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    Asianovel

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    Chapter 67: Roasted Chestnuts with Sugar

    The white fox, startled, leaped onto the windowsill and jumped down to the first floor, disappearing without a trace.

    Chunks of debris continued to fall from the second floor down to the ground level.

    Jiaoyue Pavilion had been utterly destroyed by Crimson Misfortune.

    For a moment, Yan Shu was stunned and didn't pursue the fleeing fox. He stood rooted to the spot, staring blankly at the dust-filled first floor.

    Realizing his impulsive action had caused a disaster, Crimson Misfortune apologized to Yan Shu, "As compensation, I'll pass you my cultivation technique. It will help you ascend to godhood and free you from life and death. How about that?"

    "I want gold and silver," Yan Shu replied coldly.

    Crimson Misfortune was genuinely puzzled, "Isn't my cultivation technique more valuable than mere wealth?" He waved his hand dismissively, "If you don't want it, then forget it. I wouldn't give it away so easily anyway."

    He then picked up the wine gourd hanging from his waist, uncorked it, and continuously poured out gold bars and silver ingots.

    In no time, a wall of gold and a mountain of silver formed before their eyes.

    With a gourd in hand, Chi Zi E asked, "Is that enough?"

    The pile of gold and silver was more than enough to build not just one Bright Moon Pavilion, but a thousand or a hundred such structures.

    "Woah..." An Zhi and Wen Yan had never seen so much wealth before. The glittering gold blinded them, making them wish they could take just a piece back home.

    Yan Shu glanced at the heap and said, "More than sufficient."

    "Very well, we're even. Let's go." Chi Zi E turned and left.

    Upon hearing this, An Zhi and Wen Yan looked back repeatedly, their eyes lingering on the treasure pile. Reluctantly, they followed Chi Zi E down to the first floor of the Bright Moon Pavilion.

    Dust settled, yet the ground floor still smelled of sweet pastries, alluring as ever. Regrettably, most of the desserts were buried beneath the fallen ceiling, leaving only their scent behind. A small portion that remained were now covered in dust, losing their luster and appeal, appearing unappetizing.

    "Ju Lang—" An Zhi called out amidst the chaos.

    "Cough, cough!" After a moment, Ju Lang responded with a few coughs.

    Hearing this, An Zhi ventured into the rubble, searching for him. "Come, help me find him."

    Wen Yan obediently responded with an "oh" and set off to find Ju Lang.

    Chi Zi'e remained indifferent, showing no concern for Ju Lang's life or death. He even reached out to stop Wen Yan, saying coldly, "It's already merciful that he isn't dead. Let him crawl out himself."

    An Zhi, not wasting a moment, searched through the rubble while calling out, "But he helped me many times before."

    Chi Zi'e countered, "He had a motive behind helping you."

    An Zhi replied, "Regardless of his motives, he did help me. I can't just abandon him. At worst, I'll be more cautious after saving him."

    Angered, Chi Zi'e drew out his Green Whip from his waist and lashed it out, coiling around An Zhi's waist and pulling him close.

    "Come!" He held An Zhi's wrist tightly and dragged him away from the Bright Moon Visit.

    Wen Yan followed closely behind.

    They found a place to rest, and due to An Zhi's stubbornness, Chi Zi'e bound him to the bed with the Green Whip.

    An Zhi was left helpless, unable to call for help from above or below.

    He tossed and turned on the bed, wriggling about for a while, only to roll off it onto the floor, leaving him dazed with stars in his eyes and aches all over his body.

    By then, the sky had darkened, casting a hazy veil over the earth. The distant mountain ranges appeared as silhouettes against the fading light.

    After Ji Lang trapped An Zhi on the bed, he and Wen Yan had a discussion, eventually reaching an agreement. They left him alone in the room and hadn't returned since.

    Lying on the floor, his arms, bound for too long, had gone numb.

    In contrast to his lifeless limbs, his mind was bustling with activity.

    What about Ji Lang?

    With that powerful strike, did he break through the floorboards and die?

    If Chi Zi'e claimed he didn't intend to kill, does that mean Ji Lang is safe?

    Ah—how I wish someone could tell me if Ji Lang is alright right now—

    Suddenly, the door slammed open, drawing his attention.

    Merely a passing thought, yet someone truly arrived?

    An Zhi looked expectantly and saw Jian Fengzi and Ju Lang standing right outside the door!

