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Chapter 11: Two Family Members~


A Lian was slightly startled, and slowly lifted her head.

Older male cousin….

She was a foreign fish, and did not know many people here—where did this cousin come from?  However, A Lian was also somewhat clever, and thought it was Tian Luo’s way of bailing her out. She immediately got up and brushed the dirt and straw from her body, preparing to meet her ‘cousin’ who she didn’t know where they came from.

As she waited, A Lian saw a man coming in, and her mouth subconsciously fell open in shock.

“High…”

“I want to say a few words to my cousin alone.” The older male cousin said indifferently, and stuffed a few silver tickets[1] into the small elder brother guarding the jail cell.

A generous-spending man was well received anywhere, the small elder brother nodded his head, and somewhat respectfully said,

“Okay then.”  Taking a quick glance at A Lian, he continued, “but this bighead carp is not a common criminal, so don’t tarry for a long time. If discovered, you won’t be able to account for it.”

The older cousin nodded, expressing that he understood. After the small senior brother walked away, A Lian then stepped forward.

*****

High God Rong Lin had come to the Ninth Heavenly Pavilion a number of times even though it wasn’t often. When all was said and done, he was an influential figure who, if he showed up, even if someone did not know him, they could see his bearing, and know he definitely was not an average person.

Rong Lin usually handled matters equitably, and was absolutely unlikely to give in to selfishness. If he had relied on his High God status to see her, the matter would get around, and he and this small fish demon’s reputations would be ruined.

But now, she was in the Secluded Department, and only family members could come to this place. So, Rong Lin also had no choice but to use the ‘cousin’ identity to come over.

High God’s magic was without boundaries, and with a small illusion technique, he made everyone see him as a man with average looks and personality. Presently, only the small fish demon could clearly see his true appearance.

A Lian saw the small senior brother’s attitude, and noticing the men in the opposite jail cell were all watching High God’s response, she then understood High God had probably used some kind of spell. A Lian thought for a moment, then called him,

“Cousin.”

‘She joined the show unexpectedly quick’, Rong Lin thought indifferently. However seeing her looking this pitiful, and knowing she had been subjected to a lot here, he said,

“On the way here, Tian Luo’s energy told me everything, what do you have to say?”

A Lian raised her head and said,

“It was not my fault…”

Rong Lin appeared indifferent, and kept silent.

Going back to explain, that night, A Lian had customarily went to the Blue Wave Pond to practice magic, when on the way back, she saw something rustling in the grass, and faintly heard the bloodcurdling scream of a man. She went over, and pushed the grass aside to see, only to have a red light appear in front of her. Lying on the grass was the skin and bone—the remains of a person. His body was black from head to foot, and had been sucked dry of energy. A disciple passing by discovered this scene, and almost at once more people approached.

After that, everything was a blur.

*****

Male and female pair studying in the Ninth Heavenly Pavilion was not anything strange, but were somewhat dishonest practices. Not carefully cultivating by oneself was only thought of as reaping without sowing. There was less than a month to go till the competition, when the time came, if the standard was not met the disciple would not be qualified to stay in the Ninth Heavenly Pavilion. So during this time, everyone was trying to think of a way to raise their cultivation. As A Lian, amongst the new disciples was considered to be last, it seemed she had not done anything, and yet wanted to continue staying at the Ninth Heavenly Pavilion when this was already impossible.

She had racked her brain and with great difficulty, managed to leave the small childhood home to come to the Ninth Heavenly Pavilion, but no one would want to return so gloomily. So, it was believed that in order to continue staying at the Ninth Heavenly Pavilion, a small fish demon with meager magic needed to upgrade her magic within a short period of time and ended up on this devious path, as that was the most logical solution.

*****

A Lian, wanting to carefully explain that night’s matter, then said,

“My whole heart is filled with High God, how could another man possibly make me do that sort of thing?”

Rong Lin did not look embarrassed listening to her say this, but only spoke in a slightly gentle manner, and glancing at her he said,

“You don’t have the courage.”

A Lian nodded, and with emotions filling her eyes, she said,

“Seeing High God one last time before dying, I am already very satisfied.”

