Facing a crying young lady, Nie Shen was unmoved.
His expression didn’t twitch as he repeated, “you know the luan phoenix. What is your relationship with her?”
Lin Mu looked at the young lady, then looked at Nie Shen, and said, “you should use less strength.”
Nie Shen heard his words and slightly moved his line of sight.
“It’ll hurt.” Lin Mu reminded.
Nie Shen still seemed a little puzzled, but still used less strength, “what does her pain have to do with you?”
“What if she’s a human that the luan phoenix values?” Lin Mu said, picked up the phone and waved it in front of the young lady and simply talked towards the person on the other end, “hello?”
There was silence for two seconds on the other end of the phone, but in the end, there was still a reply, “hello.”
It was a woman with a very peaceful and clear voice, and just listening would make someone feel comfortable.
The young lady’s sobbing paused.
Lin Mu glanced at Nie Shen and asked, “we have no bad intentions, excuse me, you’re Miss Chen’s……”
“I’m the luan phoenix.” The other party was unexpectedly straightforward, and directly went straight to the point, “you’re looking for me?”
Lin Mu and Nie Shen paused.
Lin Mu looked at the word “Mama” on the screen, looked at the young lady who was sniffling and had her eyes brimming with tears, hesitated for a moment, and said, “I think that…… Miss Chen should be a human?”
“This has nothing to do with you.” The luan phoenix on the other end of the phone said, “who are you guys?”
Lin Mu looked up at Nie Shen, then asked, “just to confirm, you…… you1polite you. Lin Mu was using the regular form of you at first are the luan phoenix that came out from the Marsh of Dreams and recorded the Shen’s information?”
There was a long silence on the other side of the phone, before she answered softly, “yes.”
“That’s great.” Lin Mu breathed out a little sigh of relief, “do you still remember the Shen’s child? If there’s nothing wrong with his memories, his name should be Nie Shen.”
As soon as Lin Mu’s voice fell, a clanging noise came from the other end of the phone, as if something had just been knocked down.
The luan phoenix’s voice was slightly trembling, and she carefully asked, “is that child still here?”
“Yes,” Lin Mu said, and simply handed the phone to Nie Shen.
Nie Shen held the phone and was in a daze for some time, before he brought the phone to his ear. Frowning slightly, he didn’t say anything for a long while.
Lin Mu saw how Nie Shen seemed to look as if he was facing a formidable foe, yet still looked a little confused, and decided to give Nie Shen some space and turned to nudge the young lady away.
The young lady had stopped crying, but was still sniffling.
She walked forward, and said with a teary tone, “that’s my phone.”
“Nie Shen will return it later.” Lin Mu said, and he carefully examined the young lady over, and felt it was a little strange, “no matter how, you don’t look like a monster.”
So timid, a civil servant under the human’s side, and she reacted like how a cat sees a mouse when she saw a monster, and when she went up into the mountains where monsters gather, she still needed to rely on machines developed by humans to explore.
No matter how one looked at it, she was a perfectly normal human being.
The young lady sniffled and muttered in a soft voice, “my father is a human.”
“Half-monster?” Lin Mu paused, “how could a half-monster not be found out?”
The young lady tightened her grip on her backpack, “I want to grow old with my father, so my mother temporarily took away my monster blood, and would give if back to me after he leaves.”
Lin Mu heard her words and nodded.
He heard of such an operation, but it was something very difficult to regulate, and required a long time and fine control.
“So it’s like this.” Lin Mu nodded, and was a little envious, “that’s nice.”
The young lady felt that his words were a little strange, and turned her head to look at Lin Mu. Her eyes were a little red, and she asked vaguely, “what’s so nice?”
“Being able to be with your father and mother.” Lin Mu said.
If at that time, nothing had happened to his father, he would have wanted to do the same too.
Otherwise, letting his mother grow old alone would be too lonely.
As Lin Mu thought, he went to look for those trees that had attained spiritual wisdom, the ones the little Ginseng had taken him to see before.
The young lady followed him, carefully looked at him, looked down at the road, and carefully looked at him again, then mumbled, “your parents aren’t around? Then, that Nie Shen too?”
Lin Mu smiled at her, and didn’t answer.
The young lady lowered her head, looked down and concentrated on the road, went silent for a while, then said, “actually, I know about the Shen. The reason I called my mother was because you guys mentioned her.”
Lin Mu paused.
