Agarwood like Crumbs (沉香如屑) Novel Translations

Chapter 10: In Danger… Again

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YanDan knelt on the ground, trying to hide and use her demonic magic to heal her small wounds.

Tang Zhou didn’t pity her at all, but instead thought that she grabbed the skull just to scare the poor girl, and repeated his threat of putting her into the artifact again.

It’s so unfair how the universe treats YanDan like this.

Tang Zhou stood next to her, saying in a flat tone, “Are you done resting?”

YanDan didn’t move from the ground.

Tang Zhou tried saying in a nicer tone, “We should leave now.”

YanDan still didn’t move at all.

Tang Zhou suddenly grabbed her arm and hoisted her up. YanDan struggled for a moment or two, before realising that she couldn’t get away, so she turned around and whispered softly, “We studied in the mountain together, as childhood sweethearts, but now that there are more people around you, are you going to forget our pledge to each other?”

Tang Zhou looked at her, silent. YanDan almost sighed in anger.

He let go, throwing her onto the ground, before turning around and leaving.

YanDan hurriedly stood up. This time she’d done it, she’s doomed now. 

She was thrown to the ground by Tang Zhou, and her body still ached, so she couldn’t help but whisper, “I was just joking, there was no need for you to react that way…” She couldn’t wait for the day when she had infinite demonic powers, and then she could chop Tang Zhou into many pieces and bury him alive. After thinking this way for a while, the resentment in her heart lightened a little.

The three people walked in a long tunnel, and then the road in front of them split into two identical roads. YanDan, while the others were busy discussing which road to take, took a good look at the surroundings. No matter which road they take, there was a giant rock hoisted on the top, and once they went into one of the tunnels, the rock would fall, trapping them.

She walked forward a little, only to see that both roads had the giant dragon rock on top.

Tang Zhou looked at her, asking, “Which one would you choose?”

YanDan raised her head to look up, “None, we should just sit down.”

“Alright, then we’re going to choose the right tunnel, hopefully both tunnels lead to the same place.”

“But…”

YanDan sighed, thinking about how glorious she used to be, but now she was being bullied by a mortal. 

The tunnel on the right wasn’t that deep, and there was a tomb at the end. YanDan already had respect, a tomb like that took a lot of manpower and money to make. But when she saw the scene in the tomb, she couldn’t help but exclaim, “It’s so elegant!”

Compared to the previous one, the one with the blue glaze on the walls and pearls, one could almost say that the previous tomb was simple. This tomb was completely furnished, with matching tables and chairs, blue and white porcelain tea sets, white pottery vases, and a seven-string guqin, as well as a chessboard on top of the table. There wasn’t a shortage of anything there.

Tao Ziqi walked to the table and plucked a string on the guqin, “This guqin is made of paulownia and catalpa wood. The sound is also pleasant, which means the owner must have been really skilled.”

Tang Zhou stood by the wall, looking at the ink painting. There was a river filled with smoke and water, with green mountains made by powerful brush strokes. YanDan stared at it intently, “The place of life and death, night by the river of memory, the way of Huangchuan.”

Tao Ziqi looked at her puzziedly after hearing her words, “What did you say?”

YanDan smiled, “Miss Tao, would you believe it if I said that I went to the Netherworld Palace before?”

Tang Zhou sat down on a nearby seat, his face turning from bright red back to normal, saying, “It’s a bit too early to dream.”

YanDan spread her hands, “Alright, alright, I was just kidding, stop being so serious.” She turned and walked to the coffee table, stretching her hand out to rub the lotus flower engraved on the corner of the agarwood burner. She was almost in a trance, jumping up and down on the courtyard barefooted.

Suddenly, there was something cold on her forehead, and YanDan reached up to tear a piece of paper off. She brought it down and saw that it was a talism with an exorcism spell written on it. She hurriedly crumpled it into a ball and threw it towards Tang Zhou, “You- you- you…”

Tang Zhou held a straight face, “Your expression wasn’t right, and I thought you were possessed.”

YanDan didn’t say a word, and could only hold her anger inside.

Ziqi smiled a little, “Childe Tang, your junior disciple really is cute.”

Tang Zhou smiled reservedly, “She’s really spoiled and has a big temper.”

YanDan continued pretending to be dumb and deaf, but she felt like she was angry enough to burst.

Tang Zhou said, “Looks like the path ends here, so let’s turn back and take another look.”

The three of them walked back, but when they got to the original fork in the road, Tang Ziqi suddenly touched her hair, her expression shocked, “Oh no!” She bit her lip and whispered, “My hairpin’s gone, and it probably fell in that stone tomb from earlier… it was the only thing my mom left me, and I- I need to go back and find it.”

Tang Zhou saw that she was very nervous, and replied, “Miss Tao, you can rest here, I will go and find the hairpin for you.” Once he left, YanDan was dragged along unhappily, asking, “Brother, the girl was probably kidnapped here by the Lord of the Heavens. In fact, she’s like me, she cultivated to become a human.”

