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The Dragon

The Dragon By Oct 26, 2023 7 Comments
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Previous: Chapter 25

Chapter 26

Tears Under the Moonlit Tree

Zhong Michu asked, “Gu Fuyou?”

Gu Fuyou suddenly stood up, belatedly realizing, and excitedly hugged her, “Ahhhh!!! We won!”

Zhong Michu stiffened for a moment but didn’t push her away. After a short pause, she gently patted Gu Fuyou’s back and responded, “Yes, we won.”

“Senior Sister Zhong, you’re a genius. You’re amazing! It’s all thanks to you…”

Zhong Michu helped her up and replied, “No, Gu Fuyou. the amazing one is you.”

As Gu Fuyou was wiping the blood from her chin with her sleeve, Zhong Michu offered her a handkerchief.

Accepting it, Gu Fuyou grinned, “Thank you, Senior Sister.”

After carelessly wiping the blood from her chin and ears, she laughed and said, “What’s so amazing about someone like me? I lost to Master Yu in one move.”

“I’m useless, you know that. I’m pretty good at causing trouble though.” Gu Fuyou, when others looked down on her, she was very proud, but when others sincerely complimented her, she became shy.

Shaking her head, Zhong Michu stated earnestly, “You discovered the mystery behind the Ruizhu Palace’s formation and set up the formation to escape in the inner layer of Xian Luo. Had I faced that person head-on today, I might not have won; it was you who thought of a way and created the winning situation. Elder Liuhe thinks you’re just a bit clever, having some insights into formations, but I believe otherwise—you’re very smart and shouldn’t underestimate yourself.”

They had spent half a day here, and now it was nearing sunset. The warm orange light from the setting sun spilled in from the west side of the courtyard, covering the ground in broken gold.

The light fell on Zhong Michu, casting a soft, warm glow that made her appear even more ethereal.

Zhong Michu said, “Gu Fuyou, you are a genius.”

Staring blankly at her, Gu Fuyou responded in disbelief, “What… what did you just say?”

Zhong Michu said, “You are a genius, we won because of you…”

As Zhong Michu observed, Gu Fuyou’s fair neck, delicate ears, and rosy face turned a visible shade of deep red.

Covering her face, Gu Fuyou stumbled slightly, letting out an indistinct sound from her throat, as if she was trying to suppress a roar.

After a while, peeking through her fingers, Gu Fuyou softly implored, “Say it again.”

Zhong Michu, slightly puzzled, reiterated, “You’re a genius?”

Gu Fuyou urged, “Once more.”

“You’re a genius.”

“Say it again.”

“You’re a genius.”

Gu Fuyou absolutely loved Zhong Michu’s incredible patience.

If it were someone else, they might say that Zhong Michu is usually emotionless and speaks in a monotone, a person cold and unemotional.

But at this moment, even though her voice was just as even as always, to Gu Fuyou, it was the warmest sound in the world, the kindest words ever spoken.

She didn’t care whether Zhong Michu liked it or not, she tightly hugged her arm and showed a contented smile, “Senior Sister Zhong, I like you so much.”

Zhong Michu didn’t understand the joy in Gu Fuyou’s heart, but seeing the smile on her face, she couldn’t help but smile along with her.

The two returned to the gambling house and collected the raw stone.

On top of that, before entering the competition, Gu Fuyou had pawned her identity jade card for one million spirit stones, betting on herself. Now, with the raw stone, she also gained an extra ten million spirit stones.

When about to split the reward with Zhong Michu, Zhong Michu said, “I’m not good with handling money; you should keep it.”

“You can ask me for it when you need it,” Gu Fuyou replied.

While they were talking, the lady in red came over and handed them two wooden plaques, saying, “Here are the additional rewards for the winners of the duel, the entry tokens for Canyon Racing.”

Gu Fuyou took them, feeling overjoyed again.

Zhong Michu asked, “What is Canyon Racing?”

Gu Fuyou said, “Senior Sister Zhong, have you heard of horse racing? It’s similar. You control your spiritual beast to run to the finish line. If you win, the rewards are generous.”

In the past, when she visited with her elder brother, he always received the entry tokens, and she could only watch from the stands. Every time she watched, she longed to participate.

Happily pocketing the tokens, Gu Fuyou led Ah Fu and Zhong Michu downstairs.

Across the courtyard, a man on the opposite staircase suddenly stopped and looked their way.

The person behind him paused and asked, “Young Master Zuo, what’s the matter?”

Zuo Tianlang remarked, “I think that’s Gu Fuyou. Given how busy things are this year in Xiaoyao City, I doubt Gu Shuangqing would be here…”

Speaking, he nodded to the people behind him: “She came down from the gambling house. Beard Slave, you go to the gambling house to ask about her, see if that person is really Gu Fuyou.”

