Chapter 80 Hairpin
“My name is Yue Qiushuang.” The water ghost said in a sulky manner, “I was an….actor on the Eastern Continent Ghost Ship.”
The past events followed his words and formed its silhouette.
During the ghost chaos period, yin and yang were chaotic, and mountains and rivers collapsed.
The ghosts who escaped from the cycle of heaven and earth stayed in the world forever. They stole living people everywhere for food and used them as entertainment.
Yue Qiushuang was a living person who the ghost ship caught for the ghosts to use as entertainment.
He was born in Changlemen and was originally a music cultivator. He survived because he was good at music and dance.
Yue Qiushuang had no intention of looking for death because a ghost detained his younger sister. Thus, he had to drag out his existence.
His twin sister was called Yue Yudie- also a music cultivator. She looked very similar to him and was famous for her clear singing voice.
However, after Yue Yudie was caught on the ghost ship, she lost her voice because of the overwhelming panic when she saw the ghosts were eating people.
If the humans on the ghost ship couldn’t please the ghosts, they would end up miserably.
Yue Qiushuang could only surrender himself to the ghosts to save his sister.
The Eastern Continent Ghost Ship’s leader was Li Fei- a well-known ghost general then. He was very keen on raising singers and performers to appreciate music.
Li Fei said to Yue Qiushuang, who was kneeling on the ground: “If you want to save her, you will have to have the ability to replace her. You must sing with the same ability as her.”
Yue Qiushuang was silent for a moment and then said: “I can.”
He opened his mouth to sing.
Yue Qiushuang had never revealed his gift in singing at Qinggemen usually. Everyone only knew that he had a heavenly-sounding sister but didn’t know that he also had a beautiful voice.
He raised his voice, letting out a melodious and mellow female voice. It was light and very similar but more ambiguous to Yue Yudie’s voice.
The ghost general was very satisfied but said: “I could have accepted your request to save your sister’s life. However, I heard that you had been on the ship for half a month, but you always refused to appear on stage, very rebellious——” A cold sweat fell from Yue Qiu Shuang’s forehead: “From now on? I will definitely do my best to serve——” The ghost general laughed: “So, have your sister stay here as this general’s maid. If you play nicely, your sister will naturally be safe and sound. The general isn’t unkind, so how about you guys meet each other every three months?”
Yue Qiushuang knew that this was the only choice the ghost would give him.
He could only bow his head in thanks.
After that, Yue Qiushuang became a performer on the ghost ship to please the ghosts. He was responsible for two people’s lives. Once called, he would get up and dance. He had to go out early frequently and could only rest at night while completely exhausted.
Until one day, a young man came on the boat.
At that time, Xie Jiuyou was not the Great Emperor Netherworld who stunned the world. He was just a little daoist who broke into the ghost dwelling without knowing his limits and was caught by mistake.
Yue Qiushuang sang on the stage, while the ghosts tied up Xie Jiuyou and cut him into meat to taste.
The scene was quite bloody. Only, the more Qiu Shuang looked at such scenes, the more numb he became.
The people’s screams, the sound of cutting into the flesh, and his singing echoed on the ghost ship day after day.
Sometimes, Yue Qiu Shuang would think that maybe even he himself had already become a ghost on this ghost ship, no different from those ghosts.
But that day was different.
Yue Qiushuang didn’t hear the screams he was used to in the past. He looked down the stage in surprise. He saw the young man suspended on the wooden frame was boned and cut. However, his teeth were still closed without a word.
Yue Qiushuang saw a deep hatred and endless fire in the young man’s eyes.
…Just like himself many years ago.
After singing, Yue Qiushuang stepped off the stage and said to the ghost commander he was serving: “Can you leave some scraps for this slave? This slave wants to taste him.”
Li Fei said: “Slave Shuang, what do you want to use to exchange it?”
The ghosts can only taste the sweetness of bloody flesh, but they couldn’t taste other delicacies in the world, so there wasn’t a cook on the ghost ship. Those of them that the ghosts raised for entertainment could only be forced to eat the same food as the ghosts.
… And getting even this bit of food required them to put in the effort to please them.
Yue Qiushuang took off his clothes one by one and then jumped and danced. The silver bells that hung on his wrists and ankles made a pleasant sound along with his dance.