Rong Lin frowned slightly, and sighed mentally.

This matter was indeed somewhat prickly. Involved  in the mishap was that disciple called Qu Zhu, and was A Lian’s fellow senior disciple. This Qu Zhu was not an ordinary person, his grandfather was the Heavenly Ruler Nan Dou, and his mother was the virtuous sovereign Rong Xu, the typical celestial, the official second generation child. If not for him, because of this foolish fish’s status, there would be no way out but to pay with one’s life.

“It’s okay, I will think of a way,” Rong Lin said.

A Lian was fully aware that this matter could only inconvenience High God, but without any better option at the moment, she sincerely said,

“I will have to trouble High…cousin.”

A Lian knew of that Qu Zhu’s background; thinking of High God’s status, and also how difficult it was for her to leave this place, there was no hope for the moment. But unexpectedly, she watched High God leave for a moment, then the small senior brother guarding the cell came in to relieve her of the cell. Facing her, he said,

“Bighead carp, quickly come out and follow me.”

Stepping forward, A Lian did not know of the true situation. The small elder brother smiled and said,

“You’re lucky, the whole situation was managed to be dealt with right away, and now you can leave.”

A Lian was endlessly stunned. Responding, she then came over and immediately followed the small senior brother out.

*****

A Lian was naturally young and good looking, and was the model woman with her small white flower-like appearance. This individual, on the other hand, was a refined man who naturally felt tenderness towards her. Besides, the small senior brother knew countless people and knowing that this small young woman was wrongly accused, had shown her particular care these past two days. Now, as he personally brought her out, he said,

“I left my childhood place to come here. In the Ninth Heavenly Pavilion, it’s not good to be reckless, and as you are a small young woman of tender years with no behind the scenes support, you are very likely to be bullied….” In the end, seeing her older cousin behind him, looking somewhat gratified, he continued, “Luckily, you have this capable older cousin. No matter what crime you committed this time, you got out of here right away. So turn over a new leaf, make a fresh start, and live well with your older cousin.”

A Lian emotionally nodded repeatedly.

“I will, thank you senior brother.”

*****

At the Island of Immortals, Xiao Zao was incessantly worrying because of A Lian’s matter.

She sat alone on top a large stone on the river bank. Absentmindedly kicking her feet, she was unaware that her shoe had fell off.

Xiao Bai stood behind her, distantly looking at her for a long time, then slowly walked over. Presently, he did not need to be a maturely dressed man and wore casual comfortable clothes. In a crescent moon white robe, and white jade hairpin, he seemed elegant and graceful,  cultured and refined. Being placed in an eminent position for a long time, it was hard to stop being aloof and remote. So when he saw that she had clearly seen him, but deliberately did not pay attention to his appearance, his thin lips frowned. Then lifting his robe, he bent one knee, and stretching over a large slender hand, held her ankle beneath her skirt. With a soft knead, he then said,

“Still angry at me?”

Xiao Zao was at last unable to keep a straight face, and moved to retrieve her leg. However, he held it tightly, not allowing it to return, so she subconsciously blushed. When she did not speak, he no longer continued to ask, but merely kneaded her jade-like foot, and put on her fallen shoe for her. Finishing this, he sat beside her and said,

“You finally made a friend, but I am more important than you. Your friend was in trouble, how could I possibly not help you? But I am the master of the Ninth Heavenly Pavilion, and absolutely cannot favor any person. In this matter, it seems as if she was wrongly accused, so naturally, I will return her innocence.”

It was not that Xiao Zao did not understand his problem, but….

She lowered her head, and said,

“Then why didn’t you investigate the truth for me?”

She rarely asked him for anything, but this time with A Lian’s matter, she couldn’t find another person to help, and only had him to seek. Anyway, not only did he not agree to help, he did not allow her to go out either, so how could she not get angry. She spoke again,

“Imprisoned in that sort of place, A Lian is a small young woman. She would certainly be afraid, if bullied….”

“That will not happen.” Xiao Bai looked at her, “Even though I cannot let her out, I will guarantee she is safe and sound and in good health. This is still possible for me.”

