Chapter 66: Zhongshan Country 
The flashlights from the people at the back shone downwards; only able to see a corner, but it was enough to make them shocked.
A wide river with black guard fences; the light shining on it made it dazzle, like first-grade black jade.
Qi Xi’s voice echoed below, Zhang Qiu flashed the light around, he did not find Qi ZhiRong. In a matter of short time, where on earth could Qi ZhiRong go?
“Listen.” Li Shu raised his head and gazed at the top of the river.
Zhang Qiu listened carefully, and actually heard a muffled roar, but the sound was too low to it distinctly.
“Let’s go up.”
Qi Xi suddenly said. Zhang Qiu looked at Qi Xi and discovered that Qi Xi’s expression looked bad, because he was worried about Qi ZhiRong. But who knew if Qi Xi would fell into a trap once he was up, it would not be good, so Zhang Qiu hastily said, “You—— You watch out for Qi ZhiRong, I totally think he’s weird.”
“It’s a Xiezhi’s roar.”
For a moment, Zhang Qiu disagreed with Qi Xi, but after he thought about it, he asked, “The roar above is Xiezhi’s?”
Qi Xi nodded, because he was the same kind, he would not mistake it.
Everyone walked up the riverbank steps to go upwards. Although they could not see vividly from a distance, but they could roughly see a palace style. The closer they came, the louder the roar. In the end, Qi Xi was running. At the palace entrance, the black gates were carved with complex veined pattern.
“Wings.” Qi Xi said: “Xiezhi has wings, but having wings are relatively rare, very precious. It is the king among us.”
Zhang Qiu had seen Qi Xi in his true form without wings. Was the owner of the tomb a Xiezhi king?
Qi Xi had pushed open the heavy stone gate, and a loud roar came. Zhang Qiu was tightly embraced by Li Shu and crushed to the ground. His eardrums were buzzing. He couldn’t hear the people talking. Zhang Qiu looked back and saw fresh blood coming out of several bodyguards’ nostrils and ears, which should have been hurt by the roar just now.
He hurriedly touched Xiao Jiang’s head. Xiao Jiang’s mouth moved to speak, and Zhang Qiu gradually able to hear Xiao Jiang saying Daddy.
It was good that he was alright.
Apart from the few bodyguards who missed the time to react, the rest were alright. Li Shu pulled up Zhang Qiu and looked inside. At the end of the entire main hall was a pair of golden wings standing in the air. The Xiezhi’s roar echoed in the surrounding. But besides the first one, the next roar became weaker and weaker, with grief and resentment. Even without knowing what happened here, Zhang Qiu also would not think that the owner of this place was a Xiezhi.
The golden wings were very big, emitting a faint golden light, utterly beautiful.
Qi Xi stood in the middle and looked around. From the start, he did not see the owner of the golden wings, but the low roar continued.
“It’s already dead; this is the soul of the dead.” Zhang YuShui patted Qi Xi on the shoulder, took out talisman paper in his hand, and said, “Go!” with his hands making formation and his mouth chanting. The talisman paper flew straight to its golden wings and ignited before it touched them.
As the talisman paper burnt out, the Xiezhi’s true form emerged in the middle of the golden wings.
This was a strong and muscular Xiezhi, who was killed when it was in its upright prime. As soon as it emerged, this Xiezhi that had been deceived long ago harbored hatred roared angrily. It looked down at all the human beings at its feet with hatred. It wanted to kill them, kill these despicable and shameless human beings.
But it was imprisoned in place. No matter how it howling or jerking, it could not break away.
Qi Xi suddenly changed to his true form. In front of the golden Xiezhi, he looked like a cub, howling lowly. The originally irrational and full of hatred Xiezhi slowly quiet down. Qi Xi jumped over, but pounced on empty. The golden Xiezhi bowed its head and its eyes were tearing as it rubbed Qi Xi’s neck like an elder and looked at Qi Xi with affection
“I also have a son who is as golden as you.” The old huge Xiezhi opened its mouth with a mournful tone, and waved its wings to stroke Qi Xi’s back. “He is also so young, naive, kind and just. He believes in human lies and makes friends with human beings, but he did not realize that despicable human beings have taken advantage of him.”
The Xiezhi’s tender and compassionate eyes suddenly sharpened against the human beings in front of him. “You have to be careful not to believe in human.”
“They’re my friends and won’t hurt me.” Qi Xi raised his head and looked at the other. He didn’t know why, but when he saw this same kind, his heart felt a type of intimacy. “Who killed you in the end?”