“My mother said, the Shen was a very, very good great monster. At the start, she was stolen from her nest by another monster when she was still an egg. Afterwards, the monsters started to fight, and she fell into the Marsh of Dreams. Her shell had shattered, and she was naturally born weak. It was the Shen who saved her, who gave her a place to live, which allowed her to grow up so well.”
Lin Mu listened quietly, and heard the young lady whisper, “that Nie Shen…… is the Shen’s child. Did he lead a bad life?”
“I don’t know what exactly happened. Perhaps you could ask him yourself — or ask you mother, what exactly happened in the first place.” Lin Mu said.
The young lady made a sound in response and stopped talking.
Her mother had often talked to her about what had happened in the Marsh of Dreams, but was always secretive about the Great Wilderness outside the Marsh of Dreams.
She always told her daughter to be extremely careful when she encountered a monster, and if she encountered a monster from the Great Wilderness, then she should use her magic treasure and directly escape.
In her eyes, her mother was almost omnipotent.
And because it was her omnipotent mother who had repeatedly instructed her, that she was so frightened in front of monsters.
But her mother would always talk about that gentle and kind monster.
In the heart of this young lady, the Shen had a perfect fairy tale image.
Gentle, magnificent, powerful, upon where all her fantasies about perfection were placed.
And now, the child of her perfect fantasy had appeared before her eyes, and his situation didn’t seem that good.
The Shen was dead. She knew.
The Shen’s child was a half-monster, and no matter whether he was in the Great Wilderness or not, his life wouldn’t be that good.
She looked down at the ground, thought about a half-monster’s circumstances that her seniors occasionally mentioned, thought about the warnings her mother had repeatedly given about being careful of monsters, thought about what Lin Mu and Nie Shen naturally said about monsters eating monsters, and her heart felt somewhat uncomfortable.
Lin Mu only felt that the young lady was a little quiet, and didn’t take it to heart.
He had managed to find a few trees, and after inquiring about the situation, he checked a lot of boxes in the files.
Whatever happened in the mountains, other than being unable to hide from the mountain god, one also could not hide from the vegetation.
Lin Mu listened as an old peach tree complained, “recently, the fog is too heavy, although the mountain had calmed down a lot after this monster came, but this heavy fog really isn’t suitable for us to grow……”
Lin Mu touched the branches of the old peach tree, and despite being noon, there was still a layer of wet droplets on the branches.
The old peach tree was still complaining, “he can’t understand us, Lin Mu, can you at least tell him not to do it from noon to night? I feel as if I won’t be able to bear any fruits next year.”
“Okay,” Lin Mu nodded.
“But don’t blame him. After he arrived, some monsters in the mountains said that there were hauntings in the night, and since couldn’t figure out the truth, so they didn’t dare to make any more trouble.” The old peach tree said, shook the water droplets off his tree, and continued in an elderly manner, “you should praise him for this.”
As Lin Mu responded, he helped prevent the water from dropping on the young lady.
The young lady whispered a thank you.
The old peach tree stopped shaking, his vast roots noticed a familiar aura, and he reminded, “your family’s nine-tailed fox has arrived.”
Lin Mu made a light noise of surprise, kept the files in his hands, looked around, and found Yan Xuanjing’s figure behind the mist.
With the black robe on him, he cut through the white mist, and slowly came over.
The young lady became extremely alert to this slightly strange character.
She turned to ask Lin Mu, “who is that?”
“En……” Lin Mu thought about the words for a moment, and replied, “family.”
The young lady jolted, “ay?”
Lin Mu added, “boyfriend.”
The young lady flushed, lowered her head, and stopped talking.
Lin Mu watched as Yan Xuanjing approached and was a little puzzled, “why did you come?”
“There’s a letter from the Great Wilderness.” Yan Xuanjing replied. His eyes flickered past the young lady, and he lifted the letter in his hand, “I heard you’re looking for the mountain god.”
Lin Mu first nodded, then asked, “who did you hear it from?”
“Wait.” Yan Xuanjing didn’t answer Lin Mu, looked around, and turned to follow the mountain god’s aura.
–As a matter of fact, he knew about it from the little Ginseng.
But it wasn’t about Lin Mu wanting to find the mountain god.
Instead, while he was lazily basking in the sun on the roof, the little Ginseng rushed into the yard with his short legs, and anxiously shouted, “Lin Mu’s having a date with a human girl in the mountains!”
Apparently, this was told to him by a little daisy in the mountains.
