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The #1 Pretty Boy of the Immortal PathCh3 - The Beauty in the Night with a Saber

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author: Yi Shi Si Zhou (一十四洲)
translator: Lanlan
editor: sleepingjay
proofreader: Elestrea


Ling Baoqing turned around to comfort her companions. Li Jimao and Li Yamao wanted to console them, but were unable to. On the contrary, they were once again scolded with a few weepy cries of “Don’t jinx our Young Miss!” 94RZ8x

The two leaned on a tree beside them, thinking of their village that had been trapped for ten years. They looked like they were about to shatter and then burst into sad tears as well. Old Mister Zhou was affected by them and let out a long, heavy sigh. He too was utterly sorrowful.

For a moment, it was as if Lin Shu had been dropped into the middle of a funeral service. He stood there and silently accompanied them for a while. Organizing his thoughts into a sentence, he asked Ling Baoqing, “How did you get in?”

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Ling Baoqing wiped her eyes and gave him a once-over. It was probably because his present appearance was truly unflattering, so even though her manner toward Li Jimao and Li Yamao could still be considered polite, her manner towards him was not. She wrinkled her nose and harshly said, “By walking, of course.”

No, that wasn’t what I meant… AeclXx

Lin Shu became aware that there might be a big problem with the way he expressed his words. He paused and once again rearranged his words. “You…… How did you recognize different directions?”

These girls’ claims did not make sense; they said that the directions were unclear in the thick fog, but they also said they had been gradually approaching Minzhou City Gate before they were separated.

Ling Baoqing finally understood what he meant and replied, “Naturally, although the few of us can’t compare, our Young Miss has seen more of the world and has a higher level of understanding. She can read the qi of the stars and navigate by that, hence moving freely.”

Lin Shu, expressionless: “……” ETuMaK

Ling Baoqing shouted, “This—you little beggar, don’t tell me you have some kind of objection to our Young Miss?!”

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First, Li Jimao shouted “Sister Fairy” and was criticized as a “shameless, vile man,” and now, like him, he was also being criticized without any warning for no reason at all.

Lin Shu didn’t have any desire to speak, but the gaze of this Ling Baoqing-xiaojie was so incredibly aggressive and menacing that his entire body felt uncomfortable and he could only open his mouth to speak. “You shouldn’t go.”

Lin Shu felt that anyone with any self-awareness and knowledge of her own limitations should know to stay put in one place and obediently wait for the person whom she had been separated from to find her since she couldn’t tell one direction from another and the other person could. She shouldn’t just wander all over the place. Adzo3W

Knowing she was in the wrong, Ling Baoqing was flustered and exasperated. “When did it become your turn to give orders, you little beggar?!”

Lin Shu didn’t pay her any attention.

After Ling Baoqing finished spluttering, her arrogance subsided and she said, “It’s not that we don’t understand; we just panicked for a moment.”

However, with that tetchy, proud temperament of hers, her haughty demeanor naturally would not just go away like that. The next moment, she was again bold and confident that she was in the right. “No matter what, if we can’t find Young Miss, sooner or later we’ll be trapped here and won’t be able to save you either.” J2tHak

Fine then.

Lin Shu didn’t spare them another glance.

He had heard that for the most part, people who used sabers were irascible and violent. Sure enough, these people proved it to be true. As they said, if the upper beam were not straight, the lower beam would be crooked. Who knew what kind of supreme, apex ruffian that young miss of theirs was, to produce this group of small hooligans.

Ling Baoqing and the rest of her party were disinclined to take notice of this dirty little beggar and started to discuss feasible actions to take. m MIxH

“Do we have anyone who brought any phoenix butterflies?”

“It’s pitch-black. Even if someone had brought one, we wouldn’t have been able to see it anyway.”

We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection. If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.

“Ktf mbwqjrr lr erfifrr, abb. Pa’r yffc aegclcu jgbecv jcv qblcalcu gjcvbwis.”

Story translated by Chrysanthemum Garden.

