So What If You’ve Been Reborn? Chapter 14

Hello, this is Luka here, I’ve got some things to get out of the way first.

Since the end of June I’ve been busy with group projects, which are part of schoolwork, and I had very little time to translate in between. Then when I finally had a little time to translate, I fell sick, which means I became much less efficient. Even now, I don’t think I’ve recovered yet. I hope to update again by the end of July, but I can’t guarantee much for now.

Thank you for following so far, and if you’re not reading this on The Lovely Sweet Dream, hop on over to lovelysweetdream959085286.wordpress.com. It won’t take long.

 


C14. Silent Night

If you are seeing this text, you are NOT reading it on the original site. Head on down to lovelysweetdream 959085286 dot wordpress dot com to read the original!

The Redwinds Desert was a haunted place in this land, a natural shelter to the northwest of the central lands.

No trade caravan had ever passed through this place safely, and even the ancient, long-standing sounds of camels and bells were fading away.

This desert had neither desert poplars[1] nor cacti, and had no scorpions or venomous snakes either, much less oases. The entire desert had been occupied by a mineral known as flame sand.

Scooping up a handful of sand, one could see clearly that there were tiny red grains mixed evenly among the sand. This was flame sand, the fine crystals that appeared when flamestones – a common mineral in the cultivation world – became completely shattered.

Flamestones were used as material for making pill furnaces. They absorbed heat easily and were suitable for the storage of spiritual energies and true essences. However, when crushed into powder like this, they were as useful as a chicken’s ribs – there was no use for them, yet it was a shame to discard them.

Legend had it that during ancient times, there was a fierce battle between the deities. They battled from the celestial realm to the mortal realm, their immense power causing far, wide mountain ranges to crumble into sand. The flamestones, originally abundant in this area, had suffered as well, shattering until they could break down no further. They then became scattered in the vast Redwinds Desert.

Due to the presence of flame sand, all underground water had dried up, so that even desert poplars were unable to grow. In this desert, not a trace of life could be seen; there were only weathered skeletons.

As the sand was swept up by the wind, it appeared a bizarre red. The sandstorms here had become exceptionally terrifying because of the flame sand. The flame sand had absorbed the manic energies within the wind; they could easily dent the surface of iron, and would even cause explosions when they struck against barriers formed from spiritual energy.

Most cultivators’ expressions changed the moment they heard of the Redwinds Desert, and as for mortals, the less said the better.

Under the night sky, the sand dunes shifted slowly, the wind carving even lines in the sands. Suddenly, an oval fireball descended from above, smashing a pit in the sand. The fireball rolled about comfortably in the pit, sucking up flame sand, and there it lay, humming and chirping as it rolled, like an icing-coated ball.

The flame sand of the Redwinds Desert was brimming with the fiery essence of the sun and the aura of the savage winds.

To the Stone-borne Flame, this was practically a haven full of delicacies.

Now, behind a sand dune, where the wind could not reach.

Chen He was half-lying on the ground, his palms against the sand.

Shi Feng used spiritual energy to examine Chen He. His brows relaxed slightly. The two forces remaining in Chen He’s meridians had settled down; the cold energy lay in wait, hiding, while the restless energy of the Stone-borne Flame was being drawn out and absorbed by the flame sand.

Seeing the efficacy of this method, Shi Feng stood up at once, extending his fingers slightly. Immediately, a large patch of flame sand floated off the ground.

Scanning through with his divine sense, Shi Feng picked through them briefly, then released some spiritual energy, luring the flame sand over. White flashes ensued; within the sound barrier there were endless exploding noises. After a short while, everything was quiet again. Removing the barrier, Shi Feng took the flame sand, which had become dull after expending all its energy, and brought them to Chen He.

Chh!

The fireball bounced as it rolled down the sand dune. It burrowed into the used flame sand and shook about merrily.

After giving the unconscious Chen He another pill, Shi Feng cast a sideways glance at the Stone-borne Flame.

Zoom

The fireball reacted swiftly, drilling a hole and sending sand flying everywhere. It then buried itself deeply within.

“Uhh.” Chen He’s wrist moved involuntarily.

Opening his eyes, he saw the vast, starry sky above him. The sand beneath him was comfortably warm.

Befuddled, Chen He lifted his hand. Sand rolled off his arm. For a moment, he did not understand why the backyard pond had dried up into sand; did the family drain the pond in order to scoop him out of it?

Following which, a jade orb appeared in front of him.

Chen He lifted his head, dazed. Against the moonlight, he could not see Shi Feng’s face, only sensing that this person was at once familiar and foreign.

Chen He could tell that this orb was made of green jade, used in the cultivation world to record pill formulas and cultivation methods, and it was also used by some sects to pass down their ways. He did not think about why he knew this. The body’s habits were swifter than the intellect; Chen He had already picked up the jade orb and touched it to his forehead.