And the little daisy heard it from the Azalea.
And the Azalea heard it from a Camellia.
Yan Xuanjing didn’t really think that there was much truth to this matter. Even though he didn’t know everything about Lin Mu, but he knew that Lin Mu wouldn’t do such a thing.
But Yan Xuanjing still came, out of some unspeakable sourness.
Lin Mu looked at Yan Xuanjing’s back thoughtfully, raised his hand, patted the old peach tree, and asked, “are you guys whispering behind my back?”
The old peach tree shook his branches, “I heard those little fellas say that you cheated, and the nine-tailed fox came over to catch some adulterers…… or something.”
Lin Mu: “……”
Why are you trees so gossipy?
Was it because the sun wasn’t good or the dew wasn’t good?
The young lady watched Yan Xuanjing walked away, relaxed a little, and asked quietly, “what’s he going to do?”
“To look for the mountain god,” Lin Mu replied, “the mountain god knows a lot about what happens in the mountain, only, he doesn’t like to appear in front of people, so I can’t find him.”
When Yan Xuanjing returned with the mountain god, he instinctively took Lin Mu to his side, used the mountain god to separate them, and finally, the slight unhappiness in his heart disappeared a little.
Lin Mu looked at the mountain god, and found that he was in a daze, as if he hadn’t woken up, and was even stumbling when he walked.
Lin Mu tugged Yan Xuanjing’s sleeve, “what’s the matter?”
“Haven’t seen the sun for a few days,” Yan Xuanjing replied.
In days without sunshine, the mountain god would be less energetic.
Lin Mu watched as the mountain god finished speaking, then dazely took the files and pen in his hand, and as if he was drunk, waved his hand around and said very proudly, “the problem isn’t big! Steady on!”
Immediately after he spoke, the entire god fell on the ground and started snoring.
Yan Xuanjing: “……”
The young lady: “……”
“?” Lin Mu picked up everything that fell onto the ground and patted off the mud, then turned to look at the fox spirit, “I think he isn’t steady?”
Yan Xuanjing raised his eyebrows, reached out into the fog, and pulled.
The surrounding mist abruptly churned and blustered, like a fast forward video in a camera, and the mist that enveloped the Qingyao Mountain receded at a speed visible to the naked eye.
The sun started to spread across the mountains and forest again, and Lin Mu could practically hear the joyful cheers of the plants and trees.
Nie Shen was holding a phone, and was directly pulled out from the mist by Yan Xuanjing.
The fox spirit slowly took back his hand, and was very satisfied with the new tricks that he had learned from Yan Gui.
Nie Shen still seemed as if he hadn’t reacted to the change yet.
He was stunned for quite a while, passed the phone to the young lady, looked at the three people standing in a semi-circle, hesitated for a moment, and went up to fill the missing side.
The mountain god struggled and woke up, looked at the people in front of his eyes, was at a loss of a couple of seconds, then clapped his hands, “we can make a table of mah-jong.”
“We’re not here to play.” Lin Mu had heard about the mountain god’s hobbies from Yan Xuanjing, and quickly said, “we’re here to do the regular investigation.”
The mountain god slowly returned to his senses, patted his head, muttered as he accepted the file and pen in the other party’s hands, and started to recall.
Lin Mu looked at the young lady who was cross-checking with the mountain god, moved towards Yan Xuanjing, went up to his ear and started to whisper and explain about how Nie Shen had started to remember some things.
Lin Mu said, “just now, we managed to contact the luan phoenix.”
Nie Shen was daydreaming at the side, and only returned to his senses when he heard them mention him in their conversation, and looked towards Yan Xuanjing and Lin Mu.
“The luan phoenix asked to meet me two days later.” Nie Shen said.
“Here.” After speaking, Nie Shen closed his mouth and his sight fell onto the young lady and he frowned slightly, as if trying to remember something from her.
By the time the mountain god and the young lady had finished checking, the sky had gradually darkened.
The efficiency with the mountain god was very high, and even if there was a need to go to the scene to have a look, the mountain god could also take her directly to the spot, and once she checked it again with her equipment, it was basically done.
This kind of survey originally needed a week or two before it could be completed, but now, it had been completed in a day, which make people feel as if it wasn’t real.
The young lady looked at the file in her hand, scratched her head, and felt as if she could secretly give herself a vacation.
The several non-humans sent the young lady to the city, and reminded, “the luan phoenix will be here in a couple of days.”