They sat cross-legged on the ground. They had been discussing for a long time when someone finally slapped her forehead. “A lesser star spell formation! If we draw a star array and mark off the Northern Dipper, wouldn’t this allow us to sense the directions like Young Miss?” r2Kwn

Ling Baoqing exulted, “Baojing-meimei is absolutely right!”

The ‘absolutely right’ Baojing-meimei said, “Baochen-jiejie, I remember you took classes in fuzhou creation this year. Can you draw one for us?”

The ‘fuzhou-studying’ Baochen-jiejie responded, “Shit! I followed Young Miss to practice saber-skills every day at that time. I skipped eight out of the ten classes. I can’t draw it.”

Vajcvlcu ab atf rlvf, Ol Tjwjb mbeivc’a tfiq yea ifa bea j uluuif. Snfc atbeut Ol Alwjb lwwfvljafis mijqqfv j tjcv bnfg tlr wbeat, tf mbeivc’a frmjqf jcbatfg ubbv rmbivlcu ogbw atf ulgir. 9hW8rw

Coafg sfiilcu ja Ol Tjwjb, atfs mjwf ab j abaji vfjvibmx. Ktfs ibbxfv ja fjmt batfg kbgvifrris jcv mbeiv bcis rlut.

After sighing, Lin Shu silently opened his mouth in the suffocating silence.

Story translated by Chrysanthemum Garden.

“……I can draw it.”

The girls simultaneously turned their heads and looked at him, examining him closely, disbelief written all over their faces. q1s9FB

If someone were to say Old Mister Zhou the erhu player could draw, it would still be slightly believable, but this little beggar, with his dirty face and disheveled hair? It was a fantasy comparable to The Arabian Nights.

“You? Where did you learn spell arrays? In your dreams?” Ling Baoqing asked waspishly.

Lin Shu didn’t say anything.

Ling Baoqing looked him up and down a few times. She took talisman paper, a brush, and cinnabar ink out of the purse she carried,stood up, and walked to him. “This……” vxJ2W1

She paused. Failing to identify a more appropriate term of address, she only said, “Come try.”

Story translated by Chrysanthemum Garden.

Lin Shu said honestly, “I don’t have any spiritual power.”

“You!” Ling Baoqing again exploded, “Are you toying with us?”

Any other person would have already started arguing with her early on in their conversation, but when Lin Shu didn’t want to say anything, he was just like a bottle gourd whose mouth had been sawn off or a cricket whose wings had been plucked out. He didn’t take any notice of her and instead said to Ling Baochen, “Transfer some to me.” cLszKa

Ling Baochen complied with his words and put her hand on his shoulder. She started to pour spiritual energy into his body.

Lin Shu’s originally extremely unsuitable-for-the-cultivating meridians were forcefully flooded until they spilled over with spiritual energy, just like a torrential river spilling into small, dried out channels. His entire arm throbbed as if it was going to shatter and he almost vomited blood. Ling Baochen’s hand on his shoulder also made him feel sick.

But if they wanted to leave, he had to draw the talisman. He could only brace himself and endure. He dipped the brush in the cinnabar ink and drew it out.

Ling Baochen let out a soft ‘yi’ in surprise. “That really seems like it.” PkyJCp

Who knew that this little beggar actually had some skills. Ling Baoqing’s face reddened as she began to speak, but then she hesitated. She averted her eyes and didn’t look at him.

The star spell formation could be used for stargazing and was not at all an abstruse spell formation. Lin Shu was halfway done with the drawing when he was suddenly struck by the thought that the spiritual energy used by the people here was the same as the spiritual energy he had once used. The star spell array was the same as the one he had once studied—perhaps it was the same world, just at a different time.

The traditions passed down by his sect were said to have a profound and ancient origin. He didn’t know whether they could be found here as well.

One talisman had been completed and Ling Baochen finally let go. Lin Shu felt more than half-dead. bDJXYp

Ling Baochen took the paper amulet and used spiritual energy to awaken it. Upon seeing the glistening, shining ink, she dripped a few drops of blood on it. After closing her eyes and extending her awareness for a moment, she said, “I’ve got it!”

The young women were overjoyed. They gathered around her and prepared for immediate departure.