A few moments later.

“Senior Brother!”

A smile had only just appeared on his features; before he had a chance to touch his own face, Shi Feng silently handed him the second jade orb.

In the desert, under the half-moon, the wide sleeves of the crimson robe fluttered in the wind. That slender, upright figure could be clearly seen; the act of bending halfway and extending the hand accentuated the breadth of the shoulders and length of the arms. The silhouette was half-cloaked in moonshine, the grains of sand falling to the ground before they could reach it.

“…”

After a pause, Chen He slowly accepted the jade orb.

The familiar Black Depths Valley was no longer around him, so something must have happened. Chen He comforted himself conscientiously: it was definitely not because Senior Brother sensed that he wanted to leave the valley, or because Senior Brother realised he wanted to hold on to another jade orb as backup.

While cautiously probing it with his spiritual energy, Chen He even sneaked a peek at Shi Feng’s expression.

Soon, he was thoroughly attracted by the contents of the jade orb. Pleasant surprise, gloominess, anger; the various feelings showed in turn on Chen He’s face. Finally, his hand loosened inadvertently, and the jade orb fell straight into the sand.

Fzz, chhh.” The fireball left its pit, encircling the jade orb curiously and making happy leaking-air noises as it went

Chen He lowered his head, unmoving.

A long time later, he muttered in a low, hoarse voice, “The Chen family, Cousin…They wanted me dead, because of this?”

The fireball which had approached affectionately was pushed away furiously by Chen He. It rolled across the ground raucously, squealing all the while, and accidentally rolled off the dune, slipping out of sight in the blink of an eye.

“Even without the Stone-borne Flame, Aunt wouldn’t tolerate me…No, the entire Chen family. Even if I hadn’t fallen into the water, I’d have to get my horoscope checked in the future, for the sake of studies or marriage.”

Chen He finally raised his head, with neither tears nor dejection. As soon as he understood, he never grieved over the people who were unworthy of it.

Suddenly, he no longer wanted to know anything to do with the Chen family.

The jade orb made him recall his cousin’s hate-filled eyes. Despite being in a fire, Chen He had had a moment when he wanted to ask where his father was, if he knew about this, if his father also thought of him as a disastrous presence, but he resisted it.

—he remembered it; from birth to three years of age, not once had he seen his father.

He also remembered vaguely that his older cousin would clench his fists, expression darkening, whenever the servants whispered things like “He’ll move out sooner or later” or “He’s not the true master”.

Chen He remembered even more clearly that his grandmother looked amicable but never held him. She summoned the serving girls to bring him some confections, but had told other servants to drag his wet nurse off to be sold away as soon as she turned around. All this because his wet nurse had not stopped him, causing him to run over excitedly and disturb the old madam’s afternoon rest.

The rules of the great clans and families chained one down to the point that it was suffocating.

If the child was insensible, it would be taken out on the servants around the child. This could effectively scare a young child and frighten the other servants.

The elders would hold their grounds and refrain from scolding the child, so that the terror-stricken servants would nag the child constantly. The child, growing impatient with being nagged, would naturally loathe the servants while thinking of the elders as amiable and kind. Meanwhile, the servants dared not defy the old madam, and cared for the child as if they were guarding an antique vase. They would only put it gingerly in its proper place; who cared about what this vase was thinking?

In front of these elders, which was more important, Chen He or the Chen household?

There was no need to think about the answer at all. If the priests all said Chen He’s fate was poor, and the old madam believed it, the entire family would believe it regardless of the truth. His auntie, who wanted to eradicate all threats to her obtaining the inheritance, could easily remove all traces of his existence with any random reason.

The Chen family wanted a grandson who could inherit the family’s dealings. It did not matter who it was; so long as there was someone, it would be enough.

—this utterly cold heartlessness and indifference of the great clans was the real cause of his auntie’s fearless actions.

“They’re all part of the past,”

said Chen He, as he raised his head to look at the clear, cold moon.

The wind was mixed with brownish-red grains of sand. He suddenly realised that the Chen family had turned to ashes in addition to being part of the past. Chen He felt lucky that he had this incurable confoundment, which prevented him from spending his days in fear and unease when he had first arrived in Black Depths Valley. Otherwise, what would become of a child who was unable to see familiar relatives for days, after he had gotten lost in the mountains and was pushed off a cliff?

Shi Feng quietly waited for Chen He to sort out his feelings, then stroked his back and sat down next to him.

Noticing the single layer of robes Shi Feng was wearing, clearly different than usual, Chen He only realised it as he felt himself, discovering that his senior brother’s coat was draped around him.

“Ahem, well…Senior Brother, why’d we come to the desert?” Chen He gripped the red coat tightly. After checking his meridians, his expression turned bitter; this level of injury would require so much time to recuperate!