“You really look like my son.” The Xiezhi’s eyes fell into memories and rubbed gently against the horn on Qi Xi’s head.
During the Zhongshan Country period, most of the ancient Divine Beasts had disappeared or hidden. The Xiezhi’s son was a happy and simple Golden Horned Xiezhi. The elder Xiezhi knew that human beings were cunning and despicable. The human believed in power and would hunt and killed them. So he had been encircling his son in the woods, but never expected that yet again the Golden Horned Xiezhi met a black-haired youngster.
“… The human called him Gongzi Huan. He was badly injured. My son brought him back, healed him and played with him. When the injury healed, I sent Gongzi Huan away…”
The Xiezhi thought that this would break off its son’s relationship with Gongzi Huan, but the young and naïve little Xiezhi was curious about the human world in Gongzi Huan’s mouth. Every day, one human and one beast made an appointment. By the time the elder Xiezhi found out, its son had gone to Zhongshan Country with Gongzi Huan.
At that time in Zhongshan Country, Gongzi Huan had just succeeded the throne. He was young and ignorant, and was attacked by Jin Country the whole journey. He went hiding in Mount Taihang and was rescued by the young Xiezhi. The Gongzi Huan in his prime of youth could not swallow this humiliation. Every day he wanted to stress on being a rich and powerful country, to take back what belongs to him. The young Xiezhi was full of justice, willing to help his friend. Fighting from all four quarters to gather underlings, Gongzi Huan suffered patiently, but firmly resolved on revenge. But after seven or eight years, he still got nothing.
“I believed him then, but eight years later, when I set foot in Zhongshan Country again, I became like this today.” At this point, the Xiezhi’s eyes filled with bitterness. “Gongzi Huan took advantage of my son’s trust and my son fell into the trap he had set up…”
The elder Xiezhi was torn apart alive; its bones were crushed into dust and mixed into the brick walls of the palace; the single horn was placed on the top of the palace roof; its skin was made into windows; and its pair of wings were dismantled and pressed here by an array.
“What about your son?”
Qi Xi’s eyes were filled with sadness, tears flowing out. He howled lowly in grieved.
“I desperately made him run away, watching him run away with my own eyes…” The Xiezhi had deep sadness in his eyes.
Zhang Qiu knew that the young Xiezhi would not run away alone. His friend used his trust to set up a trap. His father died in order to save him from torment.
Indeed, as Zhang Qiu thought, the young Xiezhi came back riddled with scars, eyes rolling with tears and stubbornly looking at his friend. At the last moment, he did not believe that his friend would do that to him. But the next moment, the young Xiezhi saw his father’s wings were torn down, and his whole being went crazy roaring and pouncing around.
Having being together for ten years, Gongzi Huan learned Xiezhi’s weaknesses from the young Xiezhi.
In Mount Taihang, the young Xiezhi’s grief lingered for a long time.
“Ah Huan—— Ah Huan—— Ah Huan—— Ah Huan——”
“I am willing to use my soul to curse you for not getting what you want for eternity.”
“Curse Zhongshan, the destroyed country.”
“Ah Huan——Ah Huan——Ah Huan I hate you.”
When the elder Xiezhi closed its eyes on its death, it saw its son fall into a pool of blood, dying. “He didn’t run away. I don’t know where he was. Maybe Gongzi Huan killed him, maybe he’s not dead yet.” As he said the last sentence, he himself felt uncertain of this hope.
Qi Xi’s throat voiced out a sad tune and he rubbed on the wings of the elder Xiezhi. Aside from the wings were real, the rest were spiritual.
“Good boy, good boy, you are like my son.” The elder Xiezhi’s eyes rolled out tears and it fell down. Clearly, it was a spiritual body, but the tears really fell on Qi Xi’s back, feeling the ice-cold penetrated his skin.
Ancient Divine Beast’s corporal body could die, but the soul was immortal. However, the flesh and soul were separated and imprisoned for thousands of years in the array. The elder Xiezhi’s soul had been consumed too much in a short time that it looked as if it was going to dissipate.
Qi Xi noticed something was wrong and looked back at Zhang YuShui.
“I can fix his soul, just have to break the array. But first, I have to know where the array is.” Zhang YuShui looked at Zhang Qiu. “Little brother, I need to borrow your blood.”
Zhang Qiu immediately pulled up his sleeve and wished he could give a bowl.