    Seeing An Zhi's disheveled state, Ju Lang hurriedly stepped forward to support him, lifting him up from behind.

    "Oh, after a few days, how did you both end up like this?" Jian Fengzi entered the room and sat in a chair. "One unconscious at Jiao Yue Fang, and one tied to the ground."

    An Zhi recounted the entire sequence of events to Jian Fengzi and then asked about Ju Lang with concern, "Did Chi Zi'e's blow injure you?"

    Ju Lang shook his head. "No."

    An Zhi breathed a sigh of relief and turned to Jian Fengzi, "How did you know that Ju Lang was at Jiao Yue Fang?"

    As soon as those words left his mouth, a snow-white ball dashed into the room, rushing straight to Jian Fengzi's feet and gently rubbing against his calf.

    Jian Fengzi chuckled and bent down to pick it up, cradling it in his arms. He stroked its thick, fluffy fur on its back, saying, "I had just entered Shangchi City when suddenly, a gust of demonic wind appeared out of nowhere, bewitching everyone around me except for me. Just as I was at a loss about where to go, this little fellow came running out of nowhere, grabbed onto my hem, and led me to Jiao Yue Fang. There, we found Ju Lang, who was unconscious."

    An Zhi gazed at the bundle in Jian Fengzi's arms.

    That white fox was the one that accompanied Yan Shu and Ye Lan.

    Around its eyes, there was a circle of black fur, as if it had been outlined with eyeliner. The curve downward at the bottom and upward at the top accentuated its large and beautiful eyes, giving it an innocent yet alluring charm typical of a fox.

    It was certainly more intelligent than your average fox—its eyes were bright and vivacious.

    Thus, it wasn't surprising that it could lead Jian Fengzi to Jiu Lang's residence and eventually find Ju Lang.

    An Zhi wondered again, "Then how did you know I was here?"

    Jian Fengzi replied, "Jiu Lang chattered a few words to the little fox, and it guided us here while sniffing around."

    An Zhi understood, "Oh, I see."

    Scanning the room, Jian Fengzi asked, "Where are the God of Marriage and Yi Shujun?"

    An Zhi shook his head, "I have no idea."

    As October approached, most of the fruits were nearing ripeness.

    In the distance, there was a stall selling sugared chestnuts.

    A gentle breeze carried a sweet scent, reaching everyone in the room.

    Ju Lang addressed An Zhi, "When I had that incident under the bright moon, it wasn't intentional towards you..."

    "I don't want to hear about what made you lose control again," An Zhi interrupted him. "If you want to apologize, buy me a bag of sugared chestnuts and peel them one by one for me to eat."

    Unbelievable. He had assumed that An Zhi wouldn't forgive Ju Lang so easily after such treatment. Ju Lang sought confirmation, "So, you'll forgive me if I do that?"

    An Zhi nodded, turning the question around. "Then how do you plan to apologize to me?"

    Ju Lang was at a loss for words.

    Seeing his distress, An Zhi didn't want to make things difficult for him. He chuckled and said, "Alright, alright—let's go buy some candied chestnuts together." With that, he turned and started walking away.

    Exiting the room, he didn't hear any footsteps following him. Looking back, he found Ju Lang still rooted in place, so he urged, "What are you still standing there for?"

    Startled by the sound of An Zhi's voice, Ju Lang came to his senses, repeatedly acknowledging him with "mm-hm"s before hurrying after him.

    To one side, Jian Fengzi watched Ju Lang's departing figure and muttered to himself, "This Ju Lang is rather slow-witted..." As he spoke, the little fox in his arms leaped down and followed after the two of them.

    ...

    An Zhi and Ju Lang happened to arrive just as the vendor was taking out a fresh batch of warm, freshly-made candied chestnuts.

    An Zhi grabbed the bag of chestnuts and tossed it to Ju Lang, saying, "Hold this. You pay."

    Steam wafted out of the bag, and with both hands cupping the chestnuts, Ju Lang felt their heat tingling his teeth. Unable to decide whether to hold on or let go, he panicked and bit into the bag, holding it in his mouth.

    He obediently uttered an "oh" from the narrow space between his lips and the bag, then promptly paid the vendor for the roasted chestnuts.

    As he turned around after paying, a blinding white light flashed before his eyes. Reacting swiftly, he leaned back to avoid the beam.

    Although he managed to evade the assault, unfortunately, the bag was sliced open by the unknown object.