Thinking of the Stone-borne Flame, which was to blame, Chen He felt the twinge all the way to his teeth, “Wait, that ball earlier was the Stone-borne Flame? Senior Brother, what did you do to it?”

No reply came. The wind swept up sand, blanketing the dune with a new layer of scale-like marks.

Chen He unconsciously leaned on his senior brother’s shoulder. He was a head shorter than Shi Feng, and his physique, which had yet to develop completely, was rather thin. On the sand, it seemed as if the moonlight had cast the shadow of a single person.

“Senior Brother, you won’t leave me behind, right.”

Shi Feng nodded, extending his hand to retrieve the jade orb which had sunken into the sand.

Chen He quickly scooped it up, shoving it into the folds of his robe without even shaking the grains of sand off. His movements were exactly like the times in his childhood when he nervously hid his meat buns, after some had been swindled away by those old fogies of Black Depths Valley.

“Senior Brother, give this to me.”

“…”

“There are some things I must remember,” Chen He said seriously.

Shi Feng paused briefly, his extended hand moving instead to caress his junior brother’s face. He would rather his junior brother had cried a great deal, just like himself back then. Cultivators were indifferent towards the world, but they were also genuine and straightforward with their emotions. Rather than letting the seven emotions be pent up, it would be better to forget them after crying.

Seeing that Shi Feng did not object, Chen He stowed the two jade orbs away, thinking of stringing them together and wearing them on his wrist.

“Oh, yeah, Senior Brother, what was that cold true essence you used to attack the Stone-borne Flame?” Chen He asked, puzzled.

The fireball had returned, playing without a care; it bounced on the sand dunes, reaching a height of five feet[2] each time.

Shi Feng’s fingers moved, creating three full-bodied, upright characters in the sand.

“Wood-borne Flame?” Chen He exclaimed.

He stared at Shi Feng in disbelief, “What is that? Something like the Stone-borne Flame?”

Shi Feng nodded.

Chen He remembered his time in the Chen household in Yunzhou. Towards the end, when Senior Brother channelled that cold, scary spiritual energy into his meridians, those cold white flames were clearly fused with Shi Feng’s true essence, and they acted without any hindrance, as if they were his own arms. Shi Feng could use them to repel, seal, and even engulf the Stone-borne Flame, clearly the result of many years of cultivation. The Stone-borne Flame, which had only just left its stone shell, was no match for him at all.

The Stone-borne Flame was tyrannical and ruthless by nature, and its traits as a yang-attribute fire were obvious. As its name suggested, it resided in a pebble.

As for the Wood-borne Flame, it probably would have burned down the piece of wood it resided in if it was like the Stone-borne Flame. Therefore, the possibility of it being a yin-attribute fire was very high, being able to consume everything despite having no heat.

“Senior Brother, it mustn’t have been easy subduing it, then!” Chen He looked at Shi Feng in astonishment.

Shi Feng’s brows lifted. The Wood-borne Flame he had obtained did not possess a spiritual sense. Besides, he had become quite accomplished then – after the wood had been split open, that ball of cold white flame drifted over with just a wave of his hand. Had there been any difficulty in that?

But he could not tell the truth, especially since his junior brother was about to have a hard time dealing with the Stone-borne Flame.

Thus Shi Feng nodded against his will.

“Senior Brother, why are we both so unlucky?” Chen He mumbled. “Or, to other people, this is considered being lucky?”

 

Previous: Chapter 13 | Index | Next: Chapter 15


 

Notes:

[1]: (Kind of long) Chinese believe that desert poplars (胡杨huyang) are extremely hardy. As the Chinese saying goes, ‘胡杨生而千年不死,死而千年不倒,倒而千年不烂’; this means ‘the desert poplar can live for a thousand years after it is born, remain standing for a thousand years after it dies, and go without rotting for a thousand years after it topples’. In other words, if even desert poplars don’t grow, this environment must be practically uninhabitable…

[2]: 1 chi (Chinese equivalent of foot) is about 33.3cm. The five feet described here would probably amount to about 166.5cm, somewhat higher than the modern (Western) measurement of five feet.

If you are seeing this text, you are NOT reading it on the original site. Head on down to lovelysweetdream 959085286 dot wordpress dot com to read the original!

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8 thoughts on “So What If You’ve Been Reborn? Chapter 14

  1. Aw, Chen He reawakens! And Shi Feng’s past is really intriguing. Go on protecting that little lump that grew up, Shi Feng! And I spot a bit of that shippy feels in here. The leaning was adorable. ❤

    Like

  2. I just discovered this novel and absolutely love it!! It’s such a wonderful new take on the reincarnation/redo trope, and both the MC and ML are really lovable!

    Thank you so much for all the effort you put into translating it–I binged all your translated chapters in one day!!

    Like

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