This palace was where the elder Xiezhi’s soul was. The soul was scattered and trapped in the whole palace. Zhang YuShui said, “Everyone withdrawn first. Too much Yang Qi is not conducive to condensing the spirit body.”
Qi Xi reluctantly retreated. The elder Xiezhi’s soul that was not enough of support, slowly dispersed. They quickly withdraw from the palace and closed the black door. Zhang YuShui stained with Zhang Qiu’s blood, began to draw talisman on the closed door.
The bodyguards all retreated to the steps and Li Shu and Pixian Hui Wang guarded Zhang YuShui because at this time, he could not be interrupted.
Zhang Yushui used this method before, but solidifying the soul of human was different from solidifying the soul of ancient Divine Beast. The latter consumed a lot of energy, and it was easy to make mistakes if one did not pay attention. With steady brushwork, Zhang Yushui concentrated on writing smoothly. Writing further, his forehead started to seep out bead of sweats the size of bean.
Zhang Qiu nervously watched and dared not breathe loudly. Reaching the end, the vermilion talisman texts on the black stone door faintly appeared golden flowing light. One could feel the power by standing not far away.
Qi Xi’s eyes were relaxed.
Below the steps, the bodyguard whispered in surprise when he saw the incoming person
As the bodyguard’s voice just dropped, following next in the quiet palace was a sudden burst of roar. Zhang YuShui’s hand shook in panic, but immediately stabilized his state of mind.
“Gongzi Huan, it’s you, it’s you!”
The elder Xiezhi in the palace seemed to want to rush out at all cost. The whole palace doors and windows were shaking. Zhang YuShui knew that the elder Xiezhi wanted kill Gongzi Huan even at the stake of its soul fly away and scatter. But now was not the time for revenge, no matter what, life was more important.
“Senior, calm down! Otherwise, your soul will be annihilated——” Zhang YuShui said aloud and began to write quickly. “Who’s coming? Get out of here!”
Zhang Qiu had seen the incoming person from far away; it was Qi ZhiRong. Naturally Qi Xi also saw, and immediately came forward to block Qi ZhiRong’s step up with a complicated expression.
Qi ZhiRong breathed indifferent, looking into Qi Xi’s eyes with a flash of complexity. He stopped in place and heard the furious roar as if it hit him on the face. He opened his mouth in hoarse, “Xiao Xi is not dead.” [Xiao xi=brook/streamlet]
The slamming doors and windows immediately quieted down.
In the palace came the low roar of the elder Xiezhi, slowly dissipating. Just now, it exhausted its soul at the risk of death for revenge, but after hearing Qi ZhiRong’s words, all the resentment in this tone had dissipated.
Zhang YuShui quickly drew up his last stroke and said towards Qi Xi’s worried eyes, “There is no danger, but his soul consume too much, so we must quickly remove the array, otherwise my array will not be able to support him.” After that, he looked at Qi ZhiRong on the steps and said, “Who on earth are you?”
“I’m Qi ZhiRong.” Upon seeing Qi Xi’s disbelieving eyes, Qi ZhiRong whispered with tone a bit lonely: “As I said, I don’t care about the previous incarnation of this life, I’m just Qi ZhiRong. I’m just Qi ZhiRong…”
Qi ZhiRong indirectly admitted that he was Gongzi Huan in the elder Xiezhi’s mouth.
“Xiao Xi——” Qi Xi’s eyes were blank.
“It’s his son.” Qi ZhiRong said.
Zhang Qiu looked between Qi ZhiRong and Qi Xi. Could Qi Xi be the Xiao Xi, the son of the elder Xiezhi? Otherwise, it would not likely be coincidental like that. Qi Xi was indifferent to everyone, but Qi Xi repeatedly made an unreasonable scene and turned into a cub. Although the cub was cute, but it was not a normal pet upon seeing, but Qi ZhiRong never said anything. Even when Qi Xi kissed Qi ZhiRong on his mouth last time, Qi ZhiRong didn’t beat him up.
Looking back on how Qi Zhi Rong treated Qi Xi, Zhang Qiu only now found that Qi ZhiRong was really unusual towards Qi Xi.
“Come with me.” Qi ZhiRong said.
Qi Xi stood in place, his eyes full of coldness, staring at Qi ZhiRong’s back. “You killed the elder Xiezhi.”
“I don’t know.” Qi ZhiRong looked back at Qi Xi on the steps, somewhat confused. “It should be him, but I can feel that he didn’t want to do it. He really didn’t want to do it. He regretted it.”