“Unfortunately, my spiritual power isn’t very compatible with his. I can’t use the talisman freely or easily. The spiritual array isn’t stable and can just barely hold for half of a shichen.” Ling Baochen’s expression was reluctant and slightly embarrassed.

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The girls gathered around Lin Shu again, their intentions obvious. They wanted Lin Shu to set out together with them so he could draw another talisman after the current one lost its effectiveness. YhCTUo

Ling Baoqing said, “Oi!” She looked awkward, as if she wanted to say something, perhaps an apology.

Lin Shu didn’t know how to respond, so he completely ignored her and only silently followed.

At this point, if he wanted to get out, he had no choice but to follow them.

The two brothers Li Jimao and Li Yamao volunteered to join them. With the two of them holding torches aloft for illumination, they had freed up the hands of two young women. This strategy would ensure their success when encountering evil entities—the more hands free to fight, the more likely they were to win. Gr4HeS

As a result, the girls defended the perimeter while Lin Shu, Li Jimao, and Li Yamao were crowded together on the inside. The party set out towards Minzhou City. On the way, they encountered countless reanimated corpses and evil ghosts. Their saber skills were exquisite and although their cultivation base was not high, they were able to get through the daunting experience by relying on their deep, tacit understanding of each other.

When it was safe, Li Yamao could not stand the silence and always struck up conversations with the girls. Among them, Ling Baojing was the youngest and had the best temper. She actually didn’t treat him harshly or viciously and talked with him. As they talked, Lin Shu was able to learn the whole story of the Phoenix Heights from their conversation.

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This was a women-only sect and accepted the world’s desperate orphan girls. If they had any aptitude for practicing martial arts and cultivation, they could be inducted into the manor’s Phoenix-Style Saber Form. If not, they could go to one of the many shops under the manor’s name, such as silk shops and depositories. The Phoenix Heights saber technique was powerful and renowned in the Jianghu. Its businesses could be found all over the realm. They also enjoyed a deep friendship and high status with other sects, so no one dared to bully them.

Having said this, Ling Baojing smiled and fell silent. kDx2 w

“Baojing-meimei is shy,” Ling Baochen laughed. She continued explaining in a voice both crisp and fast, yet extremely sweet-sounding. “Everyone in our Phoenix Heights sect is as close as family and are of the same breath and branches. Therefore, everyone in the Jianghu respects us…… But there’s also another reason. Just because many of our sect sisters have married into numerous large sects, those vile men always say that Phoenix Heights is the mother-in-law of the whole Jianghu. If you offended Phoenix Heights, even if you didn’t insult your own wife, you have invariably insulted your shixiong or shidi’s wife, or the wife of your master, or your disciple’s wife, or your older brother’s wife, or your younger brother’s wife, and so on. Because of this, in the entire Jianghu, the only sect one cannot afford to offend is Phoenix Heights.”

Saying this, the girls all laughed together. They were all around fourteen or fifteen. Although their temperaments were not very good, they were still innocent and unaffected. Now that they had a sense of the right direction, they had relaxed quite a bit and naturally exhibited such a cute, vivacious display. The young women drew Li Yamao’s direct gaze, and he began to laugh along with them.

He laughed as he walked, but then came to a sudden stop.

“This……” He sprang aside, his voice trembling as one of his hands reached up to his head. The light from the torch illuminated a patch of foul black blood. GNxqjp

The girls all let out an “Ah!” and drew out their sabers to prepare for battle. They all dispersed and cleared out from the area in their center.

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Plip. Plop.

The black blood dripped down unceasingly from above and fell in front of them.

Li Jimao raised the torch. Lin Shu raised his head to look. GI3VEw

He still had not yet figured out the situation when he heard a very light laugh, followed by the sound of a voice.

“It appears you’re actually quite capable.”

This voice was extremely melodic and carried with it a sense of uncertain distance and coldness. It was faintly discernible, as if coming from within a mist, and brought to mind a breeze rustling through the pines on top of a mountain. The voice had the power to momentarily entrance the listener. Unexpectedly, one was unable to distinguish whether it was masculine or feminine.