Beard Slave nodded in compliance, took a few strides, and dashed off like the wind. Moments later, he returned and reported, “It’s Miss Gu, the third daughter. The young city lord is not with her; she arrived with an unfamiliar face. They were involved in a bet earlier, a duel with Yu Dongsheng from Wanyao Pavilion, and they won.”

“They won?” Zuo Tianlang raised an eyebrow. “So she has an entry token for the Canyon Race.”

Zuo Tianlang pondered for a moment, his eyes shifting: “Zhong Yi, come here.”

A middle-aged man with a carefree scarf and a long beard came forward: “Young Master.”

Zuo Tianlang spun his folding fan, covered his mouth, and leaned in to say: “You do this…”

After giving his instructions, he said: “Go.”

Zhong Yi bowed and said: “Yes.” He took the order and retired.

Elsewhere, after Gu Fuyou and Zhong Michu returned to the Yinxue Lodge, night had fallen.

Because the Yinxue Pavilion was noisy and crowded, Zhu Ruo worried the girls wouldn’t be comfortable there. Hence, she arranged for them to stay in a quiet small courtyard behind the street.

Gu Fuyou brought Zhong Michu over, and Zhu Ruo naturally had to entertain them. Last time, only a few people had seen Zhong Michu. Now, with these ladies adding fuel to the fire, praising Zhong Michu’s grace and beauty, people came to see her, crowding around her.

It was as if they were looking at some rarity, all wanting to see her grace.

The ladies pulled Zhong Michu into a lot of fun, and Gu Fuyou used all her skills to rescue Zhong Michu and return to the courtyard.

The courtyard was simple and elegant, far away from the crowd.

In the middle of the courtyard, there was a locust tree with lush foliage and thick shade.

Their rooms faced each other. After wishing each other goodnight, they retreated to their rooms.

With the moon shining bright, the distant noises faded, leaving only peace.

Gu Fuyou tossed and turned, unable to sleep until midnight.

She got up, wearing her robe, her hair loose. She sat staring at Ah Fu, who was curled up sleeping at the edge of the bed.

Shortly after, she got out of bed, put on her shoes, opened the door, and the clear moonlight spilled in.

She walked out and sat down under the locust tree, her body hidden in the shadows.

She looked over at Zhong Michu’s door, her eyes welling up with tears. Before she knew it, tears were rolling down her cheeks.

With a creak, the door opposite opened. Zhong Michu, neatly dressed, looked over and called out, “Gu Fuyou?”

Zhong Michu hadn’t slept. She was in the middle of her meditation when she heard a sound and came out to check. She saw a figure sitting in the dense shadow of the locust tree.

Zhong Michu approached, standing in the moonlight, “What’s wrong?”

Gu Fuyou originally wanted to say: “Why did you come out, did I disturb you?” and cover up the matter.

However, feeling so upset and choked up, she couldn’t speak. She feared that once she started talking, she would break down in tears.

She didn’t want to cry in front of others, crying alone was nothing, but crying in front of someone was too embarrassing.

Zhong Michu inquired, “Is it the injury from the duel that hasn’t healed? Are you still in pain?”

“No…”

She managed to utter a word but couldn’t hold back any longer, sobbing in front of her.

Tears streamed down, and she tried wiping them away, but the more she wiped, the more they flowed.

She tried suppressing her emotions, but it only made her feel worse.

Zhong Michu pressed again: “What’s wrong?”

Gu Fuyou was also asking herself what was wrong, saying it out loud was too ridiculous.

She felt she had already lost enough face in front of Zhong Michu, so she no longer held back, crying so hard that tears and snot flowed together.

While crying, she said: “I, for the first time, someone praised me like this…”

Her tearful eyes fixed on Zhong Michu as she hiccupped through her sobs, “Senior Sister Zhong, for the first time, someone called me a genius.”

“I’m so happy, so, so happy…” she covered her face, her restrained sobs transforming into loud crying, as if releasing all the pent-up emotions inside her.

From birth to the present, what she heard most was regret. How could the daughter of a tiger father be so mediocre?

Deep down, she believed she was a member of the prestigious Gu family, inherently proud. Even if she was aware of her ordinary talents, she refused to accept mediocrity.

She had rebelled, practicing cultivation recklessly, using all kinds of spiritual pills and miraculous medicines. Her family, wanting to enhance her cultivation, also gave her the best resources. She practiced day and night, aside from cultivating, she cultivated, forgetting sleep and food…

However, no matter what, her cultivation level only grew slowly. No matter how many spiritual medicines were used, there was no improvement.