The ‘he’ Qi ZhiRong meant should be Gongzi Huan.
Zhang Qiu felt that at this moment it was better to seize the time to break up the array first. Talking while walking, everyone should be honest and open; otherwise they would always be on guard against anyone.
“Say as you walk.” Li Shu opened his mouth and looked at Qi ZhiRong. “You’d better not play any tricks.”
Qi ZhiRong laughed at himself. “What he did, I carried his persistence from childhood, what tricks I could play, I said I was just Qi ZhiRong.”
“But you are not.” Qi Xi truncated Qi ZhiRong’s words, “You have memories, you remember at the party.”
What party? Zhang Qiu thought. The party that Qi Xi mentioned should be one held by Qi ZhiRong. At that time, they met Qi Xi in order to wait for the Su father and son. During that time, Qi Xi instructed Xiao Jiang to bring him food in return for the apple carved fox. After eating a snack, Qi Xi hurried away. Later, Qi Xi saved them in the car accident.
At that time Qi Xi was in his true form, Zhang Qiu thought Qi Xi could beat Su Yu, but only today he knew that Qi Xi had drunk mixed alcohol that night and met Qi ZhiRong in the back garden of the hotel. They obviously had something going on. Qi Xi could not control himself and fearing that he would change to his true form, he left early. He did not expect that en route to return home, he still changed to his true form.
“Nn, I felt familiar at first sight when I saw you, and a voice in my heart told me that it was you that I was looking for all the time.” Qi ZhiRong admitted directly, “But I am me, and I Qi Zhi Rong will not be controlled by anyone. If it weren’t for my health problems, I wouldn’t care about these unreal things surrounding my life.”
“If you don’t want his soul flies away and scatters, you should follow me.” Qi ZhiRong took the lead down the stairs. “Believe it or not, suit yourself.”
Zhang Qiu looked at Li Shu. Li Shu nodded. They followed Qi ZhiRong. Following behind, Qi Xi was in a state of spiritual distress. Obviously, today’s shock was so great that all kinds of news poured into one place. Qi Xi opened his mouth but did not know what to say.
In front, Qi ZhiRong started to talk with his back against them. Zhang Qiu couldn’t see Qi Zhi Rong’s expression.
“Because I met Qi Xi, I found that occasionally my body was uncontrollable, and within my brain intermittently appeared many strange, past memories about a Divine Beast cub, called Xiao Xi and He was called Gongzi Huan.” Qi ZhiRong spoke in a flat tone, like he was talking about other people’s affairs.
The story was not different from what the elder Xiezhi had said, even at the final pitfall, Qi ZhiRong told all the memory in his mind. Qi Xi gritted his teeth with resentment and deathly stared at Qi ZhiRong’s back.
“… I can feel that He was unwilling, He felt very painful, but He could not control His hands, and the orders came from His mouth. He was like a marionette being controlled, doing what He did not want to do. Day and night He was remorseful.” Qi ZhiRong stopped and pointed to the river. “In the beginning, there was nothing here. He built it, hid Xiao Xi under the river. He violated a person’s order and did not deal with Xiao Xi as He did with the elder Xiezhi.”
Qi ZhiRong had been reluctant to admit that Gongzi Huan was him. The He meant in his mouth was Gongzi Huan. What about a person’s order?
Zhang Qiu recalled that there was a tall, thin figure in the murals carrying something to Gongzi Huan. Was that person the one who controlled Gongzi Huan? It was also possible that everything was Qi ZhiRong thoughtlessly chose to confuse and nothing was out of his control. It was Gongzi Huan’s fault, who could explain all of these clearly?
They kept walking down the river fence until they reached a place where Qi ZhiRong gazed at it for a long time, lost in thoughts, and then whispered, “He used to like swimming very much. It was me who hurt him…”
Zhang Qiu found that Qi ZhiRong’s expression was quite fuzzy when he spoke, but soon he could see Qi ZhiRong’s expression again.
“Oh, did you find out?” Qi ZhiRong looked at Zhang Qiu and laughed. “I said that this body was occasionally out of my control.”
“You are too rejecting. Maybe you should try to accept that Qi ZhiRong is Gongzi Huan and Gongzi Huan is Qi ZhiRong.” Zhang YuShui opened his mouth and said, “What are you afraid of?”
Qi ZhiRong looked at Qi Xi subconsciously and quickly retracted his eyes. “I don’t know what you said. He’s him. I’m me.”