At the end of the dance, he crawled on the ground with his limbs twisted into a strange appearance. A living person’s limbs and the face covered with thick white powder without a trace of anger showed a strange beauty, which obviously pleased the ghosts with different aesthetics from the living person.
The ghost was in a good mood and gave him the reward of Xie Jiuyou, who had lost most of his flesh and blood.
Yue Qiushuang moved Xie Jiuyou back to where he lived.
When the ghost boat was singing and dancing, Xie Jiuyou’s eyes had been dug out. The meat of his ears, cheeks, lips, limbs, waist and abdomen were all fresh parts that ghosts liked to eat.
Yue Qiushuang could only help him bandage the wounds. Then, he fed him some of the meat porridge that the other party had saved before and left the rest to his fate.
And Xie Jiuyou really didn’t die. He managed to improve bit by bit even though the injury was so severe.
“Oh, so to speak, you are the savior of the slave?”
Shen Shu sat next to Ye Yunlan, bent his leg, and asked.
The water ghost in the lake nodded. He touched the paper crane in his hand. A thick white power covered his pale face. It acted as a mask and concealed all his expressions.
“He was hurt too badly. After waking up, he couldn’t see anything, listen to any sounds, or speak. I thought I had taken in something troublesome, but in the end, I picked him up and couldn’t just abandon him.”
“If I knew that I had saved a big man who could end the ghost chaos in the world then…” At this point, the water ghost laughed hoarsely, “Then I would have served him like a god and allowed him to eat and drink well, then he could leave the ghost ship safe and sound. He would go off on his great cause by himself. And me. I should die in a muddle-headed manner without leaving anything to worry about since I lived in a muddle-headed manner for so many years.”
Yue Qiushuang took care of Xie Jiuyou on the boat for three years.
Before Nascent Soul, if a cultivator’s limbs were damaged, it was difficult to regenerate. Xie Jiuyou was still young at that time and only had a Golden Core. He was unable to speak, hear, or see. The two could only write and communicate in each other’s palms.
He knew that Xie Jiuyou came from a declining immortal sect, and that ghosts had destroyed the immortal sect. He also knew that Xie Jiuyou’s lifelong wish was to avenge his master’s sect, destroy all ghosts in the world, and return the world to peace.
Xie Jiuyou asked how to call him.
He wrote in Xie Jiuyou’s palm: You can call me Ah Shuang.
Xie Jiuyou seriously wrote the words “Ah Shuang” in his palm and then wrote: Your previous singing voice was very beautiful.
Yue Qiushuang was startled.
He didn’t expect that Xie Jiuyou would still listen to his singing under such circumstances.
He had never sung in Changlemen, and the ghosts on the ghost ship treated people like animals. He could only feel the joking gazes of the ghosts in the audience. Occasionally, the tone would be of bitter punishment.
This was the first time someone said his singing was beautiful.
Xie Jiuyou also wrote: When you are usually on the boat, what else do you do besides singing songs?
Yue Qiushuang remembered the ugly manner of him dancing in front of the ghosts. He pursed his lips and wrote: I have nothing else to do.
Xie Jiuyou nodded.
Under his care, Xie Jiuyou’s injury gradually healed.
Although he still couldn’t see, listen, or speak, he was barely able to get up.
Every time Yue Qiu Shuang returned late at night, he saw the young man would be sitting by the bed and waiting for him.
The moonlight faintly hit the boy’s face. The hideous wounds on both sides had healed, and he could vaguely see a handsome appearance.
Although Yue Qiushuang was exhausted, he would still take some time to tell Xie Jiuyou about what he heard about the outside world on the ghost ship.
One day and night, Yue Qiushuang finished talking about the matter. Xie Jiuyou suddenly held his palm while he was undressed and lying down. Yue Qiushuang opened his eyes in surprise and felt Xie Jiuyou slowly write in his palm: Ah Shuang, you are so good to me. I don’t know how to repay you.
Yue Qiushuang was silent for a moment: I don’t need you to repay me.
Xie Jiuyou stood up and leaned in like a small animal beside him.
The young man closed his eyes, his eyelashes trembling lightly. His breath lightly hit his face.
Xie Jiuyou: Ah Shuang, can you tell me what you want most? Yue Qiushuang was silent for a long time before he wrote: What I want most is.
