The next day, after watching Lin Mu go to work, Yan Xuanjing returned to the study and sorted out the letter. When he was preparing to go to the mountains and send the letter along with a thick stack of photos, Yan Gui quietly sneaked into the study.
Yan Xuanjing remained impassive as he quickly took a file to cover the stack of coloured photos, looked up at Yan Gui and asked, “what?”
“Bring a letter to your mother.” Yan Gui said as he took out the letter he had written, “I think your mother will like the current Central Plains.”
Yan Xuanjing looked at Yan Gui, “she doesn’t like humans.”
“She doesn’t like humans who aren’t good looking, and unfortunately, most humans are ordinary.”
Yan Gui said, casually sat down on the chair, and with a glance, saw Yan Xuanjing’s unpacked letter.
The letter was a little thick and had a lot of content, Yan Gui glanced at it and was a little surprised, “usually, you don’t speak much. Why are you so long-winded while writing a letter?”
Because it was more than just a letter.
Yan Xuanjing didn’t want to talk to Yan Gui, but he saw Yan Gui pick up what he had written and tilt his head slightly, “can I have a look?”
Yan Xuanjing paused and instinctively nodded.
After nodding, Yan Xuanjing realised that it was rare that Yan Gui would ask for his opinion — usually he simply did what he wanted and whatever he thought of, rarely going back to think about the other party’s feelings.
At least Yan Xuanjing didn’t feel as if Yan Gui had taken much of his feelings seriously before.
Yan Xuanjing looked at Yan Gui, who was seriously reading the letters he wrote. After a long silence, he finally went to pull a stool and sit opposite Yan Gui, who was showing a rare serious expression.
Yan Xuanjing once heard his mother said, at that time, Yan Gui had been chasing her for more than four hundred years, and she didn’t even give him a glance, purely considering him to be a bratty little brother that jumped around in front of her every day. If it wasn’t for his good looking face, she would have slapped it onto a wall so hard he wouldn’t even be able to peel it off.
In the end, the reason that she chose Yan Gui couldn’t have been simpler; because she accidentally saw a monster that went to beg Yan Gui for help.
In the words of Yan Xuanjing’s mother, it was as if Yan Gui was reborn, and his entire fox hand changed.
Completely changed, like from a husky to a wolf.
Yan Xuanjing had never seen Yan Gui’s serious side.
Except when he was very young, when he had been plotted against by a monster in their palace, and almost died.
But he was too young at that time and couldn’t really remember. Now, he could only get some glimpses from records during that period, about Yan Gui’s aggressive approach, and the atmosphere of crisis all over the country.
“This, you’re trying to change the Great Wilderness?” Yan Gui placed down the letter in his hand and asked, “your starting point?”
Yan Xuanjing didn’t intend to hide anything at all, and straightforwardly answered, “Lin Mu.”
Yan Gui reacted really quickly, and immediately understood what Yan Xuanjing meant.
He was definitely worried that Lin Mu would not be able to adapt to the Great Wilderness, so he simply tried to get rid of the places that Lin Mu might not be able to adapt to.
Yan Gui thought.
Just like when he was chasing after his wife back then, trying to pick the stars and the moon to woo her.
Yan Gui didn’t think that there was anything wrong with this starting point, and even thought that his son was indeed his son, and was extremely happy.
If Yan Xuanjing said that he cherished the world and wanted to create a peaceful world full of prosperity, Yan Xuanjing would think that there was something wrong with his brain.
“Difficult.” Yan Gui simply said.
“I saw the modern history of human beings. It only took them less than three hundred years ever since the first industrial revolution.” Yan Xuanjing said.
If monsters really wanted to do it, they should be faster.
The right to speak in the Great Wilderness, in the end, was in the hands of a few great monsters. It wasn’t exactly difficult to do something, yet it couldn’t be considered easy. It just needed them to be united.
Yan Xuanjing had not been exposed to this aspect before, and Yan Gui looked at his son, and also felt that it was time to tell him about the stakes in the middle.
For the first time, Yan Xuanjing talked to Yan Gui about such matters.
It was also the first time he thought that Yan Gui, this old fox, had the image of a ‘father’.
To use two words to describe what Yan Gui looked like in Yan Xuanjing’s eyes before, it probably would be ‘an idiot’.
After all, ever since getting beaten in his childhood memories, in his eyes, Yan Gui had never done anything reliable.
