The cracked stone pierces the clouds; a horizontal jade pipe blows clearer; the frosty desert; a partridge tends to deviate in the wind.
The phoenix stage was covered by evening clouds, and the plum blossoms were startled by the evening snow.
People were quiet, and the moon above the parlour was blown down with a sound.
At this moment, Liu Li was more certain than ever about one thing...
There are gods in this world. Moreover, they are the best and kindest gods.
She walked beside Luo Xuan with joy (why does it look like she’s gloating?). Luo Xuan, who was pale and weak, frowned tightly and covered his chest with his hands. He stubbornly swayed forward as he didn’t want her help. His body was also obviously shaking.
When she saw her future husband like this, her heart tugged with pain. She thought, we’ve just met, so he can’t just die immediately, right? Wouldn’t I become a widow then? How will I live in this completely unfamiliar world? So she couldn’t help but run over to him and repeated for probably the 100th time, “I- Let me help you…”
Luo Xuan unceremoniously shook off the beautiful girl’s hand.
Liu Li stood still as she squinted her eyes, watching him struggle to move forward. She counted silently in her heart, one, two, three...
Luo Xuan collapsed. Then, Liu Li imitated the deeds of an ancient hero saving a beauty by rushing forward and stretching out an arm gracefully to catch his body in time.
"Crash!" To her surprise, the strength of her one arm was not enough, and as her center of gravity was unstable, she fell along with him. She even accidentally fell on Luo Xuan's body. Liu Li has always been round with a little baby fat, and she was the kind of girl that classmates and friends would describe as not pretty but very cute. So Luo Xuan was lucky that her whole weight on him didn’t cause him to throw up blood.
Liu Li gave full play to her sexuality, and lied on him lazily for a long time, refusing to get up. Luo Xuan was so frustrated that he could feel his heart squeezing in pain and he almost stopped breathing. He hurriedly suppressed the poison with his internal strength and pushed Liu Li away from his burning body for fear that she would trigger the poison again.
When Liu Li saw how his lips had turned white, she began to panic and did not dare to mess around anymore. She quickly asked Luo Xuan, “What should we do? Where do I send you to? Do you want to see a doctor?”
Luo Xuan looked at her feebly, wondering why this little girl was always following him. Did she not think that things were messy enough as it is? However, he did not have the strength to drive her away for the time being.
He laboriously took out a vial from his robes, poured two more golden pills out and swallowed it. He was poisoned by a mixture of many kinds of toxic herbs, not to mention the fact that the poison was incurable, even if he could continue to experiment and finally configure an antidote, he was afraid that his body would not last until that time. Now the best policy would be to suppress the toxicity with some drugs first, then go and find the rare and exotic flowers and herbs that can cure a multitude of poisons.
He considered this carefully in his mind.
In terms of medicinal effectiveness, the Blood Snow Lotus which only blooms once every hundred years should be the most potent one. It can elevate one’s strength and remove all toxins. It’s an extremely wondrous herb. But the flowering period has just passed, and I will have to wait another 30 years for the next bloom. The Secluded Waters’ Coral is the treasure of the Banished Immortal Palace. Placed in the main palace, it is used to cleanse the water of Qinghai. If it is lost, Qinghai and the Gods’ Shrine will be thrown into chaos. As for the Heavenly Scent Cardamom, there is only one in the world and its whereabouts have long been unknown. The Mind-Cleansing Pill and the Dew of Fate are offerings from Miaojiang and Fanbang. Although they have miraculous effects, when faced with Qilin vines, Cortex, Haotian leaves, Acacia Tears, Prajna flowers and other strange flowers and weeds, it can only cure the symptoms but not the root cause. The most favorable option right now would be the rare, once-in-a-century event of a dragon ascending to heaven. However, the Tianshan Mountains are big, there are great risks to overcome, and it is difficult to even find the cave where the dragon rests. Furthermore, slaying dragons can hurt one’s yin energy and virtue, and how can I fight the fierce and cruel dragon with less than one-tenths of my energy right now?
Luo Xuan was suffering from a splitting headache and had no choice but to walk slowly with Liu Li's support. Liu Li was not very tall, her head just reaching Luo Xuan's chest. She felt like she had become Luo Xuan's crutch, dragging his heavy body as they walked forward. She had absolutely no idea what was going on. When she asked Luo Xuan, he did not say anything and would not even spare her a few words. Although she was very worried, she still comforted herself with her naturally oblivious and optimistic temperament.