However, the girls started to cheer and shouted out: “Young Miss!” Kj8dLi

At this point, Lin Shu finally saw that there was a person standing at the very end of one of the dead branches at the top of the tree.

The light cast by the fire was limited. Only a silhouette could be made out, their appearance indistinct.

This person was in the midst of darkness and surrounded by a horde of demons, but it was as if they were leisurely sitting in their own courtyard. They were slowly wiping their saber as from its blade, black blood trickled down slowly like water. It was a ghastly sight.

That was precisely the “Young Miss” the girls had spoken of. IkRxKa

The Young Miss sheathed her saber and floated down from the treetop. She landed right in front of them.

Li Jimao and Li Yamao gasped.

Lin Shu also looked to their front.

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Now they finally understood that Ling Baoqing’s description of the Young Miss’s appearance had not been blind lip service. ACqK2f

The Young Miss wore a veil, with the line of her jaw and the lower half of her face indistinct and faint from behind the gauze. That only made her eyes more noticeable, with her fine brows and phoenix eyes. Her intelligent, shining eyes missed nothing and she glowed with health and vigor. She was so beautiful it was almost unbearable, the kind of beauty that made one unable to look directly at her.

Ling Baoqing and the rest of the girls all wore sturdy duanda—valiant and formidable-looking. The Young Miss was about the same age as them, but she was outfitted in a very different style. She wore complicated, elegant red robes, with sleeves that gently fluttered when she walked. It painted an extremely pretty picture.

The girls clustered around her, their voices overlapping as they asked how Young Miss had found them, whether Young Miss had sustained any injuries, what happened with that corpse king, and so on. Yet although their tone was eager, they stood no closer than three feet away from her and did not crowd close. It was apparent that they loved and respected their Young Miss.

However, the Young Miss did not answer them. Her icy gaze swept across Lin Shu, Li Jimao, and Li Yamao and she asked, “Who are they?” vFbXyd

Ling Baojing sketched out their experiences that night. She had just explained how they had met Lin Shu and Old Mister Zhou when the Young Miss frowned and interrupted her, eyes filled with revulsion. “Too dirty. Throw it out.”

The ‘it’ she spoke of was Lin Shu.

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After all, you couldn’t expect a simpleton that spent his days burrowing into various nooks and crannies to be too clean. Even though Lin Shu really wanted to clean this new body of his, in all the rush, there was simply no way to do so.

Ling Baochen hurriedly spoke out on Lin Shu’s behalf and said that he had been a tremendous help to them. POevZy

The Young Miss let out an “oh” and looked at Lin Shu. She coldly said, “Since that’s the case, I’ll just give him a beating.”

Lin Shu: “……”

The Young Miss’s hand was on the hilt of her saber and the corners of her eyes twitched, as if she was trying to suppress the urge to draw her saber and kill someone. She said to him, “If you want to come with us, get yourself cleaned up. If you dirty my eyes again, I’ll have no choice but to flay the skin off you.”

Lin Shu: “???” BZfV62

Okay, then.

Story translated by Chrysanthemum Garden.

The master of this group of little hooligans from Phoenix Heights was indeed an even more unreasonable boss ruffian.

Where could he go to find water to clean himself on a barren mountain in the middle of the night?

The heavens? xnGdrq


The author has something to say:

The voice of society: throw it out, beat it up, flay off your skin.


Hi, all! It’s Lanlan. I haven’t set an update schedule for this story and I don’t think I am going to, either. Just rest assured I will post at least one update a week and will definitely post more as my schedule allows. Real life is going to be quite hectic for me in the foreseeable future, but I will try my best to push those updates out as I want to give all of you out there the opportunity to enjoy this story as much as I do :blobhero:

GbgJEj

Translator's Note

The word our author used (咒 – zhòu) literally means to curse as in “put a curse on sb.” It can also mean “incantation; magic spell; malediction; to revile.” I think Li Jimao and Li Yamao are probably trying to reassure them by saying things like, ‘don’t worry’ or ‘she must be safe,’ so the girls are freaking out that their words will do the opposite. Thanks to El for helping me think this through!

