did nothing to soothe the burning hatred within her.”

Gu Fuyou collapsed to her knees, her skirt spreading out like a wilted flower. Out of the corner of her eye, she saw the shattered dishes on the floor and noticed the porcelain bowl she had used to serve Zhong Michu the lotus soup.

She let out a long, pained cry, covering her head with her hands.

Ah Man, don’t you realize, sometimes your words can be so hurtful.

Ah Man, the ones you always end up hurting are those who love you.

Whispering softly, Gu Fuyou said, “Brother, have I not grown at all?”

Table of Contents
Previous: Chapter 99

Author

4.9 9 votes
Article Rating
Subscribe
Notify of
guest
10 Comments
Oldest
Newest Most Voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments
blah
blah
7 months ago

😭😭😭

Shakthivel
Shakthivel
7 months ago

Thanks for the chapter..

Rangshi
Rangshi
7 months ago

That’s rough buddy

brovioli
brovioli
7 months ago

These chapters have been straight up heartbreak… I can’t take it anymore

Jbebe
Jbebe
7 months ago

This story is so, so good. Thanks again for translating.

Khriss
Khriss
6 months ago

YEAH SLAP SOME SENSE INTO HER MICHU THAT F*CKING HURT AHHHH

cyberstingray
cyberstingray
5 months ago

oh wow i didn’t expect to be crying this much reading this but im absolutely in love with this story and your translation

Kat
Kat
2 months ago

Dang, michu is so patient, holding her hand all throughout her revenge and being so kind only for her to say these things. I understand her hatred but dang :((

Quiet Reader
Quiet Reader
1 month ago

I can see two endings this novel can take and I don’t like it aided by the fact that Gu Fuyou doesn’t care if she’s right or wrong as long as she gets revenge 😭😭😭

Hatimo
Hatimo
26 days ago

Ah man..how can u say those words to michu..