After finally walking to the crowded bazaar, the two immediately became the centre of attention. This was partially because of Luo Xuan's extraordinary demeanor and appearance, and the rest was because of Liu Li's nondescript outfit.
Liu Li helped Luo Xuan sit down after they arrived at a small inn. Thanks to the medicinal power exerted by the pill, Luo Xuan was slowly feeling better. He ordered Liu Li to go to the opposite small dispensary to buy a few strange medicinal materials and then got the servant of the inn to brew it in the kitchen. When he saw how Liu Li kept on staring at the dishes at the opposite table while swallowing her saliva, he had no choice but to order two small dishes as well. Before he could even move his chopsticks, he saw her sweep all the food into her stomach, as if she hadn’t eaten in days. Liu Li ate in high spirits, pushed up her glasses and kept saying to Luo Xuan, “Don’t be shy. Eat.” It rendered Luo Xuan absolutely speechless.
While Liu Li ate, she was thinking about how ancient dishes were not much different from modern ones. She wasn’t paying attention to how she looked when she was eating at all. She was absolutely famished, and she believed that seeing how Luo Xuan looked like he was dying, he probably wouldn’t have the time to pay attention to how she looked while she ate.
“Miss, where are you from?”
Liu Li was chewing the cabbage in her mouth, half of it was out as she raised her head and looked at Luo Xuan with wide eyes through her glasses.
"I, I..." What should I say? Do I say that I’m from the future, like how they do in a sci-fi movie? Forget it, he might just accuse me of being insane and lock me up in a mental hospital. Let's make up a random story. Hm, what do the heroines who are in trouble in TV series usually say?
“I was originally from Hengxiang, Henan (Hengxiang? Is there such a place? Nevermind, I’ll just make it up). I lost my parents in a flood this year. I traveled all the way and wanted to go to my only relative here, but it turns out my relative has passed away as well. Now I have no relatives and no one to rely on, so I’m just wandering around. Sir, just take it as doing a good deed and take Liu Li in, alright? In the future, I’m even willing to be a cow or a horse for you...” While Liu Li spoke, she had to pretend to squeeze out her tears. She wanted to learn from the ladies in the movies and wipe her tears with her sleeves and whimper twice, but she belatedly realized that she was wearing short sleeves and a sling, revealing her round shoulder. It was truly a shocking sight to see in this world!
Luo Xuan sighed weakly. He could not even protect himself now, moreover a random girl. “No, it's better for you to leave as soon as possible. I have been poisoned and am in grave danger. I am afraid that there is no way I can take good care of you. We shall meet again in the future. For now, let us say our partings!”
“I want to go back too (no way), but I am really homeless. 555*. Please, Sir Luo, do a good deed. Seeing as how I saved your life yesterday, got you out of the water and even brought you out so far, you should take in a poor little girl like me, or else I will not have a place to be buried in when I die... (?)” Liu Li thought hard to come up with her lines, hating herself because she stopped watching periodic dramas.
*5 is pronounced as wu in Mandarin, so it sounds like a cry.
Luo Xuan almost choked on his tea. She’s saying that she saved his life? She suddenly appeared at the height of the poison yesterday and almost killed him. After waking up, he was almost scared to death and almost crushed to death on the road. She was simply a walking disaster and an absolutely odd person. With her strange costume and questionable background, he didn't know what would happen in the future if he brought her along.
Seeing Liu Li with her pair of big shiny eyes staring at him eagerly while squeezing tears out occasionally, he didn’t know if he wanted to laugh or cry. In the end, he simply shook his head.
Liu Li almost kneeled down for him. She made up her mind to follow her future husband. Otherwise, she would really starve to death in these ancient streets. There was no heroine who travels through time and space in dramas that would die like this, right?
She whimpered and kept on making low humming noises, grabbing the corners of Luo Xuan's clothes as if she was afraid that he would run away. Luo Xuan had no choice but to tell her to let her stay with a friend of his first, and then he would find a place for her to settle down properly.
