Agarwood like Crumbs (沉香如屑) Novel Translations

Chapter 25: Jinghu Shuiyue

Reading Time: 10 minutes
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Yu Mo stood with his hands behind his back, and after a while, he replied slowly, “Since we’ve all come here, we just have to go all the way to the end?”

Yan Dan looked at him in surprise and asked, “Yu Mo?”

Yu Mo gently pushed her shoulder, “Let’s go.” 

Tao Ziqi rowed the boat to the center of the lake, suddenly pushed the oars, and jumped into the water with a thud. Ripples appeared on the calm water. Yu Mo supported the side of the boat and said lightly, “I’ll go down first.” After saying that, he also stepped into the water.

It was almost dusk now, and the pale red setting sun dyed the clouds a bright red color and even the green lake surface was bursting with thin red. Yan Dan lay on the side of the boat and looked into the water, looked up at the sky again, and couldn’t help but say, “If it’s a night with stars and moon, does that mean it’s not Jinghu Shuiyue**?”

(Jinghu Shuiyue translates directly to water moon mirror lake)

Tang Zhou looked at her delicate porcelain-white cheeks. When she smiled, the corners of her eyes would slightly curl up, so clear and innocent, she couldn’t help but whisper, “Why did you choose to come?”

Yan Dan shook her finger and said with a smile, “Don’t get me wrong, I’m not here for you. The first reason is to send you to see the girl in your dreams as soon as possible, and the second is that life is really boring and this happens to be exciting. ” She turned her head to look at the sunset in the sky, and then looked into the water, and murmured, “Strange, why did Yu Mo go for so long?”

She slowly put her hand into the water, dipped it twice, and suddenly drops of water splashed in front of her eyes. Yu Mo stuck his head out of the water, stretched his arms over the side of the boat, and let out a long breath, “Come down, I’ll lead the way.”

Yan Dan jumped off the boat and beckoned to Tang Zhou: “Come on.” She stretched out her hand to grab his wrist, and whispered, “Just hold your breath and follow me.” She watched Yu Mo sneak in first. In the water, he slowly sank his body. Looking up from the water, the lake water is crystal clear light blue, the bottom of the water is filled with white sand and stones, and the water plants waved from here to there. From time to time, slender and soft fish passed by.

Yu Mo crossed the water barrier and  Yan Dan followed suit. They saw a gorgeous palace not far in front of them with marble steps extending all the way into the water. After walking a few steps up, there saw a few wisps of clouds slowly drifting around their bodies.

All of this seems to be both real and illusory, as if walking on the misty clouds.

Outside the palace, there is a stone tablet with four ancient words: Jinghu Shuiyue.

Yan Dan turned her head to look at the lake behind her and saw that the crescent moon on the horizon was bright and clean, reflected in the lake, and the silver-white moon shadow slowly swayed with the water waves.

Tang Zhou whispered, “This is the Shenxiao Palace…”

“The first two times when I entered Shenxiao Palace, someone led the way for me, but not this time.” Yu Mo turned his head and frowned slightly, “Since the Palace Master Shenxiao wants to use your power to unlock the seal of the divine weapon, he must’ve also set up a mechanism inside…” Even before he finished speaking, he saw a figure in sackcloth and clogs suddenly appear at the gate of the palace. Through the clouds and mist, a man was walking around; his body light and elegant.

Yan Dan couldn’t help but say, “That’s… Wu Shun?! Didn’t he fall into the underground cave, so why is he here?” She chased him, but found that instead of shrinking the distance between them, the distance between them seemed to increase. The herb collector Wu Shun walked away quickly as if being led by something.

Tang Zhou looked at her and asked, “Are you mistaken?”

Yan Dan also had some doubts in her heart, so she could only say, “Maybe I saw wrong.”

“Yan Dan has always been meticulous. She usually doesn’t see things wrong, so that person is likely to be Wu Shun.” Yu Mo said lightly. 

Yan Dan was simply flattered, “I’m actually not as careful as you said, so thanks for the compliment.”

Although the Shenxiao Palace was already in front of them, and everything around them was pitch black and silent.

The three of them walked slowly in the darkness, and they could only hear a light sound when they landed. After walking a long way in this way, Yan Dan finally couldn’t help but say, “Why is it still dark here, there’s not even a single candle lit.” She just complained casually, but as soon as she finished speaking, she heard a chirp. Immediately, a candle was lit around them.

Yu Mo’s expression was a bit complicated, and he said bluntly, “Let’s go quickly, lest we don’t get caught in the dream…” Before he could finish a sentence, he heard a loud sound coming from both sides, and a large group of flames surged up, instantly burning the ground. Tang Zhou called out, “The ground here is actually made of iron!”

Yan Dan was quite sure that she must have committed some kind of evil in the past few days. At first, after a few steps, she didn’t feel anything, but after a while, she felt the fire burning under her feet. 

