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The Thrush Chapter 31

The Kiss of Death 

This fierce battle was not only unprecedented and never to be duplicated, but it was also an amazing battle, the pinnacle of the earthly world. The changes within were so fantastic that perhaps unless one was on site, one would not be able to experience.

Watching this, Gong Nanyan was wide-eyed, slack-jawed, the lake water immediately choked her throat, yet she was nearly totally oblivious. She really could not think of anyone in the world who could fight against Yin Ji, the ‘Water Matriarch’.

She could not have imagined even more that this person unexpectedly did not seem to have fallen into a disadvantageous position.

In the swirling water, she could not make out Chu Liuxiang’s figure or face at all, but she vaguely remembered Chu Liuxiang in her heart …

She remembered his charming smile and lazy demeanor.

“Chu Liuxiang, this must be Chu Liuxiang.”

Other than Chu Liuxiang, who in the world had the ability to contend against ‘Shui Mu’?

Actually, by this time Chu Liuxiang was already suffering unspeakable misery, if it wasn’t for his quick wit in meeting a contingency, which enabled him to fully exploit the power of the water, perhaps he would have been buried at the bottom of the water early on.

He only felt that the pressure that his body had to bear was getting stronger and stronger, the blood vessels in his whole body seemed to be about to split, and his nose was about to choke.

Only now did he know that fighting underwater, he was equally without any hope to survive.

Shui Mu‘s palm power was originally trained in the water. Other people’s palm power could not be unleashed underwater, but her palm power was only reduced.

Chu Liuxiang only felt that the water all around him seemed to be getting thicker and thicker, as thick as noodles, and his figure was gradually getting sluggish, gradually unable to move.

He knew he had reached the brink of death.

Who would have thought that ‘Shui Mu’ Yin Ji’s movement unexpectedly was also slowing down, her each and every movement gradually appearing to produce less than desirable power.

Chu Liuxiang was both surprised and delighted. He was originally unable to guess how could Shui Mu‘s abundant internal power be consumed so quickly, but he immediately understood that it was not that Yin Ji’s power was exhausted, rather, she was out of breath.

Chu Liuxiang has mastered some kind of mysterious breathing method. He breathed in water almost as freely as he did on land, but other people were different.

Moreover, when one was in fierce fighting, he would need sufficient ‘qi’ even more. This was also one of the important keys to victory or defeat, success or failure.

The ‘qi’ within Yin Ji’s body was draining rapidly, this moment it was nearly exhausted completely. Some kind of an irresistible feeling of tiredness already arose in her body, she felt dizzy and wanted to lie down.

Chu Liuxiang knew that if he let her go out of the water to have a breather, he would undoubtedly lose, because ‘qi’ could be exchanged, but ‘power’ could not be exchanged. [Translator’s note: it’s hard to carry through to English, because English does not have a specific word for ‘qi’ (or ‘chi’), which is used mainly in martial arts or traditional Chinese medicine; but ‘qi’ itself can also mean ‘air’ as in ‘breathing’. The phrase ‘to exchange qi’ is similar to taking a breath in swimming.]

Whatever the case, he must not let her take a breath.

He saw Yin Ji’s body suddenly flipped over, her upper body bent backward, the back of her leg upright, in an instant she sent out nine kicks. Although these nine kicks could not topple Chu Liuxiang, but the kick produced a series of bubbles, and each bubble carried a powerful true qi, which hit Chu Liuxiang like iron bullets.

Actually, it should not be difficult for Chu Liuxiang to dodge, but if he relaxed his assault, Yin Ji would borrow the reaction force of the kick to rush out of the surface of the water.

As soon as the series of bubbles shot out, her person surged upward like a rocket.

It appeared that Chu Liuxiang was already unable to stop her. In a moment of desperation, unexpectedly he disregarded everything to rush up and hugged her pair of legs tightly.

Yin Ji never imagined that Chu Liuxiang would employ such a risky, such a rascally style. In panic, she did not know how to get out of this difficult situation. In the meantime, her body had been dragged down by Chu Liuxiang.