For example, running to the territories of other great monsters and getting dead drunk, then staying at their place not wanting to leave, Yan Gui would do such things every once in a while.
Before, nobody brought him back. However, Yan Xuanjing felt that it was quite shameful, so he would go and find his father to bring him back at regular intervals.
Yan Xuanjing felt that his personality was very different from that of his parents. It was probably because he had experienced too much as a child, and had been honed by life.
As he thought about it, he followed Yan Gui’s words and made changes to the outline that he had written. By the time they finally finished, it was already afternoon.
Yan Xuanjing put away the things in his hand, and placed his father’s letter into the envelope, and his eyes swept across the thick stack of colour photos in his hand, and hesitated for a moment on whether to send it.
Yan Gui pushed the fruits and snacks that the little Ginseng sent up, and after eating a piece of watermelon, proudly shook his head at Yan Xuanjing, “young little brat, you’re still too tender. Why haven’t you inherited your father’s intelligence and wisdom, which is almost seeping from my skin?”
Yan Xuanjing looked expressionlessly at Yan Gui, who had instantly changed back into his original style, “……”
“Sometimes, I really wonder if all your skill points were spent on your face.”
Yan Gui looked at the several scrapped versions of the outlines, sighed, and took out his phone to tap.
Yan Xuanjing glanced at it, and found that Yan Gui had opened a famous female mobile dress up game, and Yan Gui had made a few orders without even blinking.
“You’re currently spending my money,” Yan Xuanjing said.
Yan Gui looked up at his son, “nonsense! Clearly it’s Lin Mu’s!”
“No. ” Yan Xuanjing corrected him, “to be exact, it’s Di Wu.”
Yan Gui’s hands didn’t even stop, and he said extremely naturally, “I helped him so much, what’s wrong with spending his money!”
Yan Xuanjing nodded his head, then took the stack of colour photos without any change in his expression and turned to leave the study.
You’ve messed with me for so many years, so what if I messed with you a couple of times?
Yan Xuanjing entered the mountain, gave the monster in charge of delivering letters the very thick stack of information, thought for a bit, pulled out a pile of felted toys he had bought before from his small fabric bag, and under the slightly terrified eyes of the delivery monster, passed it all to him.
Nie Shen followed behind Lin Mu and made a report at the sub-district office.
Just like the last time he came, he quietly found a corner to sit down and stared at the picture in the pendant in a daze.
Da Hei gently nudged Lin Mu, “what’s going on with him? I think his situation was much better than the previous time he’s here, but why did he seal himself up even more?”
Lin Mu also didn’t know how to say it, after all, it was Nie Shen’s private affairs.
He only shook his head to indicate that he didn’t know anything.
There wasn’t much he could do, and simply went to the reference room on the second floor to take down all the materials related to the Shen and the luan phoenix, and looked at them with Nie Shen.
As a result of this investigation, Lin Mu found that the luan phoenix had registered at another unit about five hundred years ago. Over the years, she had helped with quite a lot of things, and also received many special medals from the human’s side.
“Looks like she’s quite a good monster.” Lin Mu said softly.
Nie Shen quietly flipped through the information, and didn’t answer nor speak.
Da Hei perked up his ears and listened to their movements, and couldn’t help but approach to take a look, “you’re checking up the luan phoenix?”
Lin Mu turned to glance at Nie Shen, only to see that Nie Shen was still focused on the information related to the Shen.
So Lin Mu turned to look at Da Hei and asked, “have you ever met the luan phoenix?”
“Yeah. She looks pretty nice, has a good character, only……” Da Hei scratched his head, “she’s always drinking.”
At the side, Wu Gui responded, “she’s improved a lot after having a child recently. You haven’t seen what she was like when she first came to the Central Plains. It hadn’t been long since she obtained spiritual awareness, and basically spent all day in a wine jar. If you asked her what was wrong, she wouldn’t say anything and would only cry.”
Lin Mu jolted, and Nie Shen raised his head and looked towards Wu Gui.
“……What that was about, did she say it later?” Lin Mu asked.
“She said that she was too incompetent, and couldn’t repay either kindness or revenge. She asked for help all over the realms, yet couldn’t even find her benefactor’s child.” At this point, Wu Gui looked up towards Nie Shen, and just remembered that Nie Shen was the Shen’s child, and the luan phoenix’s benefactor, was the Shen.
