Chapter 227: Back To That Key Moment ⑥
When Shang Ke regained consciousness once again, he had already entered the next world. His soul fused with a mushroom, automatically absorbed the essence of heaven and earth, and began to cultivate slowly.
Did he come to the world where Yan Lu was this time?
【Cultivation progress: 67%. Expected to be able to transform within thirty years.】 The system gave a friendly reminder.
Thirty years… Shang Ke felt a little dizzy thinking about the fact that he still has to be a mushroom for thirty years.
Did he travel back to the time before he met Yan Lu?
【It’s currently thirty years after Yan Lu overcame the heavenly tribulation and became a god.】
Shang Ke was first delighted at the news, then he started to worry. If Yan Lu became a God, doesn’t that mean that he has already entered the gods’ realm? He was still a little mushroom that can’t even transform, how long does he have to cultivate before he can start looking for Yan Lu?
【Please do not worry dear Host. Yan Lu forcefully overcame the heavenly tribulation after the ‘death’ of Host. but that resulted in the growth of his inner demons, causing him to massacre and greatly reduced his cultivation. He is currently still wandering in the cultivation world.】
What? What happened? Where is he now? Shang Ke ignored the gloating in the system’s tone. All he wanted to know is the current situation of Yan Lu.
【Dear Host, you should first cultivate without worries for now and go find him when you can transform.】 The system left this sentence and then went into hiding.
Shang Ke thought about it and tried to use his spiritual sense to look around for Yan Lu’s trace. With his current strength, his spiritual sense could only cover a radius of 5,000 meters. But he was not discouraged. Every day during his spare time after cultivation, he searched the area within his reach. He did so day after day and never stopped.
Two months later, Shang Ke finally found him outside a small city. But his appearance at that time, Shang Ke almost didn’t recognize him.
The once dashing and unrestrained Yan Lu who was known as the “Hidden Saint”, was now wandering around the mountains muddled and in ragged clothes and messy hair. As a high and mighty god, he should have been revered by all. But now, he was bullied by others and living like a beggar.
Shang Ke’s spiritual sense kept following him, watching him wander around and unknowingly experiencing the cruelty of the world. Shang Ke saw Yan Lu ate in the cold, slept in the open and wandered about, and his heart ached beyond measure.
After enduring for a month, Shang Ke finally couldn’t stand it any longer and decided to forcibly transform himself!
【Dear Host, forced transformation will have a serious impact on your future cultivation, please consider carefully. 】The system gave a timely reminder.
There are still 30 years to go before he could fully transform, how can Shang Ke leave Yan Lu to wander around like a madman for 30 years? It would be worthwhile to exchange a few hundred years of cultivation for a few decades of peaceful mind.
After deciding so, Shang Ke began to condense his demonic core and forcefully evolve despite the system’s advice.
Three days later, a dazzling white light suddenly shone at the cliffside. A blurry figure slowly condensed in the light, eventually transforming into a handsome young man.
The young man was naked with snow-like short hair dancing in the wind. He had an elegant posture, a great temperament and was charming.
The young man was the newly transformed mushroom spirit, Shang Ke. He used his power to create himself an illusion set of clothes, temporarily using it to cover his body.
At this moment, he caught a glimpse of a white figure out of the corner of his eye. When he looked towards it, he saw a round droopy-eared rabbit. It leaped over with a few jumps, rushed into Shang Ke’s arms like an arrow and bit him on the neck.
Where did this comical rabbit come from? Shang Ke grabbed it by the ears and removed it from his neck: “Have you come to deliver me your meat?”
The rabbit brandished its teeth and claws and looked fierce.
“Although I’m a mushroom now, I can’t just eat any rabbit.” Shang Ke looked at it in disdain and said, “Don’t think that our mushroom family is easy to bully, I’ve already broken out of the food chain and reached a height that you rabbits can’t reach.”
Not sure if the rabbit understood him or not, but it whined and gradually stopped struggling.
Shang Ke let it go and said in disgust, “Count yourself lucky. I’m a vegetarian these days and I’m not interested in rabbit meat. Go play by yourself.”
After saying so, Shang Ke no longer cared about it. He followed after the trace of Yan Lu.
Yan Lu was carrying three bags of sand and gravel at the moment, and was ignorantly driven by the foreman to follow the other laborers toward the shore. Two days ago, the foreman saw that he was strong but foolish, so he brought him back as free labor. As it turned out, not only was he strong and hardworking, he didn’t need any pay and ate very little. He was basically a good laborer that all foremen dreamed of.
With him on board, the work efficiency increased exponentially, and his share of the wages was kept by the foreman.
The foolish Yan Lu was completely unaware that he was being taken advantage of, and as long as no one took his ring, it doesn’t matter what he was made to do.
When Shang Ke found him, he was lying amongst a bunch of sweaty, smelly rough men, staring straight up at the thatched shed with his eyes wide open.
What the fuck! How the hell did you make yourself so miserable?
Shang Ke rushed over and embraced Yan Lu: “I finally found you.”
Shang Ke then took Yan Lu away from the construction site, out of the small town, and straight into the mountains.
When he arrived at the lake, Shang Ke took off Yan Lu’s tattered clothes, dragged him into the lake, and began to wash him.
Yan Lu’s originally long, straight and black hair was now covered with oil and dirt, and was tangled together like straws. The area around his mouth was covered by his cluster of beared, and his skin seemed to be covered with a layer of dirt. After a long time of vigorous scrubbing, Shang Ke barely managed to restore his original appearance.