“That Qu Zhu’s mother is Sovereign Rong Xu, and just like how A Lian is innocent, perhaps she is also just venting her anger,” Xiao Zao said.

Xiao Bai suddenly smiled as he glanced at her. Xiao Zao did not understand and gazed at him. He smiled and said,

“Now, unexpectedly your brain is clever, when can you also be so meticulous about my matter?”

Xiao Zao was somewhat angry. Because even for a person of better character, if such a big thing happened to their friend, they would have no free time to leisurely joke again too. But when all we said and done, she and him were childhood sweethearts, and to some extent she understood. Presently, she stayed at the Island of Immortals, and subconsciously believed he could also settle this matter, and so would absolutely not let her friend be wrongly accused in vain.

“Do you have any methods?” She asked. Xiao Bai did not want to upset her anymore, and so opened his mouth and said,

“It is possible for someone to rescue her, and that man is sure to rescue her.”

Hearing these words, Xiao Zao did not ask again. Xiao Bai walked forward, and saw her sitting calmly and quietly on top of the stone with the creases of worry between her brow slightly lessened. He was suddenly somewhat curious, and asked,

“Why are you letting it go, who would be able to rescue her?”

En? Xiao Zao turned her head, meeting his eyes, she smiled and said,

“…I believe you, Xiao Bai.”

Now that he said someone was going to save A Lian, then surely her mind would no longer be occupied with A Lian’s matter, so why should she ask again?

*****

When A Lian came out of the Secluded Department, Tian Luo cried endlessly outside, and said,

“A Lian, you finally came out. I was worried to death….”

Tian Luo had little courage, and so going out like this was a large matter. Earlier, she had already worriedly went around and around in circles. Originally there was also Xiao Zao, but then there was no trace of her, and so she thought the only method was with silver. Then going over to speak a few words to A Lian, she then knew A Lian had contact with High God Rong Lin, and ran to the Blue Wave pond to wait.

A Lian comfortingly said,

“You can see me now, aren’t I fine? Say no more…” She said this then glanced at High God, smiled and said, “High God is awesome.”

Naturally, Tian Luo embraced A Lian when she came out. As she gazed up at High God, she saw him enshrouded in splendor. In addition to already being good-looking, he also looked beautiful, and so she seemed increasingly low and insignificant. Tian Luo gratefully said,

“High God really is as good and kind as A Lian said.”

High God had lived thirty thousand years, and already a person’s age started to become sensitive. Otherwise, he would not just be celebrating his five hundredth birthday. So now naturally, Rong Lin did not respond to Tian Luo’s flattery, but merely pursed his thin lips and crossed his hands behind his back to stand, face eminent and arrogant, cold and cheerless.

Tian Luo nervously turned to A Lian to seek refuge, appealing for help with a look. Not waiting for A Lian to speak, in a cold tone Rong Lin said,

“The time is not early, and this matter has still not been thoroughly researched. Now that you’re out of the Secluded Department, ensure you will not go in again someday. I am busy with my official business, and won’t have idle time everyday to come over and bail out a fish.”

Tian Luo wanted to sob,

“Then what good is it?”

A Lian turned to look at Rong Lin. Afterwards, like Rong Lin, A Lian wanted to thoroughly investigate this matter. As for Tian Luo, she had worried for two days, yet with her meager cultivation she could not help to hurry anything, and soon afterwards she returned to rest.

Walking high on clouds, A Lian sighed again. High God’s magic really had no boundaries, turning her head to look at High God behind her, said,

“If only I could be like High God and use magic well.”

Looking at her adoring face, Rong Lin was mentally delighted, and was in a rare mood to chat with her,

“Then how did you come from Dongze Lake to the Ninth Heavenly Pavilion?”

A Lian earnestly replied,

“My magic is not good. So starting from a month before, I swam over together with big brother Bai Xun.”

Rong Lin was endowed with unusual talent. His appearance and family background were all entirely outstanding, in childhood he threw his peers into the Milky Way, and so naturally could not understand A Lian’s equally different living habits. His clothes were elegant, and his appearance incomparable.

Listening to her, he felt somewhat unfathomable, and could only think of one thing: this small fish demon swimming from Dongze Lake to the Ninth Heavenly Pavilion was foolish, and repeatedly had to keep down the corner of his mouth from rising.