The young lady nodded, and looked at Nie Shen who was walking behind them, hesitated for a long while, but still gritted her teeth and pulled out a small pendant in the shape of a book, and strode towards Nie Shen.
Nie Shen instinctively took two steps back, felt that this kind of retreating behaviour was quite shameful, and stopped.
The young lady passed the pendant to him, and said dully, “for you.”
Nie Shen took the pendant, and when he looked up, he saw that the young lady had hurried away.
Lin Mu looked at Nie Shen, who didn’t react to the young lady’s act at all, and only looked down at the pendant in his hand, then went up to tell him that he should open the clasp on the pendant.
Nie Shen nodded, followed Lin Mu and the rest as they went back to the yard. He stayed outside the yard, looked at the pendant in his hand, hesitated for a long while, but still unfastened the clasp and opened the little tiny book.
A huge scroll suddenly unfolded before his eyes.
Both the marsh and the sky were blue, and the sun that fell upon the watery mist had produced several huge colourful rays. There was vegetation that could be vaguely seen, at the bottom of the pool were some bright burning red flames that shouldn’t have been compatible with water.
There were cranes and herons that stood by the edge of the swamp with their heads raised, and there were many waterfowls stopping between the fields of reeds in the water, burying their heads in their wings as they quietly rested.
The luan phoenixes spread their wings across the sky above the water, and became the most gorgeous colour within the jade-like image of the Marsh of Dreams.
On the edge of the marsh closer to them, reeds and shallow shrubs grew freely, and there was a dilapidated ferry.
There was a figure standing on the ferry.
She had hair like a waterfall, and was shrouded in mist as she slightly raised her head to look at the luan phoenixes that flew across the sky. Her features were blurry, as if she had almost merged with this dream-like Marsh of Dreams.
Nie Shen stared at this image and started to fall into a daze, and it wasn’t until Lin Mu had ran out with a ragdoll cat in his left hand, a little fox in his right hand, and a dragon on his head, did he close the pendant.
Lin Mu had told his father and Yan Gui about what Nie Shen had said regarding Di Wu’s resentment, and at the same time, also called Di Wu and told him.
Yan Gui was licking his paws without caring about his image at all, and asked Nie Shen, “just to confirm, do you remember how you got together with Di Wu?”
Qin Chuan raised his tail angrily, “what do you mean get together! Have you properly studied language before!”
“Shut up.” Yan Gui used a paw and swept him off Lin Mu’s head, and turned to look at Nie Shen.
Nie Shen recalled for a while, “it was him who found me.”
“He? Took the initiative to find you?” Yan Gui asked.
Nie Shen nodded, “on the way back from the Kunlun Mountains I heard someone ask me if I wanted to find the Heavenly Emperor. He said he could help me, then, I followed the directions and found Di Wu.”
To be exact, it was Di Wu’s power and resentful energy.
Yan Gui grabbed his little paws, and acted very seriously, “ay, judging from my many years of experience, there’s a high chance that after so many years, the resentful energy grew a soul.”
Di Xiu observed and said, “he was looking for something, and found that it wasn’t in the Great Wilderness, so he wanted to go to the Central Plains.”
“Looking for Di Wu, he must definitely hate Di Wu.” Yan Gui lazily swished his big fluffy tail and gloated towards Lin Mu’s phone, “if he kills you, he’s the real one.”
On the other side of the phone, Di Wu was very calm: “blow him up for me.”
Yan Gui intended to do the same, but if the resentful energy formed a soul, it would be as if it was half of Di Wu.
Then, this idea would be a little different.
“Blowing him up is okay.” Yan Gui said, “but if he’s gone, the karma would fall on your head. Can you take it?”
On the other end of the phone, Di Wu looked at the last piece of body that he had found, felt his crumbling power that could only be considered a weak chicken to when he was at his peak, and felt as if darkness fell over him. He had never expected that he would meet such a situation, where he picked up a stone and hit his own feet.
He wouldn’t be able to stand it, nor could he fight it and win.
Di Wu took a deep breath and opened his phone’s photo album with a solemn expression.
Looks like he could only threaten Yan Gui with a little video to be his bodyguard, to barely maintain his life.
The author has this to say:
Yan Gui: ? [FoulLanguage.jpg.]
The translator has this to add:
GossipingTrees.jpg. No wonder the little Ginseng grew up to be a tattletale with all these gossiping plants.