He was in a daze before he slowly wrote the word: “freedom.”
Xie Jiuyou: Okay. I will definitely rescue Ah Shuang from here when I resume my cultivation.
This time, Yue Qiushuang just smiled and touched the young man’s head.
He knew that Xie Jiuyou’s original cultivation base was only a Golden Core, but the lowest-level ghost on this ghost ship already had a Nascent Soul as its cultivation base.
Xie Jiuyou couldn’t save him.
If Yue Qiushuang’s own cultivation base was still there, there might be a way. He was famous when he was young. He was originally a genius in Changlemen, had an unparalleled gift in music and dance, and had reached the Nascent Soul Realm. However, his cultivation was broken after the ghost ship caught him.
The ghosts forced him to take the so-called “Eternal Life Pill” to maintain his youthful limbs and youthful appearance. Since then, the poison had infected him. He had to eat human blood and flesh like the ghosts to avoid the poison’s torture.
He didn’t tell Xie Jiuyou about this matter.
Just like how he never told Xie Jiuyou where the food he brought back to Xie Jiuyou came from.
The ghost ship had a lot of jubilation on the autumn moon’s 15th day. It was during the Ghost Festival.
Yue Qiushuang sang on the stage for a whole day. Then, he was called to the inner cabin to dance for the ghosts in the middle of the night.
He prostrated himself on the ground, a white flesh covered in blood and wine with wet, long hair that winded onto the ground—— those wines were what the ghosts threw at him when they were watching him dance with interest, something they referred to as “rewards.”
The scent of alcohol made him drunk, and he was bewildered. Then, he made eye contact with a maid who was coming from the outside to serve wine for the ghost.
The pot of wine in the maid’s hand fell to the ground with a huge cracking sound. The ghosts who were talking were silent for a moment. The maid had already knelt down and kept kowtowing towards Li Fei.
Yue Qiushuang saw the maid’s appearance and suddenly came to his senses.
That maid was his sister, Yue Yudie.
Because of the agreement with the ghost general Li Fei that year, Yue Qiushuang and Yue Yu Die would only see each other every three months.
At that time, Yue Qiushuang would always take care of himself neatly——at least to look like a brother, how could he be embarrassed like now.
In the chaos, Yue Qiushuang crawled over to Li Fei’s feet and asked to be punished on behalf of his sister.
If someone made a little mistake, Li Fei would usually break their neck and throw him into the sea. But maybe Li Fei was in a good mood that day, or Yue Qiushuang’s pleading gesture was too humble that day. Li Fei just stared at him with interest for a while, then agreed to his request.
Yue Qiushuang breathed a sigh of relief.
“You don’t seem to be afraid of what we were going to punish you with.” Li Fei said, “Yes, you have already received all the punishments on the boat. In that case, I will try something new today.”
He took out a bottle of powdered medicine and poured it into the whole wine jar. Then, he put the wine jar on Yue Qiu Shuang’s lips. “Drink it all.”
Then two ghost servants stepped forward, buckled Yue Qiu Shuang’s shoulders, and forced Yue Qiu Shuang to raise his head to accept the whole jar of wine.
“Everyone, during the ghost festival, we shouldn’t allow a small matter to disturb my spirits.” Li Fei said to the guests. He patted his head, “Slave Shuang, go, continue to dance for us. If it is not between 5-7am, you are not allowed to stop. Of course, it’s okay if you stop, but everytime you stop, your sister will lose a hand for holding wine. You can consider it.”
Blood wine had covered Yue Qiushuang, and his cheeks were already red. His head was dizzy. He leaned over to respond, then turned his head to look at his sister.
Yue Yudie bowed her head and knelt on the spot, cleaning up the wine pieces on the ground one by one. She seemed terrified, and her body trembled the entire time. She didn’t look at him.
Yue Qiushuang retracted his gaze. He shakily climbed up from the ground, then danced again.
The blood wine trickled down his body, and he suddenly felt an unbearable heat rising from his groin.
He finally realized what kind of medicine Li Fei gave him.
But he couldn’t stop dancing.
He felt as if he was in a blazing fire, and he could only continue to dance. He danced until the flames melted his legs, then he was forced to curl up on the ground. His soft limbs stretched into a twisted posture, still dancing.