She was both shocked and angry, her palm slapped the top of Chu Liuxiang’s head.

Chu Liuxiang hugged her legs with both hands; he was unable to block, but did not dare to let go either, because as soon as his hands loosened, Yin Ji’s legs would kick his vital part.

He could only use his head to bump Yin Ji’s stomach. As a result, Yin Ji’s body was pushed backwards, so that she could not continue this palm strike.

This kind of style was even more absurd; Yin Ji was so angry that she felt her whole body went numb.

Other than Xiong Niangzi, in all her life she had been hugged by men like this several times. [I thought she hated men?] Perhaps it was because her qi exhausted, her whole body unexpectedly was so weak that she was unable to exert the slightest bit of strength.

It wasn’t that Chu Liuxiang himself did not feel that using such a style was unavoidably somewhat shameful, but when a person was struggling to seek survival, how could he still care about anything else?

The moment Yin Ji’s body bent backward, he rushed up to hug her pair of hands together with her person tightly, also used his two legs to wind around her legs.

He was just like an octopus, wrapping himself around Yin Ji so that she could not even move.

Only to see that Yin Ji’s eyes were gradually turning white, the corners of her mouth emitted bubbles. Before long, she would inevitably suffocate to death.

Chu Liuxiang saw that he was going to prevail. Although the victory this time was not too glorious, but after all, victory is victory. No matter what kind of victory, at least it would be much better than defeat.

Who would have thought that right this moment, Chu Liuxiang suddenly felt a burst of powerful force rushing up from underneath his body, sending both of them dashing upward.

Turned out that unconsciously, they had reached the exit of the water channel where the stone slab was standing at the center of the lake. As soon as Gong Nanyan connected the hub, the fountain at the center of the lake rose up again like an arrow.

In an instant, both Chu Liuxiang and Yin Ji would be washed up to the surface of the lake.

Chu Liuxiang knew that as soon as he let Yin Ji took a breath, he would not be able to hold her anymore, but at this time he absolutely must not let go of his hands.

He saw a bright light; they already rushed out of the lake.

Chu Liuxiang no longer cared about anything else, suddenly he lifted his head up, using his mouth he tightly covered Yin Ji’s mouth, and using his nose he tightly pressed against Yin Ji’s nose.

No matter what, he must not let Yin Ji breathe.

The Divine Water Palace disciples were originally scattered everywhere, some were under the trees, some by the lake, but now gradually they were coming together.

These lonely girls only felt the need for others when they are frightened. Turns out fear, more than happiness, can make people gather together.

This is perhaps the reason why most people feel unhappy.

When they discovered that the water of the lake was gradually calming down, unwittingly they were also gradually dispersing. Some were secretly rejoicing that the danger had passed.

Who would have thought that at this moment, the water column in the center of the lake suddenly soared into the sky.

This fountain jet of water originally appeared only when the ‘Water Matriarch’ Yin Ji appeared, they never imagined that unexpectedly there would be two people on the column of water this time.

In addition to Shui Mu, unexpectedly there was a man.

The man unexpectedly was hugging Shui Mu tightly, and was kissing her sweetly.

The Divine Water Palace disciples were all astonished that they stared blankly. Even if the heaven fell and earth rent [idiom], the mountains and rivers changed color, they would never be this shocked.

How could the ‘Water Matriarch’, who absolutely detested men, who has always been sacred and inviolable, be so intimate with a man? Who was this man?

They could not take their eyes off of them.

Kisses are sweet.

But kissing under dozens of pairs of eyes was not a pleasant thing, not to mention that this kiss did not have the slightest bit of sweetness at all.

This kiss was the kiss of death.

Another kind of cruel beauty.

Cruel charm.

If one had never experienced it, one would never be able to have a taste of the pain in it. Among hundreds of millions of people, how many can actually experience it?

Chu Liuxiang originally did this in his struggle for survival, but at this moment, for some reason, there was some kind of peculiar feeling in his heart that he was unable to describe.

The momentum of the water surged under him like fire.

Yin Ji’s body gradually softened.