Translator's Note

The word used in the raw (感染 – gǎn rǎn) can mean “to infect; to influence; infection.” I have generally only seen it used as “infect/infection,” but I felt like using that here would take a little bit of the gravity out of this scene.

Translator's Note

So here they use the phrase “被點名批評“ (bèi diǎnmíng pīpíng) which means “to be called on and criticized.” “Called on” in the sense of a teacher (or someone else, though I see “called on” used a lot in a school setting) calling your name just to criticize you. She just called him out for doing nothing, essentially.

Translator's Note

Xiaojie (小姐 – xiǎo jiě) is the equivalent of “Miss [name]” (though the characters taken separately mean “little/small” and “older sister,” respectively), but since it used her full name here, I thought it might be a little confusing because the name order doesn’t match up with how we would see it in English. I’ll probably just directly write “Miss [Name]” if it comes up again with someone’s surname only, but if it’s full name, you’ll probably see me use xiaojie again.

Translator's Note

The actual phrase used here was “指手畫腳”(zhǐ shǒu huà jiǎo), literally “to gesticulate with one’s hands and move one’s feet [while talking]” or “to explain by waving one’s hands,” but figuratively, “to criticize or give orders summarily.”

Translator's Note

Here, she used the phrase 困死 (kùn sǐ). The first character means “trapped,” which I put in the translation, but the second character is a resultative complement which means “to die.” So the meaning is more along the lines of “we’ll be trapped (to death) in here/we’ll be trapped in here (and will die).” Just to give some extra context that was difficult to inject in like that.

Translator's Note

This phrase is essentially “the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree” but in a non-familial way. Here it’s talking about how subordinates will emulate superiors, including their vices.

Translator's Note

The original idiom was 登峰造極 (dēng fēng zào jí), figuratively meaning “to reach great heights (in technical skills or scholastic achievements).” The characters literally mean to scale a mountain and arrive at its highest peak.

Translator's Note

Disinclined or too lazy to, both work.

Translator's Note

For those of you unfamiliar with cultivation novels, spell formations or arrays “are essentially magic circles which cast a continuous area-of-effect spell on the location the formation encompasses” (Immortal Mountain saves my bacon again).

Translator's Note

The Big Dipper.

Translator's Note

For those of you who don’t know, meimei (妹妹 – mèi.mei) means “little/younger sister” (not necessarily blood-related).

Translator's Note

Jiejie (姐姐 or 姊姊 – jiě.jie) means “big/older sister” (not necessarily blood-related).

Translator's Note

Fuzhou (符咒 – fú zhòu) or fulu (符籙 – fú lù) are Daoist amulets/charms (usually drawn or written) “which they believed functioned as summons or instructions to deities, spirits, or as tools of exorcism, as medicinal potions for ailments” (according to Wikipedia). In our wonderful fantasy land, these supernatural talismans can do pretty much anything, as evidenced here.

Translator's Note

Okay, yes, it’s not really “shit” (which may sound a little too modern here anyway), but it’s the same general idea.

Translator's Note

To be more precise, the raws said that their disbelief was a 12 out of 10.

Translator's Note

“There would still be at least a few points of belief.”

Translator's Note

Purse as in the old-timey definition, not purse as in handbag.

Translator's Note

Here, she said “這位……” (zhè wèi) in which 這 (zhè) is a definite article used to mean “this” and 位 (wèi) is a measure word. What is a measure word, exactly? So in English, we might say, “I ate a bowl of rice,” or “I have a bucket of mud.” In these examples, “bowl” and “bucket” are measure words. In English, measure words are generally used with mass (uncountable) nouns—you can’t really say “I ate a rice.” You can change the measure word (“I ate a bowl of rice,” “I ate a grain of rice”), but you can’t go without it. The same thing goes for Chinese, but the overwhelming majority of Chinese nouns need measure words. This particular measure word is used to refer to people and is a little more respectful than some of the other measure words you can use for people (like 個 – gè). So in this way, she’s searching for what to call him and is using the respectful measure word, perhaps slightly sarcastically. Another way you could translate 這位 is “this gentleman,” but that’s usually followed by the word for mister (這位先生 – zhè wèi xiān.sheng).