Throughout the entire process, Yan Lu was very cooperative. Or rather, he didn’t have the awareness to resist at all.
Shang Ke cleaned him while feeling sad for him. It took a full two hours before he finally washed him clean and radiant. After helping Yan Lu put on new clothes, his former elegance could faintly be seen.
“Yan Lu, let’s settle down in this Great Shadow Mountain from now on.”
You have traveled too much, killed too many people, and suffered too much. Therefore, stop paying attention to the strife in the world anymore. Enjoy life leisurely, and cultivate slowly in a place isolated from the world.
Shang Ke built a teahouse in the mountains with bamboo to serve as home for the two of them.
It was late in the night when he finished arranging everything. Shang Ke suddenly felt a burst of fatigue. His body flickered and suddenly disappeared, leaving behind a pile of scattered clothes.
Yan Lu noticed that Shang Ke was gone after he blinked his eyes, and panic flashed in his eyes. He looked around helplessly.
“Here, over here.” Shang Ke’s voice came from below.
Yan Lu looked down and saw a small white mushroom standing in the middle of the courtyard, shaking its head at him, “Don’t worry, I will turn into a mushroom every few days, absorbing the earth’s energy to nurture my spirit. I will be able to transform again the next day.”
Yan Lu slowly lay down and leaned next to the little mushroom, looking at him intently.
“Don’t lie here, go back inside to sleep.” Shang Ke urged him.
Yan Lu seemed as if he didn’t hear Shang Ke as his eyes were still staring at him unblinkingly.
“Fine, as long as you’re happy. I’ll remember to plant myself in the house next time.”
The night breeze was gentle and the surrounding was quiet.
After a long period of time, Yan Lu, who had been silent throughout, suddenly murmured in a hoarse voice, “Little Mushroom, so you are Little Mushroom…”
His voice contained joy and also nostalgia, as if his heart that has been wandering for a long time finally went back to where it belongs…
The next day, Shang Ke transformed back into his human form and changed clothes for Yan Lu who was covered with mud. Then, he took him to the mountains to gather wild tea plants, along with some usable wood, ingredients, minerals, etcetera for their tea house.
The Great Shadow Mountain is lush with trees and rich in spiritual energy. There were naturally formed treasures all around. Of course, these natural resources and treasures are only seen this way for ordinary mortals. In the eyes of the cultivators, spiritual items that have grown for less than a hundred years are basically like wild vegetables and rocks to them.
Shang Ke wasn’t aiming to do things out of the ordinary. He just wanted to go with the flow and do whatever he wanted. The result was that a back basket simply wasn’t enough. He caught a glimpse of the storage ring in Yan Lu’s hand, so he casually asked: “Can I borrow your storage ring for a while?”.
Yan Lu quickly clenched his hands into fists and pulled them towards his chest, looking nervous as if fearful that it would be snatched away.
“Don’t be so petty. I’m just borrowing it, I won’t take it away.” Shang Ke discussed with him in amusement.
Yan Lu furrowed his eyebrows and hesitated for a long time before finally reaching out his hand in front of Shang Ke.
Shang Ke smiled and held his hand. The storage ring was the same one he had used before, and even the restrictions remained the same. With just a thought, Shang Ke’s spiritual sense entered the ring without any obstruction. Immediately after that, he was stunned by the mountain of mushrooms stored in the storage space.
Shang Ke lifted his head to look at Yan Lu, a little silver light flashing in his eyes.
Yan Lu still remained confused, completely unaware of Shang Ke’s inner shock.
“Come on, let’s go home.” Shang Ke didn’t use the ring, and just held Yan Lu’s hand tightly, leading him back towards the direction of their home.
In the evening, Shang Ke made a sumptuous dinner with the fresh ingredients he had gathered. Although Yan Lu was long past the stage that requires him to eat, it was still good to taste natural and unpolluted wild food occasionally. After the meal, Shang Ke brewed tea. They were surrounded by green mountains and blue water and could smell the fragrance of plants and flowers. It was as if they were one with nature and it was very comfortable.
Yan Lu seemed to like this feeling too. He held the cup of hot tea and leaned against Shang Ke, squinting his eyes with a satisfied expression.
Shang Ke checked his body. His cultivation has dropped a lot, and his power was impure and circulating disorderly. This was one of the reasons for his delirium. Unfortunately, Shang Ke’s current strength was not strong enough to help Yan Lu guide it. However, they had plenty of time and could slowly recuperate.
The two of them officially began their secluded life with no involvements with the outside world. The first thing Shang Ke did when he got up every day was to wash up Yan Lu and dress him up, then take him into the mountains to search for treasures. When they came back, they would either decorate their courtyard, develop new food, refine items, play the flute or go fishing… At night, he would turn into a small mushroom and sleep with Yan Lu.
After a few days of getting along, Yan Lu gradually became closer and closer to Shang Ke, from being a stranger at first, to almost being like a shadow as he followed Shang Ke around.
Half a month later, Shang Ke’s teahouse finally finished. All kinds of items were available. The bamboo leaves swayed, the breeze was refreshing, and the courtyard was decorated with flowers and filled with a pleasant aroma. The bamboo house stood quietly in the mountains, and sometimes you can hear the clear sound of wind chimes.
Yan Lu sat on a stone bench in the bamboo pavilion and looked at Shang Ke who was picking the tea leaves.
Shang Ke: “……”
He didn’t know what to say about this angelic silly smile…