Her face was originally blushing deep red, but this moment it gradually turned pale.

Chu Liuxiang did not dare to close his eyes. Every muscle on her face was trembling, Chu Liuxiang could see everything clearly; each time her heart was beating, Chu Liuxiang could also hear it very clearly.

Chu Liuxiang originally thought she was a staunch, determined woman with strong self-control.

But now that he was so close to her, he suddenly felt that she had become very weak and pitiful, really was no different from any other woman.

No matter how great a woman is, she will become tiny in the arms of a man.

This is a truth that has not changed throughout the ages, and it is also a very interesting thing. If it were not for this, the world might not be ruled by men. [Disclaimer: this is the author’s original view, it does not represent the translator’s view … ]

Chu Liuxiang could not bear to let her die in his arms.

But as soon as he let go, he would die.

If Yin Ji’s choked breathing suddenly dispersed, the formidable power would definitely not be something that Chu Liuxiang could resist, he was afraid that he would immediately be shocked that he was all split up and in pieces.

Between their life and death, there was nearly any distance.

Yin Ji was also staring at Chu Liuxiang.

Her eyes were originally full of anger and bitter resentment, but the feeling of death has gradually conquered her, even ‘hate’, she was lacking the strength to ‘hate’.

She could not help revealing some kind of sad, begging-for-pity expression in her eyes. Chu Liuxiang suddenly found a drop of sparkling and translucent tear that flowed out of her eyes.

Teardrop rolling down on her pale face.

Death is fair. In the face of death, the greatest person would also become ordinary.

Chu Liuxiang’s hands gradually loosened.

At this moment, he could have killed her with a heavy hand, or at least tapped her acupoint first, because Yin Ji had completely lost the strength to resist.

But he did not do that. He was really unable to hurt a woman who was shedding tears. In all his life, he had never done that.

Chu Liuxiang was actually not as cold and detached and ruthless as the legend said, but neither he was as smart as the legend said; from time to time, he might do some stupid things.

But right this moment, the column of water supporting them suddenly disappeared. Chu Liuxiang and Yin Ji immediately fell from the air, ‘Plop!’ they landed in the water.

He seemed to have completely forgotten where he was, he seemed to be completely caught off guard. Unexpectedly he nearly fainted from the shock, and Yin Ji in his bosom was also shaken and blown away.

He only felt a hand stretch out underwater and sealed his acupoint. At this instant, he suddenly remembered a saying, he had forgotten who said it, but he remembered every word clearly.

‘Women’s tears are always the most effective weapon against men.’

When Chu Liuxiang opened her eyes, Gong Nanyan was looking at him with a cold laugh.

He had returned to Shui Mu‘s bedroom again, and Yin Ji was also sitting cross-legged opposite him. There was absolutely no expression on her face, she seemed to have recovered her grim and staunch character.

Gong Nanyan spoke coldly, “I have said long ago that no one can occupy the advantageous position at the Shen Shui Gong, even the triumph-in-every-battle Chu Liuxiang is not an exception.”

She stared at Chu Liuxiang and continued word by word, “Now, do you admit that you have been defeated?”

Chu Liuxiang sighed, he said, “It seems that I have no choice but to admit it.”

Gong Nanyan said, “What do you have to say for yourself?”

Smiling ruefully, Chu Liuxiang said, “I have nothing more to say.”

Gong Nanyan laughed proudly, she turned around to look at Yin Ji and said, “What do you say, how are we going to punish him?”

Yin Ji was silent for half a day, then she slowly said, “This person was captured by you, you should make the decision.”

A hint of vicious smile appeared in Gong Nanyan’s eyes, she said, “Very well, just hand him over to me!”

She had just walked toward Chu Liuxiang, Yin Ji suddenly said again, “Are you going to deal with him the same way you were dealing with Xiong Niangzi?”

Gong Nanyan was stunned, her countenance gradually changed, she let out a long, long breath and said, “Did he tell you that?”

Yin Ji said, “Did you not expect that he would see your secret?”

Gong Nanyan did not answer, Chu Liuxiang could clearly see that gradually her fingers were shaking, and gradually they were tightening, her knuckles were turning white.

