Agarwood like Crumbs (沉香如屑) Novel Translations

Chapter 26: A Chapter with No Responsibility- the Celestial Master and the Exorcism

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What is a celestial master? A mortal in Taoist robe, barefoot, holding a peach wood sword and a string of yellow paper spells while chanting.

Yan Dan looked at the young celestial master sitting in front of her and felt like the world was changing too fast and she couldn’t keep up with all the unique customs of the mortal world. Celestial master Tang Zhou is very young but he has already revealed his cunningness, although YanDan probably wouldn’t meet another person with a soul as pure as his.

Sitting beside her, Qin Qi was continuously trying to light a fire, saying irritably, “Who said there are ghosts here? We haven’t even seen a shadow of a ghost, and the sun will start rising if we wait longer!”

“The yin is at its peak when it’s midnight, and it’s not the time yet,” Tang Zhou replied.

Qin Qi clenched her fists and cracked her knuckles, “Well, I’m ready to catch any ghosts that come here.”

Yan Dan thought to herself, with a tyrant like Tang Zhou here, the ghosts wouldn’t dare to come out. Wasn’t there a saying that if you don’t do bad things during the day, then you shouldn’t be afraid of ghosts at night? The ghosts only have enough courage to frighten normal mortals with guilty consciences, but when they meet righteous people who aren’t afraid of them, the ghosts are too scared to come out. If Yan Dan were a ghost, she wouldn’t be willing to come out either.

“Miss Yan Dan, the wind is starting to pick up, so why don’t you sit here?” A new voice spoke up.

In addition to Tang Zhou and Qin Qi, another disciple from the Daochang Sect also followed. He was one of the younger juniors who was always looking at the ground and silent.

YanDan now noticed that she was sitting downwind to the fire, so if she wanted to sit upwind, then… she looked at the spot between Tang Zhou and Qin Qi.

It seems like… it’s better not to sit there.

Yan Dan waved her hand dismissively, “Thanks for thinking of me, but I’m not afraid of ashes and embers- hey, weren’t you the one at the dinner table that kept on staring at my chicken drumstick, but didn’t end up eating it?”

The younger brother’s face suddenly turned dark.

Tang Zhou moved to the side, “Come and sit here so you won’t make a mess.”

Yan Dan had no other options but to slowly move over and sit down.

While Qin Qi was looking at the other side, Tang Zhou suddenly whispered in her ear, “What are you afraid of, it’s not like the exorcism would work on you.”

Yan Dan hurriedly covered her ears and moved firmly to Qin Qi’s side. Mortals really are the most hypocritical people. In all of the books Yan Dan’d read, the mortals were nice to each other, but Tang Zhou was a whole ‘nother story.

After drinking a cup of tea, Qin Qi suddenly turned her head and stared at the junior disciple who was huddled to the side, “Hurry up and think of a method! If we continue like this, we’re going to have to wait until the year of the monkey in order to do the exorcism!”

“What to do… what to do… I heard from others that telling spooky ghost stories can draw out the ghosts. First put out the fire, and then light forty nine candles. After telling each ghost story, blow out a candle, and when the forty-ninth candle goes out, the ghosts will swarm up.”

Yan Dan sighed: Where the hell did he hear this? Even as one of the monsters, she has never heard of it.

Qin Qi rubbed her hands together, very interested in this method, “Okay, okay, let’s try it.”

Tang Zhou just sat there, neither agreeing nor disapproving, watching the two junior disciples picking up sand, putting out the fire, then placing dozens of candles on the ground.

Qin Qi finished placing the candles and was very excited, “Okay, who will tell the story first? Well, why don’t you do it first first, senior brother, and let’s go in a circle.”

Facing the flickering candle, Tang Zhou whispered, “Once upon a time, there was a couple who lived in the mountains and the closest village was over ten miles away. The couple had a very good relationship. When there is a market, they would exchange firewood and cloth for other necessities and even though they lived in poverty, they didn’t seem to care at all.

“One day, the man went to gather firewood and his wife waited from dusk until late at night for him to come back, but he didn’t. It rained heavily that night, she thought that maybe her husband was delayed because of the heavy rain. The next day was sunny but her husband was still nowhere to be seen, so she became anxious and rushed to the village.” Tang Zhou paused, glanced at Yan Dan, and continued, “Because the villagers liked the couple, there were many people in the village who were happy to talk to them. The woman soon found out that her husband had never been to this village yesterday. She was even more anxious when she thought of her husband being in the mountains for a whole day and night, without returning.”

The junior disciples listened in fascination and stared at him without blinking. Yan Dan looked at the candle in front of her- what did Tang Zhou mean when he looked at her just now? Was he mocking her secretly? Yan Dan doesn’t have a husband, she has never been to the mountains to collect firewood, and she doesn’t know how to weave cloth. If it’s just sarcasm, she would probably be able to detect it…

“The woman had to go to the mountains alone to look for him. In the end, she only found the ax her husband used, splattered with blood. She wanted to continue looking, but last night, it happened to rain heavily and his traces were washed away. There was nothing she could do except go home with tears in her eyes. After ten days had passed and her desperation was at its peak, her husband finally came back.”

“She was so overjoyed and asked him what happened. The man said that he lost his way in the mountains that day, and he saw a fire in the woods ahead, so he went in that direction. There were a few people sitting around the fire. Among them was a woodcutter named Huang Sheng who was from the village that was ten miles away, so he walked over and sat with them. Unexpectedly, one of the people sitting by the fire was a tall man who was eating steamed buns, but someone accidentally elbowed him and his head just fell off…”

Qin Qi couldn’t help but let out a cry while the other immediately retracted his head into his collar. Yan Dan pouted, thinking that there is nothing scary about this. She told the little wolf demon Dan Shu about a dozen or so of these stories years ago. Among them, there were quite a few stories about heads falling off. 

