When Yan Dan opened her eyes, the cabin was still pitch black, and she could hear the sound of water beating against the side of the boat. She lifted the boat curtain and stuck her head out. Yu Mo was standing at the bow of the boat with his hands behind his back, the silver-white moonlight shining on his sleeves. Hearing Yan Dan behind him, Yu Mo glanced back, and said in a flat tone, “You’re awake?”
This was the first year she met Yu Mo. Before she met Yu Mo, she’d always thought that a mountain lord was equivalent to the bully who occupies the mountain and since Yan Dan is a commoner and has no power, she couldn’t do anything about it. Fortunately, the two mountain lords she met weren’t that arrogant.
“What kind of good dream did you have?” Yu Mo lifted the hem of his clothes and sat down slowly, “You laughed so proudly in your dream and I couldn’t sleep even if I wanted to.”
Yan Dan had a good dream- a very good dream. In the dream, Zilin served her tea and water while Yu Mo gently peeled apples for her, and she could even be arrogant enough to tell them that peeling apples made them look like rabbits.
“Actually…it wasn’t a good dream, I just dreamed of apples…a lot of apples,” Yan Dan stammered and made things up on the spot. When Yu Mo gave her a look telling her to continue, even more cold sweat broke out, “Shanzhu, have you had a time when you really want to eat apples but can’t peel them, and you can only stare at a bunch of bright red apples in the end?”
[Shanzhu means Mountain Lord, but in chinese pinyin]
“If a mountain lord wants to eat apples, someone will naturally pick the best ones, peel them and cut them into small pieces. But I couldn’t peel apples, so I can only watch.”
Yu Mo nodded, his tone indifferent, “So, you laughed so proudly in your dream, just because you couldn’t see the apples but couldn’t eat them?”
Yan Dan felt a drop of cold sweat sliding down, and hurriedly continued, “Because I love apples so much, so it made me really happy to see so many at once. But suddenly I remembered that I couldn’t peel apples and then I woke up.” As soon as she said these words, she decided she never wanted to eat apples again.
Yu Mo smiled slowly.
In an instant, the moon became brighter, the wind was clearer, the river calmed down, and the tree branches were full of peach blossoms.
Yan Dan immediately praised, “Shanzhu, you look good when you smile.” The last time she praised Zilin like this, Zilin didn’t frown at her for at least a month.
“Really?” Yu Mo suddenly leaned closer, his clothes still had a faint scent of lotus, and his fingers brushed lightly over her black hair, his dark eyes staring into hers. Yan Dan’s heart suddenly thumped.
Then, Yu Mo stood up abruptly, brushed past her and entered the cabin.
Yan Dan breathed a sigh of relief, and when she looked back, she saw the curtain hanging outside the cabin swaying in the river wind, almost like a soul-calling banner.
The next day, Yan Dan finally understood the so-called “if you tell a lie, you must tell another hundred lies to make a full circle”. As soon as they arrived at the market in Nandu City, Yu Mo went to buy five catties of apples. Seeing his appearance, the aunt in charge of the stall immediately stuffed a few more big red ones into the basket. Yan Dan carried the basket of apples, feeling extremely bitter.
When she saw Yu Mo clumsily peeling apples, Yan Dan thought about how she would explain to Bailing the cuts on Yu Mo’s fingers? She remembered, before they left Kuanlun Mountain, Bai Ling had spent a whole hour listing out what Yu Mo loved to eat and what he wouldn’t. If Yu Mo came back with scars, then she would most definitely be punished.
Just as Yan Dan was worrying about this, Yu Mo brought up coldly, “A year ago, I was beaten back to my original form here.”
Yan Dan stared at his fingers, which nearly brushed the blade of the knife, and hurriedly grabbed his wrist, “Shanzhu, your fingers… don’t point the blade towards yourself.”
Yu Mo glanced at her lightly.
“If Shanzhu wants to eat apples, I can peel them.”
Yu Mo looked at her strangely, “Didn’t you tell me last night that you wouldn’t peel apples?”
“…I couldn’t before, but since I met the Mountain Master, I learned how to. It’s just that I didn’t remember it in my dreams.”
Yu Mo didn’t say anything and simply handed her the half-shaved apple and wiped his fingers with a towel. Yan Dan cut the apples after another into small pieces. When she was done, she put them on a plate, grabbed a thin bamboo stick, and delivered them to Yu Mo, “Shanzhu, what did you say about coming to this southern capital a year ago…”
Yu Mo replied without hesitation, “I was beaten back to my original form at that time, and it took me almost half a year to recover from that.”
Yan Dan was very distressed, how should she respond to this statement? Just as she was completely engrossed in her thoughts, Yu Mo held her finger lightly. His voice was low and sweet, “Be careful with the knife.”