Half a day later, suddenly she spoke sternly, “That’s right, I killed that man. If I was wrong by killing him, there’s no harm in paying for his life with mine. But a man who peeks at other people’s secrets should also die.”

Her fingers suddenly straightened, forming a palm chop, she slashed down at Chu Liuxiang.

But before this hand touched Chu Liuxiang’s throat, her person was already flying out. Nobody knew since when, but Yin Ji had already leapt, her face was still expressionless.

‘Bang!’ Gong Nanyan slammed onto the stone wall and then slumped down to the ground. Staring at Yin Ji in shock, her eyes were brimming with bewildered and disbelief expression, she spoke in trembling voice, “You … you?”

Yin Ji said, “I …”

Tears suddenly flowed out of Gong Nanyan’s eyes, she said, “How could you … how could you have the heart to attack me?”

Yin Ji said, “How could you have the heart to attack him?”

Gong Nanyan spoke hoarsely, “He? Which ‘he’? Chu Liuxiang, or Xiong Niangzi?”

Yin Ji was silent, but Chu Liuxiang could see that her hands had begun to tremble.

Gong Nanyan roared, “Turns out you still love him? Turns out I’m just his substitute. You unexpectedly did not hesitate to kill me to avenge him, but do you know that I killed him for you?”

Yin Ji heaved a sigh, she said, “I know.”

Gong Nanyan said, “Then why do you still want to … want to …”

Yin Ji said, “If you did not kill him, perhaps I would kill him, but since you killed him, I must avenge him. No matter who killed him, I must avenge him.”

Gong Nanyan pondered silently for half a day, she spoke sadly, “I already understand what you mean.”

This was actually not difficult to understand. Just like a child who did something bad, while admittedly his parents must beat him and punish him, but if someone else beats him, as the parents, not only they feel heartache, they might even go to that person to stake their life against him. This is ‘love’, which is always hard to fathom, yet no one can deny its existence.

Yin Ji sighed and said, “You understand, that would be best, I was hoping you would understand.”

Gong Nanyan said, “But don’t you forget, if it wasn’t for me, you …”

Yin Ji said, “I also know that you saved me, but that’s another matter, I will bury you well.”

Gong Nanyan pondered silently for a long time again, she smiled in distress and said, “Only now do I really understand why you want to kill me.”

“Oh?” Yin Ji said.

Gong Nanyan said, “You want to kill me, precisely because I saved you.”

“Oh?” Yin Ji said.

Gong Nanyan said, “After I die, no one will ever know that you were defeated by Chu Liuxiang, and no one will know that I once saved you. You can never bear the disgrace of defeat; therefore, you simply must kill me.”

Yin Ji let out a long, long sigh and said, “You’ve always been smart, maybe too smart.”

Gong Nanyan stared blankly, she muttered, “Whether I am actually smart of stupid, even I myself don’t know.” She closed her eyes and no longer talk; she could no longer talk.

Silence, a suffocating silence.

Even Chu Liuxiang did not want to break the silence, maybe he did not dare.

After a long time, Yin Ji suddenly turned around and stared at Chu Liuxiang, she said, “You think I killed her really because she saved me?”

Chu Liuxiang pondered a moment, he said, “I don’t think you are that kind of a person.”

Yin Ji said, “Could it be that her understanding of me was not as clear as yours?”

Chu Liuxiang said, “That is because she herself was that kind of a person, hence she saw you to be the same as her.”

Yin Ji’s empty eyes stared blankly into the distance, she muttered, “That’s right, it’s precisely because you’re not that kind of person that you say I am not that kind of person either. If you were that kind of person, perhaps she practically would not have any chance to save me.”

If Chu Liuxiang was such a vicious person, perhaps she would have already died under Chu Liuxiang’s hands, but Chu Liuxiang never thought that unexpectedly she also knew that.

Naturally he hoped that Yin Ji was not that kind of person, because if Yin Ji was the same as what Gong Nanyan said, she would surely kill him to silence him.