On both sides of the aisle, there was a raging fire, and the tongues of flames continued to swept toward them. Yan Dan could only smell a burnt smell, and she didn’t care where it came from, so long as she could only keep running forward. The only thing she is happy about is that she is a demon, which is more or less better than that of mortals in this hell.

In the blink of an eye, they were at the end of the aisle, but in front of them was a large vine of plum blossoms. The stake is as high as two people, and the bottom is densely packed with iron thorns. If one accidentally falls off the plum blossom vine they might not pierce their heart, but if they just stand firm when they fall, they will definitely pierce their feet.

Yan Dan hesitated for a while, wondering if she should find another way out. Yu Mo jumped onto the plum blossom pile without hesitation. Seeing that she was still in a daze, he couldn’t help but say angrily, “Hurry up!”

Yan Dan had no choice but to use her demonic energy to resist the wind, step on the stake, and look down, feeling a little terrified in her heart. The Palace Master Shenxiao could come up with this kind of test, which shows that there must be something wrong with him.

She saw that Tang Zhou didn’t even change his pacing when facing this piece of plum blossom pile, and passed by as if walking on the ground. Yan Dan said curiously, “Tang Zhou, you seem to be very good at this…”

Tang Zhou glanced back at her, and answered indifferently, “Everyone who practices martial arts has practiced the plum blossom pile, and my teacher used this a lot.”

YanDan suddenly heard a bang behind her and felt a huge heat wave coming from behind. All she smelled was sulfur. She was startled and hurried forward, and the heat wave behind her also followed closely. She didn’t have to look back to know what was going on: this Palace Master Shenxiao probably placed gunpowder at the door, and as soon as they came in, he lit the powder. 

The sound was deafening, and small flames kept rushing toward her. She could even smell the scorching smell of her hair, but the plum blossom pile in front of her was never-ending.

Yan Dan listened to the sound of the wind behind her, decisively avoided a few flames, and immediately stepped on the stake. Before she put all her weight on the stake, she jumped forward to another stake. 

She was getting better and better and is understanding why mortals practice these things. Suddenly, a figure flashes in front of her, and before even a blink of an eye, there is a tall figure standing on the plum blossom stake she was looking at. The tall and tall figure of Tsinghua Wanduan is the Palace Master Shenxiao!

Yan Tan was in the air and saw his face clearly: She had seen quite a few good-looking people and demons, but this was the first time she had ever seen such a person.

She watched the face get closer and closer to her, and even the tip of her nose was about to touch, she finally let out a small shriek, “Ah, go away, ah ah—”

When she was talking, the demonic energy on her body suddenly dissipated, her body sank, and she fell down immediately. Finally, she reacted very quickly, reached out, and grabbed right on the edge of the stake. She swayed twice in the air, and occasionally when she lowered her head, she immediately saw the iron thorns shining brightly underneath. She couldn’t help but tremble.

Tang Zhou’s voice was still far away, but before he finished his sentence, he was already close at hand, telling the Palace Master Shenxiao, “If you dare to step on her fingers, I will make you unable to unlock the seal of the divine weapon in this lifetime!”

Yan Dan was deeply moved. Although Tang Zhou does not treat her well on most days, he was still reliable at this critical moment. She stretched out her other hand with difficulty to grab onto the stake, only to see that the pair of dark green soft satin boots in front of her about to lift, as if ready to step on her fingers at any time. If he really stepped on it, should she not let go, or should she let go immediately? After all, if Palace Master Shenxiao stepped on her foot and she couldn’t hold on anymore, she might as well jump down from the beginning, to not lose face.

After a while, there was still no movement. Yan Dan felt that her arms becoming sore, and so she looked up and looked around, only to see that the Palace Master Shenxiao was still standing there. Yu Mo and Tang Zhou are standing in front of the palace master in a confrontational manner. Yan Dan sighed, if they kept standing like this, she didn’t know if she would be able to hold on for long enough.

During times like these, people can only rely on themselves, so Yan Dan said in a good voice, “Palace Master Shenxiao, may I ask you a question? Are you going to step on my fingers or withdraw your foot? Let me know first, so you don’t have to stand here, right? “

As soon as she finished speaking, Yu Mo looked at her with a fierce look.

Palace Master Shenxiao replied slowly, “I haven’t made up my mind yet.”

Yan Dan hesitated for a long time but still didn’t have the courage to provoke him, so she had to hang there resignedly. The only reason why she dared to provoke Zi Lin or Yu Mo was that she knew that they would give her a little pain at most and would never kill her. But she didn’t know what Palace Master Shenxiao would do. What’s more, angering the other party can only show that you are different from the others, but in the end, it will also make you many times more miserable than the others.