Yan Dan’s hand trembled, and the knife slipped out of her hands and fell to the ground. She said, “Shanzhu…” Normally, Yu Mo went on his adventures alone, and would once in a while bring Bailing with him. Yan Dan had only known him for such a short time, yet she already had the opportunity to go on adventures with him. She couldn’t help but wonder if Yu Mo felt affection towards her.
“What?” He let go of her hand as if nothing had happened.
Yan Dan thought about it for a while, and decided that she didn’t have the courage to ask. Suddenly, the boat shook aggressively and Yan Dan bumped her head on Yu Mo’s shoulder. Yu Mo turned around and raised the boat curtain to see what was going on. The stern of the boat was stuck in the turning river and had struck a peach blossom branch. He stood at the stern and used the paddle to move them away from the branch and they slowly drifted away from shore.
When Yu Mo grabbed the peach blossom branch and then turned around, handing it to Yan Dan.
She took the flower branch in her hand and smiled, “Thank you.”
The boat left the shore and rowed towards the center of the lake. Yan Dan turned her head and saw that there were two boats not too far away. One of the boats seemed to be chasing the other, with the people on that boat waving their swords around murderously. The pair on the boat looked extremely scared. She asked, “Shanzhu, can I go and help the two over there?”
She made up her mind that if Yu Mo disagreed, she would just pretend like she didn’t hear him. Unexpectedly, Yu Mo jumped into the water cleanly, without saying a word, leaving only a small splash on the water surface.
“…” She just asked if she could go to help them, so why did Yu Mo jump down? Yan Dan had no choice but to row the boat towards the sinking boat, “Come on board, if you wait any longer, your boat will sink completely.” She stood close now and saw that the woman’s beauty and the man’s handsomeness matched perfectly with each other.
The woman took her hand and jumped onto the boat. Yan Dan immediately felt the demonic energy in her body, and knew the girl was also a part of the floral demon clan. The man also stepped on the board, and the hull only sank slightly, which shows that his cultivation is very high. Yan Dan suddenly remembered that she’d stayed in the southern capital for a while, when she heard about the two infamous noble sons, Pei Luo and Qin Tuo. Pei Luo is the Young Master of Xiangguo, and she’d seen him from far away. Back then, he was surrounded by pink and red willows, and looked as if he didn’t care about anything and was happy. Yan Dan looked at the two of them holding hands, and thought, after only two or three years of cultivation, this Young Master Pei has changed so much.
Just as she was thinking about it, a thin man with his hand cuffed and feet bound was thrown onto the boat, causing the boat to shake violently, almost capsizing it. Yan Dan squatted down and looked at the man, and then at the corpse floating on the water. There was a bright peach blossom embedded in each person’s forehead, and the slowly oozing blood dyed the petals. Yan Dan sighed, Yu Mo used extremely brutal forms of murder, yet isn’t afraid of being struck by thunder.
With a bang, Yu Mo got on the boat, soaking wet from the water. The girl said in amazement, “Yu Mo?”
Wait, they actually know each other? Yu Mo didn’t say a word, and just lifted the boat curtain and entered the cabin.
There had been many times when Yu Mo had seen a live-or-death situation, but didn’t do anything about it, so why was he so gracious enough to save these people this time? What’s more, his sorcery is extremely flamboyant, if it’s not violent storms then it’s Qinlong Linyuan, so why does he know such an elegant and delicate peach blossom demon? There must be some form of adultery involved.
She looked at the beautiful flower girl, and then at Pei Luo, and sighed slowly: although Yu Mo isn’t in a relationship, it’s clear that he already likes someone. The word “love” truly kills the most people. She suddenly remembered Bailing saying that Yu Mo likes tall, charming, obedient and gentle women, and this flower demon girl is exactly that. How could Yu Mo like someone like Yan Dan, who always made him angry, has a bad temper, is disobedient, and isn’t good at cultivation? …Stop, why does she choose to do such a cruel self-analysis when she’s bored?
Yan Dan took out the dagger from her sleeve, cut off the cloth strips that bound the assassin, and said in a good voice, “Our shanzhu has a bad temper, sorry for the rudeness. Why don’t you come in and have a drink? Hot tea to drive away the cold.”
Pei Luo asked softly, “Mountain Lord?”
Yan Dan saw that the girl’s face changed slightly and knew that the young master Pei wasn’t aware the person beside him was a demon, so she smiled innocently, “What mountain master? I was just talking about our Gong zi.” She turned her head and looked at the girl, asking, “I said ‘son’ earlier, right?” The other party only nodded silently.
Yan Dan lowered her head and looked at the assassin again, pointed the shiny dagger at him, and asked slowly, “Tell me, did I say the word “mountain lord” just now?” The assassin immediately shook his head.
Yan Dan smiled slightly, and said softly, “Young master, I think you heard me wrong.”
Pei Luo was silent.
Yan Dan looked at the assassin and was very happy. He was able to catch on to clues very easily, and she liked him very much.