But was Yin Ji really not that kind of person? Chu Liuxiang practically did not know, he only knew that his life was already in Yin Ji’s hands.

He already tasted the saltiness of his own cold sweat.

Half a day later, Yin Ji suddenly asked again, “Do you know why you were defeated this time?”

Smiling wryly, Chu Liuxiang said, “Whether I know or not, what’s the difference?”

Yin Ji said, “You ought to know, you were defeated this time, it was just because your heart is too soft.”

Chu Liuxiang said, “What about you? Could it be that your heart is never soft?”

Yin Ji was silent for a long time, suddenly she laughed coldly and said, “My heart? Do you think I still have a heart?”

Chu Liuxiang sighed, his heart already sank down.

He thought this time he really had no hope.

Who would have thought that Yin Ji continued sadly, “Just because I have nothing left, your life and death don’t matter to me anymore, so much so that I don’t even feel like killing you.”

She suddenly slapped backhandedly, slapping open Chu Liuxiang’s acupoint.

Chu Liuxiang was staring blankly for half a day, he said, “You … could it be that you already think about …”

Yin Ji suddenly spoke sternly, “What I am thinking, it has nothing to do with you. Quickly go, don’t wait for me to change my mind.”

She called a panicked disciple to come in and said, “Take this person to your San Shijie [Third Senior Sister].”

Chu Liuxiang adjusted his clothes, he bowed and said, “Thank you, Gongzhu.”

But by this time, Yin Ji was already like an old monk entering a meditative state, as if she never wanted to wake up again.

The stone door gradually closed, gradually blocking Chu Liuxiang’s line of sight, isolating the ‘Water Matriarch’ Yin Ji inside the door, not only isolated the entire world, but also isolated her life.

This door was made by herself.

Chu Liuxiang sighed, knowing that hereafter perhaps no one would see her again. If he had never met Yin Ji, he definitely would not feel the slightest bit of regret.

But now, somehow, he felt a little sad in his heart.

The Divine Water Palace disciple was waiting on the side, looking both surprised and curious. She obviously had not figured out the relationship between this handsome man and her master.

Chu Liuxiang sighed and turned around, he said, “Let’s go!”

He had never thought that before he even finished speaking, he saw Hu Tiehua.

Hu Tiehua unexpectedly, together with Huang Luzhi and Dai Duxing, rushed over in a hurry.

Seeing Chu Liuxiang, obviously they were shocked as well.

Hu Tiehua blurted out, “Old Stinky Bug, how did you escape?”

Chu Liuxiang also blurted out, “How did you guys escape?”

The two of them almost said the same thing at the same time, they could not help laughing. In any case, they could see each other again, it was always more delight than surprise.

Hu Tiehua laughed and said, “It’s better for you to tell it first, what you have encountered must be more glorious than ours, our story is really a bit discouraging.”

Chu Liuxiang laughed and said, “It’s better for you to tell it first, my story is complicated and not easy to express succinctly.”

Glancing at Dai Duxing and Huang Luzhi, Hu Tiehua smiled wryly and said, “It’s shameful to say that unexpectedly the three of us are not Shui Mu’s match. Were it not for Rong’er’s [paternal] aunt, we’d probably never see you again.”

Emotionally moved, Chu Liuxiang said, “Did she let go you?”

Hu Tiehua sighed and said, “That’s right. She and a girl called ‘Jiumei’ came to interrogate us together. Naturally we refused to say anything, but that little yatou [girl, used deprecatingly, but sometimes also as a term of endearment] called ‘Jiumei’ was really mean, she went so far as wanting to use torture to abuse us. Fortunately, Rong’er’s aunt said that we are all men of status and should be treated with courtesy. Who would have thought that that little yatou rolled her eyes and insisted that Rong’er’s aunt must already be in collusion with us early on.”

He continued hatefully, “That little yatou was mean, her mouth was also foul, she also said a lot of very unpleasant things to the ears. Rong’er’s aunt could not bear it anymore, suddenly she made her move to seal her acupoint.”

Chu Liuxiang excitedly said, “She … how could she take such risk?”

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