She clawed at the stake, gritted her teeth, and refused to let go. She has a sense of arrogance in her bones, and she can’t tolerate others looking down on her.

There was only a slight sound, like the sound of fabric rubbing, and she was suddenly dragged up. Yan Dan raised her head, saw Tang Zhou pulling her arm, and asked incredulously, “Palace Master Shenxiao is gone?”

Tang Zhou nodded and said with a slight smile, “You’re lucky, he just left.”

Yan Dan suddenly breathed a sigh of relief and murmured, “Just left…”

Whether it was Yu Mo or Tang Zhou, she at least knew how much stronger the other party was than herself, but when facing Palace Master Shenxiao, she had no clue at all, so she couldn’t help but be afraid.

At the end of the plum blossom pile, there is a palace paved with cold marble, quiet and silent. The faint lights flickered, reflecting on the marble slab like a ghost fire.

In front of them is a carved bronze door, and the door knocker is a lion with its mouth open and its fangs exposed. It looks like a living thing. And behind this door, what awaits them?

Tang Zhou looked at his companions and resolutely stepped forward and pushed open the bronze door. There was a heavy creaking sound and the door opened. The room in front of them was extremely elegant and simple, almost exactly the same as the one they saw in the tomb of the Empress in Qingshi Town. The only difference was that there was a stone tablet in the center. Inscribed with distorted and distorted text patterns.

In front of the stone monument stood a man in sackcloth, with a little muddy water on the hem of his clothes, looking small and wretched. He heard someone approaching behind him, but he just stared at the stone tablet, motionless. Yan Dan recognized the herb collector Wu Shun, took two steps forward, and asked curiously, “Why are you here?”

Wu Shun turned a deaf ear, still standing motionless.

Tang Zhou also felt strange and wanted to go forward to check, but he only took a few steps closer before the world was spinning, and there was chaos in front of him. It seemed like pure chaos. There was no light, no plants, only endless darkness. Powerless. He didn’t know where he was, so he could only let that mysterious force pull him.

This power is completely irresistible.

He vaguely heard Yan Dan’s voice, which seemed to be not far from him. Tang Zhou didn’t panic, almost as if he vaguely knew it would happen.

Looking back for the last time, he clearly saw an indescribably strange smile on the face of the herb collector Wu Shun, but his face suddenly changed, showing that ugly but clear face.

Palace Master Shenxiao watched the water ripples on the stone tablet gradually calm down, and whispered to himself, “Hopefully they can reach it safely…” He stretched out his hand and slowly untied the sackcloth linen, which was covered with a pale white exterior. The robe didn’t have any decorations- even the belt is white. Only human sacrifices would dress like this.

He lightly touched the strange inscription pattern on the stone tablet, and repeated the words slowly, “Chumo, the devil is born from the heart…” He suddenly froze, feeling a cold metal on his back. He didn’t even look back, and said lightly, “Is it you?”

“Honored lord, you never thought that one day you would end up in a situation where you will be pointed at by someone with a sword?” Tao Ziqi’s tone was icy and full of hatred, “I have been waiting for this day for a long time.”

“I only remember that I have always treated you well.” Palace Master Shenxiao slightly tilted his head, but unexpectedly saw the resentment on Tao Ziqi’s face. This kind of anger and hatred seemed to be inescapable.

“I used to be Zi Qi of the Nine Stars, but because of you…” Her face flushed, and a smile slowly bloomed in her eyes, “You don’t remember everything that happened in the battle between the immortals and demons back, right?”

Palace Master Shenxiao’s slow breathing suddenly froze for a while.

“I know you can’t remember it now and you won’t remember it in the future.” Tao Ziqi threw the long sword forward, “You should also accompany them down to the artifact! No one else in this world can tell you what happened back then. You can dwell on your guilt for the rest of your life!”

Palace Master Shenxiao took two steps forward and Tao Ziqi felt like the sky and the earth suddenly turned upside down, making her dizzy. He suddenly turned around, stretched out his fingers and clamped Tao Ziqi’s long sword, and slammed it hard. There was a  sound of the sword breaking, and the broken blade just pierced Tao Ziqi’s throat.

“What about being Zi Qi of the Nine Stars? Betrayal always has the same fate…”

The water pattern on the stone tablet suddenly calmed down and the broken sword fell down beside the stone.

Zi Qi lay down on the ground, tears falling from the corners of her eyes. Her throat was injured and she was dying. She could no longer speak clearly, and could only spit out a name quietly, “Jidu…”

*Jidu is one of the four groups of stars in ancient Chinese astrology*


Rosie is a high schooler struggling with balancing schoolwork, updating this blog, sports, and finding enough time to procrastinate. Her favorite cdramas include the Untamed, Ashes of Love, and Romance of Tiger and Rose. She also has a really cute cat named Mochi and a bunny named Bunny!

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