Liu Li pinched herself vigorously, the pain causing big tears to fall from her eyes. She lied on the table and burst into tears suddenly, not afraid of embarrassment at all.
“No, don’t leave me alone! Where can I go as a helpless and weak woman? In the end, I can only wander and beg on the street... Fine then... If you really don’t care about me, in the future, if I am starved to death, robbed, or raped by the wicked, it has nothing to do with you. You never have to feel sorry for me…”
Luo Xuan's brain was beginning to hurt again. Oh no, I bumped into a troublesome character. Seeing everyone around him turning their eyes to them, he coughed lightly and lowered his head.
Just as he was getting ready to comfort her, a large number of officials and soldiers suddenly came in and surrounded them. Luo Xuan sighed. At first, he thought they were here to capture Liu Li because she got herself into some sort of trouble, and that’s why she chose to follow him as a means of escape. However, only after listening to the leading official’s yell did he discover that they were actually here for him.
Liu Li had never seen such fanfare before, hence she jumped up from the ground in shock. She instantly forgot that she was still pretending to cry. She observed the way they dressed and the tone of their voice with excitement and curiosity on her face. It felt as if they were in a movie set, very interesting. When Luo Xuan saw how she was looking around, as happy as if she was watching an orangutan, he couldn't help but sigh as a replacement for a laugh.
He could faintly feel that something had happened. Then, he saw the leader of this group of government officials holding a picture of him, telling him to hand over what he had stolen.
Luo Xuan put on a solemn expression while remaining silent. Sweat dripped from the head of the nervous leader, as if he had lost all his earlier courage. He seemed to know who was in front of him and did not dare to take him lightly. Next to him, a messy-looking government official with a crooked mouth urged him vigorously, saying that Luo Xuan was reported to have been seriously injured and that his meridians were all but broken. Any ordinary person could take him down now. The leader was still hesitant and he did not dare to step forward for a long time.
What kind of person was Luo Xuan, the divine physician, to the public? First, even the mere mention of this name would leave one terrified. Now that he could see Luo Xuan in person, his posture and boldness had already scared the leader so much that his soul was practically flying out to the sky. However, due to the order he received, he had to wave his hand to the people behind him to go forward. In the end, no one dared to go up. Luo Xuan stood up slowly, and the stern look between his eyes made everyone take an involuntary step backwards. He directly took Liu Li's hand and walked out of the inn in bold strides. No one dared to stop him. They all evaded and voluntarily made way for them.
Nonetheless, the crooked mouth government official just now was not willing to let them go so easily. He attacked from behind with a single skill. He was actually a practitioner of martial arts. Luo Xuan observed that although they were weak, there were too many of them. He had been poisoned, and if he wants to fight them, it would definitely be a difficult feat for him. Acting decisively, he used his internal strength, turned around and slapped the left shoulder of the crooked mouth government official. The government official flew out a long distance in an instant and sprayed a mouthful of blood in the air. He fell on the corner of the wall and immediately passed out.
Everyone was shocked. They quickly backed away, faces pale as snow. When they saw Luo Xuan's white robes fluttering away without even a speck of dust, they did not dare to chase after him.
Liu Li was surprised and delighted. Wow... my husband is so good at martial arts. Not only did I travel back in time, I even entered into a martial arts world. Wow, how romantic! In the future, I must learn one or two tricks from him so I can fly around like those people on TV. Then, I’ll go back, exhibit those skills at random and earn a lot of money! Haha! She happily allowed Luo Xuan to take her by the hand. Soon, she realized that his hand didn't even have the slightest temperature. It was as cold as ice.
Luo Xuan tried his best to walk to the end of the street. Finally, he couldn't keep this up anymore. He felt a heat rushing up his throat, and immediately blood was dripping from the corner of his mouth as he slowly slid down against the wall. Except in TV series relating to martial arts, Liu Li had never seen anyone vomit blood before, so she burst into tears out of anxiety.
Luo Xuan looked at the strange face in front of him, crying with large drops of tears. Suddenly he felt that all this was so familiar. Why is this so familiar? Who is she...
Slowly, his vision became more blurry, and he heard the girl yelling to him, “Darling, don't die… Darling, please don't die…” What in the world is a ‘darling’?
He tried his best to utter the words “Qinzhu Pavilion” before he finally lost consciousness...