While they were talking, Yu Mo had already changed his clothes. He came out of the cabin and declared, “You two, please come in. Forgive me for the poor reception.”
Yan Dan patted the assassin lightly on the shoulder and said with a smile: “Do you know why my son only left you alive? Think before you talk, okay?”
The assassin raised his head, looked at Yu Mo, and couldn’t help but shake in fear. Yan Dan understood it very well: even if this mortal is brave, who wouldn’t be frightened when they see Yu Mo’s blood-red eyes? “You’re shaking quite badly, so do you want me to help you into the cabin?”
A slight problem was Young Master Pei’s interrogation skills weren’t good and they barely got any information from the assassin.
Yan Dan pouted slightly, and tried to speak several times, but held back when Yu Mo looked at her.
The assassin suddenly said loudly, “What’s the matter with death, I’m not afraid of it at all!”
Yan Dan was very happy and she clapped her hands a few times, praising, “With such courage and backbone, just die- that way at least you won’t lose your honor as a man!”
She put down the teacup, leaned over slowly, and smiled, “When the physical torturing starts next, make sure you’re still this brave.”
Yu Mo looked at her without speaking.
Seeing that he didn’t look angry, Yan Dan turned around and pulled out a kitchen knife. She swayed it in front of the assassin’s eyes and patted him lightly with the other hand, “I heard the flesh of martial artists tend to be tougher, so I guess that’s true.”
The assassin looked calm and scoffed loudly, “You’re just a weak little girl. You probably don’t even know how to use a knife.”
Yan Dan immediately put on a surprised look, “How did you know? My Gong zi always said that I was extremely inaccurate with the knife. Obviously, it should be easy to kill someone with a knife, but the only thing I can do is give them hundreds of cuts, but I’m never able to kill them.”
“Don’t be afraid, it’ll be fine after a little bit of pain. I’ll give you medicine later to make sure you keep your life.”
She turned to look at Yu Mo, and asked softly, “Master, how about we eat dumplings for lunch? There are ready-made dumpling fillings here.”
Even if they didn’t encounter this situation, they would have eaten dumplings anyways. The menu that Bailing gave her was too complicated and she naturally changed all of them. She expected Yu Mo to speak up about it, but he didn’t say anything.
Yu Mo said with a smile, “Okay, but what will we eat tomorrow?”
Yan Dan replied with a smile, “Of course, this person is quite healthy, so we probably have enough food for ten to fourteen days. I often hear other people talking about the flesh on the thigh being the toughest, so we should start with that.” She compared the blade to the assassin’s thigh.
Pei Luo reached out and squeezed the assassin’s chin, “This will prevent him from biting his tongue and committing suicide.”
Yan Dan raised the kitchen knife, and before she could cut it, the man’s eyes rolled up and he passed out. She felt regretful. She originally wanted to do the trick fully, but he fainted before the opening. Yan Dan raised the kitchen knife to show the others, “I didn’t even start cutting yet and he already passed out.”
By the time the man woke up, it was almost lunch time. Yan Dan brought out the chopping board to chop the meat and noodles. The assassin slowly opened his eyes and looked at her blankly. She smiled sweetly at him, “You’re finally awake! I’m wrapping the dumplings, so how many do you want to eat?”
The man = passed out again.
She rolled up her sleeves, revealing a pair of white wrists, and started to wrap the pork, cabbage and green bean stuffing in the dumpling skin. Afterwards, she boiled a pot of water. Thinking that the man was about to wake up, she leaned over him while holding a kitchen knife. When the assassin opened his eyes again, he would see Yan Dan looking down on him while holding a knife, saying “It seems that the dumpling filling isn’t enough… so I’ll need to borrow some of your flesh. Don’t worry, I’ll cut here and then I will sprinkle Jinchuang medicine on it, and I won’t let you die.”
This time, the man finally held on tight and didn’t pass out. He screamed, but he couldn’t seem to speak.
“I’ll tell you! I’ll tell you everything!” The man shouted in horror.
Yan Dan smiled, “You used to be so courageous and strong, but now… It’s only a little bit of pain, so why bother begging otherwise? Don’t worry, I will cut it lightly.”
The assassin didn’t even wait for her to finish talking, and told her everything. Yan Dan retreated dejectedly to the side of the pot with the boiling water, and poured in the dumplings.
After Young Master Pei finished asking the last question, the two people were about to leave. The beautiful Hua Jing girl gently held Yan Dan’s hand, which made her feel proud: their floral clan members really were beauties.
Yan Dan asked quietly, “What is Yu Mo’s real body?” Although she knew that Zilin’s real body was a mountain turtle, she still didn’t know what Yu Mo’s was.
That girl looked at Yu Mo and then at the water. Yan Dan suddenly realized: no wonder Bailing Qian Wan told me not to put the fish on the table.