He could feel the cold and sticky eyes of the ghosts freezing on him, accompanied by the sound of discussion and the blood wine that was splashing.
Ghosts didn’t have human desires. They just liked to see the appearances of people struggling. Yue Qiushuang had always rejoiced for this, but he hated it now.
He didn’t know how long it took, but the ghosts at the banquet gradually dispersed.
The sky’s light entered the cabin, and the autumn frost on the ground was splashed with cold water by the people who were cleaning the cabin. He regained a little of his sanity.
He staggered back to his room, vaguely seeing a person sitting next to the bed.
Xie Jiuyou was waiting for him as usual.
Today’s night was too long.
Yue Qiushuang wanted to turn around and go out. However, his mind, barely focused, was already hard to support. He stumbled over to the bed, curled his hands, and touched the person that sat by the bed.
Xie Jiuyou felt him, so he held his hand full of alcohol and hurriedly wrote in his palm. However, he couldn’t tell what the other party was writing.
He just approached with his drunken body, pushed the boy’s stiff body onto the bed, then sat down slowly while he cried, “I’m sorry?” under the torment of the pain and heat.
The young man’s body kept on being stiff, and he didn’t dare to move.
When everything subsided, Yue Qiu Shuang regained consciousness.
He realized that he had done something that couldn’t be forgiven. He was a villain who seeked recompensed and took advantage of people.
Even if it was himself.
He wrote “I’m sorry” in Xie Jiuyou’s palm while he was trembling. Then, he went to the water tank to fetch water with his weak body, but Xie Jiuyou suddenly grabbed him.
Xie Jiuyou wrote in his palm: Ah Shuang.
Yue Qiushuang was startled and once again wrote: Sorry.
Xie Jiuyou shook his head and wrote: Ah Shuang, I want to marry you.
Yue Qiushuang was stunned.
He didn’t understand: Why do you… want to marry me as your wife?
Xie Jiuyou: Ah Niang once told me that love and joy in this world should be a lifetime event for both parties. After this incident, one has to be responsible to the other party.
It turned out he was just following his family’s teachings.
Yue Qiushuang pursed his lips, and somehow, his heart felt a little sealed. He wrote: I don’t need you to be responsible. Besides, I forced you to do things you don’t like to do. I am the one who did the wrong thing, and I am also the one who should apologize. You don’t have to take any responsibility.
Xie Jiuyou wrote: But I like to do such things.
Yue Qiushuang opened his eyes in amazement, then he felt Xie Jiuyou continue to write in his palm stroke by stroke: Ah Shuang, I like you.
Yue Qiushuang’s face suddenly became hot.
He hurriedly wrote: “You are still young. The things of love in this world are not as simple as you think, so how can you easily marry?”
Xie Jiuyou: I am not far from the coming of age ceremony (20 years old). Besides, I have been thinking about it for a long time. Ah Shuang, I like you.
Yue Qiu Shuang: I am on a ghost boat, and I am an entertainer that indulges in evildoings. I am dirty, and my age is much older than yours. My cultivation has been scrapped, so I have no other ability. We are not a good match.
Xie Jiuyou wrote stroke by stroke: I know you weren’t willing. I don’t think you are dirty. I also don’t care about your age. I like your singing.
Yue Qiushuang shook his head: No, it shouldn’t be… it shouldn’t be like this.
Xie Jiuyou: If you like someone, why not? It’s natural for me to like Ah Shuang.
Yue Qiushuang’s face was flushed.
Xie Jiuyou couldn’t see his expression, and he leaned forward while only following his breath. He raised his face and gently touched his lips.
Yue Qiushuang… Yue Qiushuang ran away.
“That guy is quite straightforward,” Shen Shu said by the lakeside, playing with the grass stem in his hand, “I thought he was just a pretty boy before, but who thought that his tongue would be this smooth. After eating cleanly, his mouth wouldn’t be sparing. En, why are you staring at me like this? Did you agree?”
“Shen Shu.” Ye Yunlan scolded him in a low voice.
“Not at the beginning,” The water ghost retorted sullenly. He rubbed the paper crane in his hand, then continued for a while, “Later, I was punished because of something and had a high fever. He stayed up all night to take care of me. My heart felt soft for a while, so… I agreed.”