Tang Zhou looked her in the eye, “Miss Tao doesn’t have any demonic energy surrounding her though.”

YanDan held out her hand, “You smell it, I don’t have any demonic energy surrounding me either.” She had actually said that as a joke, but Tang Zhou actually sniffed her hand, knitting his eyebrows and saying, “Although you don’t have any demonic energy surrounding you, you still smell like a lotus. Is your true form a lotus?”

YanDan pointed above his head, “Look above your head, there’s Qianjin-broken dragon stones, and it has a lot of iron inside it. After you bring it down, no matter how powerful you are, it would be difficult to lift it back up. Do you want to guess when it will fall?” The moment her voice died down, there was a rumbling sound throughout the chamber.

Tang Zhou grabbed her wrist and walked forward quickly, listening to the endless rumbling noises and the vibrations underneath his feet getting bigger and bigger. It felt like the entire world was shaking and he unconsciously sped up even faster. The broken dragon stones fell behind him one after another.

They were getting closer and closer to the exit, only ten steps away. Tang Zhou pushed YanDan, “Quick, you go first!” Suddenly, there was a whoosh of wind and another dragon stone fell from the ceiling. Tang Zhou could only roll backwards as there was a loud bang and the boulder fell onto the ground, the light disappearing immediately.

He sat up, took his sword out of the scabbard and tried to slash the stone apart. There was a sound of gold clashing against iron, but it didn’t do anything. The stone, like YanDan said, was covered in a layer of iron.

“The most evil things in this world aren’t demons or devils, they are people. You believe that sentence now, right?” YanDan’s voice echoed in the dark tunnel.

Tang Zhou was quite surprised, “Why are you here?”

YanDan smiled a little, “I came here to tell you my reasoning.” She walked over slowly, “I hope Miss Tao is safe from danger.”

“So you’re saying that she wasn’t the one who placed the dragon stones? She didn’t deceive us into retrieving her hairpin?”

YanDan replied simply, “How am I supposed to know? Is there a difference?”

Is there a difference? Really? Tang Zhou closed his eyes and fell silent. In the cemetery, everything they encountered was confusing and complicated, and you can’t trust the people you traveled with, whether friends or enemies.

YanDan leaned against one of the broken dragon stones and said slowly, “There’s going to be less and less air and we’ll soon start suffocating and get a taste of being buried alive in this cemetery. I heard that when people get buried alive, they scratch and bite their surroundings. Sadly, there’s only rocks here.”

He opened his eyes slowly, but couldn’t see anything in the darkness of the room, “I was the one who caused this situation. If not for me, you would have been able to escape.”

YanDan replied softly, “Are you confused? With your five-step talisman, even if I wanted to escape, I wouldn’t be able to escape. If you change your mind, maybe you can let me go?”

Tang Zhou shook her shoulder, saying calmly yet coldly, “I was almost fooled by you. The moment I get rid of the talisman, then you would definitely leave.”

YanDan pouted, “We don’t know each other that well, why are you sitting so close to me?” She sighed, “Can we talk some more about the conditions?”

Tang Zhou laughed coldly, “Why should I listen to you?”

“You don’t have to. Anyways, I can live for twenty days without any water or food, so let’s have a competition on who could live the longest. As long as the person who set the talisman isn’t alive, then the talisman doesn’t work either.”

“Then right before I die, I can also take you along with me. Don’t forget that.”

After he said that to her, YanDan remembered something. Whoever shows that they’re afraid will lose their momentum first. This was related to her plan of escape, and she could not lose, “If that’s the case, then let’s try.” Sadly, the room was fully dark, but it would have been very fun to see Tang Zhou’s expression.

After a really long moment, Tang Zhou asked slowly, “Whatever your condition is, feel free to say it, as long as it’s not too long.”

Finally, she could gain an upper hand. YanDan smiled, “Is my companion truly safe? If you tell me the truth, I’ll immediately show you the exit.”

Tang Zhou was stunned. He didn’t think that she would say that, “I never even went after him.”

YanDan was suspicious, “Are you really that nice?”

He lightly coughed, “That fish demon jumped into the river. Was I supposed to jump in as well and chase him?”

YanDan instantly regretted it, if she knew this earlier, then she shouldn’t have chosen the mountain path in the first place. She murmured with dissatisfaction, “That YuMo… his luck really is good…” But after all, the burden in her heart was relieved, and she slowly stood up, “Hey, there’s someone coming.”

As soon as her voice fell, there was a rumbling sound, and the dragon stone was pulled up.

Not long after that, the giant boulder started moving, and as that boulder rose up, revealing a gorgeous young face, “The birds told me that there was someone trapped here, and they weren’t bad, so they wanted me to save them.”

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