Zhang Qiu felt that Qi ZhiRong might be afraid of Qi Xi hating him, if he admitted that he was Gongzi Huan, because the one who killed Qi Xi’s father was Gongzi Huan. Whether he was controlled or not, the one ordered it was Gongzi Huan. How could Qi Xi accept Gongzi Huan?
It was really a headache.
“At that time, that person asked me to build such a palace. With Divine Beast Xiezhi suppressing it, Zhongshan Country would be blessed for prosperity for generations. He asked me to build a small palace here and bury Xiao Xi’s bones underneath it. Later, he disappeared. I dug the palace open, but the water from the source came out. I could not find Xiao Xi’s bones. I simply made people built the river…” Qi ZhiRong said at this part using ‘I’, seemed like Gongzi Huan.
Li Shu suddenly said, “What did he offer you?”
“A piece of jade; a flawless white jade. It was said to be able to reverse life and death, give immortality, and give a flourishing fate of the nation.” Qi ZhiRong said until here, and his eyes showed a blank look and he frowned, “I, I can’t even remember what he looks like…”
Finished talking, Qi ZhiRong returned to his indifference, but Zhang Qiu found that along the way, Qi ZhiRong seemed afraid to look at Qi Xi.
“The eye of the array should be here. The person who gave you the idea was very malicious. Both sides served as the eye of the array. They restrained each other and until finally dissipated the souls. But because of your later alteration, there was a drastic decrease in effectiveness. I had said that the elder Xiezhi had suffered such serious injury, but the soul actually able to survive till this day…” said Zhang YuShui.
Fortunately, this time Pei Qing came. Azure Dragon belong to water, they didn’t need diving equipment. Pei Qing changed to his true form. One dragon tail whipped down and the river was divided into two parts. Zhang Qiu could faintly see cyan slate. Thanked to Pei Qing’s action, Li Shu and Qi Xi had gone down. They searched at the position according to Qi ZhiRong for a long time but did not find Xiao Xi’s bones.
Zhang YuShui held the bronze mirror and reflecting it at the place where the river separated. Zhang Qiu faintly felt a golden color flashed past his eyes. Qi ZhiRong’s voice trembled beside him. “It’s Xiao Xi, it’s his horn.”
Qi Xi’s hands went down to touch slippery ice-cold mud. He looked as if he was scalded. He held the thing in his hand for a long time and could not recover. He did not know when he reached ashore.
“… When the foundations were built, that person put the array on it. Fortunately, you tore it open in the end. Parts of Xiao Xi’s soul remained here and the rest blankly re-cultivated to its true form, forgetting the past events.” Zhang YuShui said.
Qi Xi lightly shivered. He didn’t know who he was, nor did he know his parents or brothers. He only remembered he was signed by Sister Ping, who said Qi Xi was a good name that when people searched, it was guaranteed to make him popular. He also didn’t know what he had done before. He was a Xiezhi, but a Xiezhi without memory. He thought all the Divine Beasts were the same (no memory).
Born ignorance, had no past events.
With the eye of the array broken, the elder Xiezhi, which was trapped in the palace, was able to free, but he was severely damaged that the best way to return was to promptly enter reincarnation.
Qi Xi held the golden horn in his hand and looked blankly at the elder Xiezhi. The elder Xiezhi rubbed his head and tears rolled down on Qi Xi’s back as its howl in low voice. Its voice was deep and low yet gentle and tender.
Along with Zhang YuShui’s reborn talisman, the elder Xiezhi disappeared in the air.
“Daddy.” Qi Xi’s cheeks unconsciously streaming with tears as he murmured in a low voice.
Suddenly, the golden wings in the air abruptly fell and steadily covering Qi Xi’s figure. The huge golden wings completely covered Qi Xi, and underneath it came Qi Xi’s low howl and gasp.
Zhang Qiu wanted to come forward to check it out but was pulled by Li Shu.
Slowly the gasping sound in the hall stopped. Qi Xi, wrapped in wings, stood up slowly, with a wicked face and naked, a pair of huge golden wings on his back and cold eyes locked onto Qi ZhiRong in the crowd.
Zhang Qiu had never seen such a serious and cold-faced Qi Xi.
Xah: Okay this is the last arc (kinda). It was quite challenging to work with blurry eyes (I was crying). And lucky (or not) me was jump-scared by a lizard three times… 3 times… It’s midnight… The lizard kind of jump from the ceiling and onto my desk… Maybe its practicing stunt… who knows, maybe the next lizardman~