Hard work and the best resources, years of hard cultivation, couldn’t compare to a night’s meditation by her brother.

The outcome of hard work not being reciprocated is despair.

Maybe when she was alone, she could comfort herself. Thinking even a small progress was still progress, a minor improvement was still an enhancement.

But no, she couldn’t fool herself.

Beside her stood a highly talented brother, casting a vast contrast between them, constantly reminding her that it wasn’t that she wasn’t trying hard enough; she simply couldn’t reach that level.

She can endure a month, a year, two years, but she can’t bear ten years, twenty years.

She once had naive illusions, hoping to be as dazzling as her brother. She also loved cultivation, hoping that one day she would achieve great success and make a name for herself in history.

In the end, all reality left her was pain. As long as she cultivated, she felt the pain.

At one point, to escape, she gave up on cultivation. She didn’t dare to touch anything related to cultivation at all. She went to learn cooking with the family’s chef, feeling that being a master chef wasn’t bad. She went to learn embroidery, carpentry, read medical books, wanting to be a doctor.

Her father gradually felt she was fickle, switching interests frequently. He believed she abandoned cultivation for trivial pursuits.

But in the end, she was not content.

In this discontent, she came into contact with array formations. The first time she saw an ancient formation set by manipulating the yin and yang of heaven and earth, it was enough to dazzle her for a lifetime.

She began to neglect sleep and food again. When she researched her first small, brand-new array formation, she joyfully showed it to Gu Wanpeng.

There’s a tale in Xiaoyao City called “The Boy Who Cried Wolf.”

Gu Fuyou had a history of giving up significant opportunities and picking up new interests, so Gu Wanpeng had long stopped taking her seriously, still thinking she was just playing.

Gu Wanpeng just said, “Practicing well is better than anything.”

The cold response was like pouring cold water over Gu Fuyou’s burning passion.

Gu Wanpeng didn’t understand Gu Fuyou’s love, a love that could last a lifetime, so he wouldn’t know that Gu Fuyou was begging for his approval, hoping for his praise.

From the very beginning until now, Gu Fuyou rarely received genuine praise. Any compliments she did get were often empty words from ordinary folks who didn’t practice cultivation.

Cultivators value cultivation levels the most. Without sufficient cultivation, one can’t create powerful formations; without cultivation, one’s lifespan is limited to a mere century, and youth vanishes in the blink of an eye, leaving no time for any achievements.

Understanding how to set up formations with the right timing, location, yin and yang, and the five elements is considered useless without the necessary cultivation.

Gu Fuyou said, “Even if you’re just trying to comfort me…”

Zhong Michu squatted slightly before her, replying, “Gu Fuyou, I don’t lie. I call you a genius because I genuinely believe you are one.”

Gu Fuyou cried inconsolably, shaking her head, “No, Zhong sister. No, I… I know that formations, changing yin and yang, and using the timing and location, don’t require talent. As long as you work hard enough to remember the conditions, characteristics, habits, uses, and origins of those formations, remember enough, as long as you work hard enough, anyone can do what I do. This isn’t talent…”

“I know, I’m not a genius. I hate the so-called talent. Why is it that without talent, no matter how hard you try, it’s not enough… But today, you praised me, you said I’m a genius, and I’m so happy.”

Clutching her dress, crying uncontrollably, “I’m so happy.”

With one hand wiping her tear-filled eyes, which were already red and swollen, Zhong Michu gently removed her hand, advising, “Gu Fuyou, don’t rub like that; you’ll hurt your eyes.”

Zhong Michu lifted her white sleeve and gently pressed it under Gu Fuyou’s eyes, wiping away the tears.

Grasping the edge of Zhong Michu’s sleeve, Gu Fuyou choked out, “They all look down on me.”

Zhong Michu said, “You’re incredible.”

On hearing this, Gu Fuyou tried to suppress her tears, but they fell even harder.

Zhong Michu remained silent, offering her comfort.

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Previous: Chapter 25

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Shakthivel
Shakthivel
8 months ago

Thanks for the chapter

blah
blah
8 months ago

sad 😭 you are a genius gu fuyou !!

Anon321
Anon321
8 months ago

It hits harder when you relate to Gu Fuyou

Nabong_uwu
7 months ago

Damn, I almost started bawling alongside Gu Fuyou, it must be so frustrating to work so hard knowing that even if you achieve anything it will pale when compared by others to someone else, wished Gu Wenpeng understood his daughter more

Khriss
Khriss
6 months ago

(⁠╥⁠﹏⁠╥⁠)

Nyaaaa
Nyaaaa
5 months ago

tears running down my face coz i relate to gf

Hatimo
Hatimo
28 days ago

Oh gosh, can’t stop crying…😭😭😭