    Chestnuts tumbled out of the torn bag, and a flicker of panic passed through his phoenix-like eyes. Ju Lang hastily stretched out his hand to save them, but could only grasp one in his palm.

    Upon hearing the voice, An Zhi turned his head and chided gently, "Is this how you apologize?"

    The chestnuts on the ground were plump, round, and glossy, still steaming from the heat.

    He gazed at the scattered sweet roasted chestnuts, feeling regret for the waste, yet finding it adorable how Ju Lang carried the empty bag like a puppy.

    Ju Lang took the empty paper bag from his mouth, looking utterly lost. "I... I..." Like a child who had done wrong, he lowered his head, his phoenix eyes fixated on his toes. He stretched out a hand, palm up, and slowly opened it. "I... I saved one for you..."

    An Zhi couldn't help but chuckle. "Then why haven't you peeled it and brought it over? And go buy another bag?"

    "Oh, oh." Ju Lang nodded repeatedly, agreeing obediently and promptly carrying out the tasks.

    Ju Lang skillfully peeled the last chestnut and presented it to An Zhi.

    Looking at the perfectly peeled chestnut meat, An Zhi recalled Ju Lang's fluid actions, which were filled with expertise. Not a bit of flesh adhered to the skin, avoiding any wastage.

    You must know that when he usually bought chestnuts, the skin would often stick to the meat, making it difficult to remove it completely.

    Before putting the chestnut in his mouth, he commented, "You're quite proficient at this."

    Ju Lang still kept his head lowered, his raven-like eyelashes fluttering gently, "Apart from Orphan Chun, your greatest love is sweet roasted chestnuts."

    "Enough," An Zhi interrupted, understanding the implication. "Do you know why I forgave you so easily?"

    Ju Lang shook his head.

    An Zhi continued, "I was afraid you'd get lost in your memories."

    Just as he was about to pop the chestnut into his mouth, that white figure reappeared, diving straight for the chestnut in his hand.

    This time, Ju Lang was prepared, seizing the creature by the nape of its neck.

    It felt light and insubstantial, not at all like an evil entity.

    Upon closer inspection, it turned out to be the little white fox.

    The fox squirmed and kicked in Ju Lang's grasp.

    Seeing this, An Zhi wondered, "You want to eat the chestnut?"

    "I don't want chestnuts! I want grapes!"

    The little fox actually spoke!

    Ju Lang asked, "If it's not for the chestnuts, then why have you been attacking us repeatedly?"

    The little fox replied, "Those chestnuts are poisonous!"

    Hearing this, An Zhi was startled, and the chestnut in her hand dropped to the ground, rolling into the depths of the darkness.

    Ju Lang pressed on, "How do you know?"

    The little fox said, "Isn't that person wearing a green robe and a golden mask Shen Yuan?"

    Upon hearing this, Ju Lang's phoenix eyes instantly became sharp.

    The little fox hurriedly explained, "It's rumored that seventeen years after Shen Yuan's death, he resurrected by borrowing the body of a white-haired slave from Shangchi City. He also promised that slave a blissful next life. Now, Yan Shu is that slave's reincarnation."

    "Aah?!" An Zhi was surprised.

    The little fox said, "Yan Shu has known about the events of your past life for a while now, but you didn't fulfill your promise. Jiao Lin has always had feelings for Yan Shu; upon learning that you would return to Shangchi City, she naturally sought a way to punish you for going back on your word."

    Ju Lang pressed further, "When did Yan Shu learn about the previous life? And how did he know we'd be coming back to Shangchi City, precisely on this day? We've disguised ourselves, so how could he recognize Shen Yuan? Someone must have told him all this. Who was it?"

    The little fox twitched its ears, "With so many questions, which one should I answer first? All I can tell you is that Dian Shan was behind it all."

    "It's him again!" Compared to Jiaomiao, An Zhi and Shen Yuan feared Dian Shan even more. Suddenly, he felt unable to breathe, his vision darkened, and his legs weakened, causing him to stagger backward.

    Seeing this, Ju Lang promptly dropped the little fox and rushed to An Zhi's side, supporting him from behind.

    Once An Zhi regained his balance, a flash of white light appeared before them, revealing a lively and adorable little girl.

    This little girl was the transformation of the white fox.

    "I'm Liu Zhu," the girl said in a coquettish voice. "I'll tell you what happened between Yan Shu, Jiao Lin, and Dian Shan."

    --------------------

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