Translator's Note

The original Chinese was super poetic. I’m not sure if the author had a typo or what, but the phrase she wrote was ”淵遠流長“ (yuān yuǎn liú cháng) while the original idiom is “源遠流長“ (yuán yuǎn liú cháng). The original idiom means “the source is distant and the flow is long; fig. something goes back to the dim and distant path.” With the first character swapped out for the one the author chose, it now means “the abyss/the deep pool/the profound is distant and the flow is long,” which sounds way cooler in my opinion. I had some help with wording this from juurensha and gone and Elestrea (thanks guys!). Alternate wording: “Like the deep pool whose flow is endless, it was said that the traditions passed down by his sect reached far back in history.⁠”

Translator's Note

Or, for an hour. For those who don’t know what a shichen is, in ancient China, the day wasn’t divided up into 24 hours, but 12 2-hour periods called shichen (時辰 – shí chén). All of these shichen were associated with a particular zodiac sign and (I believe) stars or constellations.

Translator's Note

In the previous chapter, I translated 鳳凰山莊 (fèng huáng shān zhuāng) as Phoenix Mountain Village. There are a couple of different translations for it, so I’ll probably be switching between (mountain) heights, manor, mountain village/villa, or simply villa. They all mean the same thing though. The word 山莊 (shāng zhuāng) was used to refer to a landlord’s holdings in imperial China. It’s basically just the land the sect owns.

Translator's Note

“To be at an impasse; in a tight spot; at the end of one’s rope; desperate” (走投無路 – zǒu tóu wú lù).

Translator's Note

I tried to find a word for ‘bank’ that didn’t sound so modern. Not sure if it works here or not.

Translator's Note

“Their businesses(?) could be found throughout the four seas” (生意遍佈四海 – shēng.yi biàn bù sì hǎi).

Translator's Note

This is a metaphor meaning they are like blood-related siblings (同氣連枝 – tóng qì lián zhī). It originated in the Thousand Character Classic, a 6th century text used as a reading (and writing?) primer.

Translator's Note

The author goes out of her way to never refer to Young Miss by a pronoun (as pronouns are gendered by default, either 他 [male] or 她 [female]). That’s pretty much impossible for English without some creative (and weird) maneuvering and I wasn’t about to restructure every sentence to do that. I also didn’t want to use “they” for everything and just went with the gender that Lin Shu assumes Young Miss to be.

Translator's Note

So-called “phoenix eyes” (you may also see “red phoenix eyes”) are eyes that are tilted up at the outer corners. They’re considered to be one of, if not the prettiest eye-shape. You can see a representation below:

Translator's Note

The line used by our author here is a reference to the description of a character in the classic Chinese novel Dream of the Red Chamber. The translation on the Baidu page was “In her eyes there was a look of quick intelligence and soft refinement” (顧盼神飛 – gù pàn shén fēi).

Translator's Note

Our author never directly states the time period that this novel is set in, so I couldn’t pin down what type of clothing Young Miss is wearing as each dynasty had its own fashion and versions of dress, but pretty much any of the female clothing at this link is a good approximation. That tumblr page is great if you’re interested in traditional clothing (though not all of it is historically accurate, of course). It also plays really soothing Chinese music in the background.

Translator's Note

This sentence is kind of ambiguous as to what Young Miss means. The original sentence is “‘既如此,打一顿也就罢了’” (jì rú cǐ, dǎ yí dùn yě jiù bà.le). I think this might be Young Miss being “nice” as she later says if he comes in front of her looking like that again, she’ll skin him.

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14 comments

  1. Damn, there must be a killer jawline behind that veil

    Thanks for the chapter! 🙂

    • Hahaha, that’s a great point. Perhaps the jaw is a bit too masculine which is why it’s hidden
      Thanks for reading and commenting~

  2. That young miss is so unfair!! That simpleton helped his Girls! Dumb.

    Fufufufu. I’m eager to read his reaction when Lin Shu is clean and handsome.

    Thanks for the chapter!

  3. Is this the trap? well aint he proud, cant wait to see him more humble