Thinking about Nie Shen’s experience, he clicked his tongue, and for a moment, didn’t know what to say.
Each person had their own destiny — luck, what was there to reason about?
Nie Shen just listened calmly, nodded calmly, as if he had accepted everything. Taking back his sight on Wu Gui, he continued to look at the information in front of him.
Taking advantage of his lunch break to buy Nie Shen a phone, Lin Mu taught him the basics, and Nie Shen quickly learned how to use it.
It was two days later when Lin Mu saw Nie Shen again.
He was standing outside the Lin Mu’s courtyard, and found Di Xiu who was using a couple of branches to play jump rope with Lin Mu and the little monsters.
Di Xiu stood in front of him, looked at Nie Shen, and frowned slightly.
“I’ve met the luan phoenix.” Nie Shen said, “she told me some things, and I’ve remembered some things too.”
The luan phoenix said that when the Shen got involved with the dispute between the two monsters that year, it was an unexpected disaster, an accident.
The entire Marsh of Dreams was a bystander caught in the crossfire, after the Shen died, the two monsters who were fighting next to the Marsh of Dreams also died before long.
At that time, the luan phoenix was born naturally weakened, and wasn’t able to cultivate yet. After the Shen died, she searched through the Marsh of Dreams for two years, but still couldn’t find Nie Shen.
The Shen had hidden Nie Shen, and nobody could find him.
No enemies had remained, and relatives had long disappeared.
Nie Shen had been alone for so many years, but had never felt more empty and lonely than he had at that moment.
He looked down at his own two hands and said, “I was hidden by my mother under the Marsh of Dreams. It was very safe there, and it was where my mother was born. There were illusions everywhere.”
Shen, this kind of monster, was born amidst the phantoms of the waters. She originally was an illusionary existence, and couldn’t even be called a living thing. However, amazing miracles had always happened in the world.
The Shen, was that miracle.
A monster formed from an illusion was different than anything tangible.
The Shen also had no common language with the monsters made by living creatures outside, and was happily spending her days in her own personal space.
But she was too special.
This kind of monster that could integrate herself with the air, that couldn’t be found by anyone but was everywhere, was too special.
Miracles within reach were always easily coveted.
His mother was very strong, but the young him was very weak.
Nie Shen remembered.
He remembered where his mother had hidden him, and remember who had tricked him out of his safe place, and tricked him into the ownerless lands, and remembered who had appeared beside him when he was so full of resentment, and told him that they were the same.
That voice said to him.
— We’re the same. Both of us were abandoned here, and everybody wants to kill us. The world didn’t care, so why not simply strike first?
Nie Shen remembered the voice that had tricked the young and ignorant him out of the Marsh of Dreams. Tricked him all the way to the ownerless lands. He looked up at Di Xiu, and said “I know how to deal with Di Wu’s resentful energy.”
“I’m going to kill him.”
Nie Shen’s voice was calm without any waves, just like a pool of stagnant water.
Di Xiu was silent for a long time, and sighed softly, “don’t exchange your life for his.”
“……Thank you.” Nie Shen dryly pulled at the corner of his mouth, looked at Di Xiu for a while, and said, “you’re all very good. If only I could meet you earlier.”
Unfortunately, his luck had always been bad.
But where could he go to reason about things like luck?
“Qingqiu Country — from the west city of Qingqiu Country, about six hundred miles to the south, there is a place called the Relaxed Emperor’s Valley.” Di Xiu looked at Nie Shen, and said gently, “if you have nowhere to go, you can go there.”
Nie Shen opened his mouth, and agreed.
Before his words even finished, his body suddenly dissipated, and rode the wind to the passage in the mountains.
Di Xiu stood in place and was in a daze for a while, before sighing softly.
Just as Lin Mu ran down the stairs, he found that Nie Shen was gone.
Lin Mu looked around, and before he could say anything, Di Xiu blocked his sight.
Di Xiu reached out, held Lin Mu in his virtual arms, smelled the scent of his bloodline in Lin Mu, and in a trance, thought fortunately, fortunately.
Fortunately, his child didn’t have to experience those things.
Fortunately, Lin Mu wasn’t left alone to suffer for hundreds of years.
Lin Mu subconsciously felt that the atmosphere was a bit wrong, and he whispered, “where is Nie Shen?”
“He went home.”
Di Xiu whispered.