“He and Huang Sheng were stunned. After a while, the two of them ran away desperately, but the headless people chased after them. Ten days later, they found their way and were able to go home.” When Tang Zhou said this, he turned his head and looked at Yan Dan with a smile, “Although the husband’s words made sense, the woman still has some doubts in her heart, and after two days, her doubts have grown even more. Afterwards, the two of them weren’t as close as they used to be. When the woman went back to the market and saw Huang Sheng’s wife, she asked about it. She was shocked to find out that Huang Sheng had died a few days ago and when he was brought back, his head and body were detached. 

Yan Dan thought that, when Tang Zhou was telling the stories, he glanced at her often.

“The woman came home uneasy and saw her husband was looking down at the ground, searching for something. She didn’t dare to face her husband, so she turned around and walked out. But after walking two steps, she felt a pair of arms hug her. Her husband’s familiar voice rang in her ears…”

Tang Zhou suddenly leaned over, hugged Yan Dan’s waist from behind, and said slowly, “I lost my head somewhere, can you see it?”

Yan Dan was annoyed that Tang Zhou thought that this simple act would be enough to scare her. The story would be more interesting if she said something casually, so Yan Dan turned her head. Coincidentally, his lips were by her cheeks and as she turned her head, their lips touched. She jolted, pushed Tang Zhou away, and threw herself on Qin Qi’s side: “Where’s the water? That was disgusting…”

A water bag was handed over and Yan Dan took it without looking. She started to scrub her lips aggressively with water. This is horrifying: she’d just kissed a mortal, and it was Tang Zhou. Would scrubbing her lips one hundred times be enough?

Seeing her desperately scrubbing her lips, Tang Zhou frowned slightly and said in a low voice, “What you are holding seems to be my water bag.”

Yan Dan stopped so quickly it seemed like lightning had struck her. Yan Dan turned to look at him stiffly, “Huh?”

Tang Zhou turned his head to look at Qin Qi, “It seems that Yan Dan was frightened. Now it’s your turn to tell a story.”

Qin Qi patted Yan Dan’s back and said cheerfully, “Don’t be sad, it’s just a kiss. If you feel that you’re suffering, just kiss him back. Isn’t that right, senior brother?”

Tang Zhou was very useful, “Qin Qi is right.”

Yan Dan squatted on the ground with her head in her arms, heartbroken.

“…I just said to that ghost, what’s so great about having no legs? I don’t even have a chest yet…” Qin Qi exhaled, blew out a candle, and looked at her fellow junior brother, “It’s your turn .”

Another round came down, and there were only a dozen candles left on the ground.

Yan Dan still held her head desolately and squatted on the ground without saying a word.

Tang Zhou looked at her, raised his eyebrows slightly, and asked quietly, “What the hell are you doing? The kiss already happened and you washed your lips enough times. Do you actually care about these things?”

Yan Dan shifted her position: that’s right, she’s not one of those wimpy mortal girls and a kiss is nowhere as bad as losing a chunk of flesh. Even if it was gross, she’s going to have to endure it. She raised her head and smiled at Tang Zhou, “Of course not! “

“Well it seems like you care a lot. Could it be that it was your first kiss?” Tsk tsk, although his temper was horrible, his soul was still pure.

“No way!” Yan Dan quickly replied indignantly.

Tang Zhou’s face sank slightly, and he said blankly, “Really.” 

He leaned over, kissed her on the lips again, and said slowly, “Well, since you don’t care about these things, then another kiss won’t hurt.”

Yan Dan was stunned for a while, but quickly came back to her senses and rushed to Qin Qi’s side, “Water! Where is the water…”

Qin Qi looked at her and replied cheerfully, “Don’t wipe it off, just kiss him back. Although we are women, we can’t be bullied by men!”

And that was how Yan Dan spent the longest night of her life.

When the dawn came, groups of dark shadows shrank under the shade of the trees, whispering,

“Wow, those mortals are stupidly brave, how could they just come to the Ghost Forest to tell ghost stories…”

“Shut up, those are not ordinary mortals, they are celestial masters. They were born to bully us. If you see a celestial master in the future, you must run away quickly, or you will end up like that demon. Do you understand?”

“That demon is really pitiful. It was bitten twice by that male Celestial Master… that poor thing…”

“I thought the demons were so powerful- didn’t they have the same fear of celestial masters as we do? We should go to Kuanlan Mountain and fetch the mountain lord!”

Yan Dan crept up behind the group of ghosts, listening to their whispers.

She should have been more patient, but these ghosts were getting on her nerves.

Yan Dan walked quickly to the tree where the dark shadows gathered, and said in a cold voice, “I’m very pitiful, aren’t I? You wanted to go to Kuanlan Mountain and fetch the mountain lord, right?” 

She continued in an even lower voice, “Go kill yourselves!”

Hundreds of ghosts fled.


Qin Qi was in awe, “I used to think that Miss Yan was so delicate and soft, but I didn’t expect her to be so powerful. I really underestimated her.”

Tang Zhou said thoughtfully, “Well, she does seem very angry…”

Yan Dan stood there with her arms crossed. The large groups of black shadows were kneeling at her feet. The ghosts trembled and cried pitifully, “Please spare us… please spare us…”

After that, the ghost forest regained its tranquility.

Guys this is definitely my favorite chapter so far! We were awarded not only one, but two kisses! Yan Dan definitely has… great timing…

Chapter 27→


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.

2 thoughts on “Chapter 26: A Chapter with No Responsibility- the Celestial Master and the Exorcism”

  1. OMG this chapter is soooo cute! Yan Dan being so mad and scary that she scared all of the ghosts into submission is so funny 😀

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