Once again A Lian asked,

“How did High God get me out?” Tian Luo had asked her to say something before, but it was not an easy thing to do. She had committed a big offense, if not for that small elder brother seeing her pitiful face, he probably would not have let Tian Luo come in. However High God, in a few seconds time, had managed to carry her out.

Replying, Rong Lin said,

“As for that strange matter, although it was an accident, at the time you just happened to be at Qu Zhu’s side, but no one saw your hand moving. The Ninth Heavenly Pavilion is not a place that indiscriminately wrongly accuses people, but they locked you in, and decided that you committed a crime. However, ample evidence needs to be provided. At the present, they cannot detain you for any longer, as the detainee had already reached the two day time limit. As arresting the person and not releasing them naturally cannot be justified, I vouched on your behalf, and paid bail money. That’s how you came out.”

Hearing this, A Lian emotionally said,

“Making High God spend money…” She thought, and then said, “In total, how much money did High God spend? Someday, I will save the exact amount and return it to you. Rong Lin, contrary to expectations, was not polite, and informed her of the amount.

A Lian smiled, then after a long time said,

“I…” She also wanted to be brave but was unable to do anything about it, and with a drooping head said, “High God do you still lack a maid? The type that can swim?”

How could Rong Lin not know this small fish demon’s scheme? Saved by the beautiful hero, then giving one’s heart, this opera highlight was entirely worn out. In addition to wanting to benefit from intimacy with an influential person? She had actually made a good plan alone. Slightly raising an eyebrow, Rong Lin said,

“Slowly pay it back, it is always possible to redeem a debt.”

A Lian nodded.

A few times over the past year, the fish market had been in a slump, and the silver carp was not a rare breed, so even if she prostituted herself to repay High God’s debt it would also not be worth much. So it really seemed, High God was naturally at a loss. Many High Gods were often shrewd. How could it be possible to be with more money than sense?

*****

In the end, Rong Lin carried A Lian to Xiao Bai.

Xiao Bai had actually already respectfully waited for a long time. Moreover, this A Lian was Xiao Zao’s friend, he naturally couldn’t not help.

A Lian stood beside Rong Lin. Thinking that because of her own matter, she’d disturbed both of these honorable head elders, she was really ashamed. But Rong Lin had come to look for Xiao Bai, and because in here, Xiao Bai had the Flowing Light Mirror that could reverse time, to see what happened before.

A Lian cutely stood beside Rong Lin, and looked at the scene in the mirror with the two gods.

“Did you communicate with Qu Zhu before?” Xiao Bai asked. A Lian thought, then honestly explained,

“Senior brother Qu Zhu is very warm hearted. When I first came to the Ninth Heavenly Pavilion, he helped me quite a bit.     

Xiao Bai indifferently said,

“He was always warm-hearted towards good looking girls.”

A Lian paused, not knowing what that was all about, and subconsciously glanced at Rong Lin. Xiao Bai waved slightly, then looked into the Flowing Light Mirror. Soon afterwards a scene of A Lian and Qu Zhu talking appeared.

Since childhood, Qu Zhu was fully indulged and spoiled. Accustomed to being arrogant and willful, he was precisely the famous hedonistic son of rich parents from heaven. Usually behaving even more loose, how many women he’d taken liberties with was unknown. Presently, in the Flowing Light Mirror, it showed Qu Zhu repeatedly accidentally meeting A Lian, appearing immaculately dressed and stepping forward to strike up a conversation with her.

Xiao Bai pointed to the scene in the mirror, where Qu Zhu moved close to A Lian and seemingly said something in her ears, he then asked,

“What did he say to you then?”

A Lian carefully recalled, then with a slight ‘oh’, said,

“That day senior brother Qu Zhu asked if he and I could go somewhere together, he then contracted a fish pond on my behalf.”

“This is the same as a cultured degenerate, being alive is a waste of the Ninth Heavenly Pavilion’s rations, however, it unexpectedly had a clean death,” Rong Lin said.


Footnotes:

[1]Song Dynasty notes printed with silver with a value in silver.


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