Actually, I wanted to post this in celebration for Valentine’s Day, but I guess life happened…This here is The Husky and His White Cat Shizun (Chinese: 二哈和他的白猫师尊), a novel by Meatbun Doesn’t Eat Meat (肉包不吃肉) on JJWXC. I loved it so much, I purchased all the VIP chapters and extras. :’D
Thanks to Eik and Silvaya for helping me along with the first chapter here and there. Additionally, Eik’s the one who got me to start reading this novel, and I’d like to thank her for introducing me to this amazing novel. I never would have thought of translating this if it hadn’t been for her.
C1. This Venerable One Has Died
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!
When Mo Ran hadn’t yet become the emperor, there was always someone calling him a dog.
The people from his hometown called him a doggy thing. His younger cousin called him a dog-fellow. His godmother was the best; she called him a ‘dog of a son’.
Of course, there had been some dog-related descriptions that weren’t too bad. Such as those people he’d slept with, they would always scold him with some false anger that his hips were as powerful as a male dog’s, his sweet words lured one’s soul in, the deadly weapon below claimed the lives of women. But in the blink of an eye, they’d be boasting to others, making it such that everyone around knew that he, Mo Weiyu, was a handsome man with a powerful tool. Those who had tried were utterly satisfied, and those who hadn’t were swayed by the prospect.
Although, it had to be said that those people were quite right. Mo Ran really was like a silly dog shaking its head and wagging its tail.
Such ways of referring to him only disappeared abruptly when he became the emperor of the cultivation world.
One day, a small, faraway cultivation sect sent him a young puppy.
That puppy was grey and white with three flames on its forehead, and it looked a bit like a wolf. But it was only as large as a melon, and very melon-like in appearance too. Despite being fat and round, it thought it looked awe-inspiring, running around the hall crazily. A few times, it tried to climb up the tall steps and take a good look at the person lounging on the throne, but its legs were too short, so it failed every single time.
Mo Ran stared at the energetic but brainless hairball for a moment and suddenly laughed. As he laughed, he cursed under his breath, you dog-fellow.
The puppy soon grew into a big dog. The big dog became an old dog, and the old dog became a dead dog.
Mo Ran’s eyes closed, then opened again. Amidst the pampering and mistreatment, the rises and falls, thirty-two years of his life had passed.
He had gotten tired of everything, and he felt bored and lonely. These years, there were fewer and fewer people whom he was familiar with, and Three-Flames had met its maker as well. He felt that it was about time, he should end everything.
Picking a gleaming, plump grape from the plate of fruit, he slowly peeled off its purple skin.
His movements were leisurely and practised, like Prince Qiang peeling off a woman’s clothing in the chamber; it carried the laziness of someone who was losing interest. The glistening flesh of the grape trembled faintly at his fingertips, its juice leaching out, its colour faintly purple; it appeared like the sunset, like wild geese flying during sunset, like crab-apple flowers slumbering in spring.
And like filthy blood.
Swallowing the sickly sweet taste in his mouth, he studied his own fingers, then lazily lifted his eyelids.
He thought, it’s about time.
It was about time he went to Hell.
Mo Ran, courtesy name Weiyu.
The first monarch of the cultivation world.
It really hadn’t been easy to get to this position. Not only did one need unrivalled powers, one also needed a thick-skinned face that was hard as rock.
Before him, the ten major sects of the cultivation world stood as equals in high places. Between sects, each tried to pull the arms of the other, and no one was able to make massive changes with their own power. Furthermore, the various sect leaders were all persons of talent who were well-versed in classical texts. Even if they wanted to give themselves a title for fun, they feared the historians, the taunting of future generations to come.
But Mo Ran was different.
He was a hooligan.
He ended up doing all the things others dared not do. Drinking the best alcohol in the world, marrying the most beautiful woman in the world, becoming ‘Lord TaXian’, the union leader of the cultivation world, then bestowing the rank of emperor upon himself.
Tens of thousands of people prostrated themselves before him.
Anyone who refused to kneel was hunted down and killed by him. During those years when he dominated the world, the cultivation world was awash in blood and full of anguished cries. Countless righteous men met their demise, and one of the ten major sects, the Rufeng Sect, was wiped out entirely.
Later, even Mo Ran’s master who had taught him was unable to escape misfortune. He lost during the faceoff against Mo Ran and was brought back to the palace by his former beloved disciple to be imprisoned. No one knew what became of him.
The land, which had been beautiful and orderly, was suddenly thrust into chaos.
The dog emperor Mo Ran didn’t undertake much formal studies and had no inhibitions. Hence, during his reign, many ridiculous things happened, such as the era name.
In the first three-year period of his reign as emperor, the era name was ‘Wangba’, which he had thought of while sitting by the pond to feed fish.
In the second three-year period, the era name was ‘Croak’, because he heard a frog croak in the yard during summer and thought it was heaven-sent inspiration that he should live up to.
The learned men thought there wouldn’t be any era names more horrifying than ‘Wangba’ and ‘Croak’, but in the end, they knew nothing about Mo Weiyu.
For the third three-year period, the people were ready to swoop in. Whether they were Buddhist cultivators, Taoist cultivators, or spiritual cultivators, the righteous ones who couldn’t tolerate Mo Ran’s tyranny began discussing the prospect of revolution.
Thus, Mo Ran thought about it seriously this time. After countless drafts, the most shocking, most earth-shaking era name was born—-‘No Stick’.
It was well-intentioned. The founding emperor had cracked his brains to come up with these two words, which carried the good meaning of ‘stop fighting and put down the weapons’. Only, it was a bit awkward for the people to say.
It sounded even more awkward for anyone who was illiterate.
The first year was called ‘the first year of No Stick’, which sounded wrong no matter what.
The second year was ‘second year of No Stick’.
‘Third year of No Stick’.
People had closed their doors and cursed about it.
“Such ridiculousness, why don’t they just use No Stick for the ages! Next time when you see a man, you won’t need to ask him for his age, just ask him how many years of ‘No Stick’ he is! And call hundred-year-old men ‘Hundred-years No Stick’!”
After three years of enduring, the era name ‘No Stick’ was finally going to be replaced.
Everyone was waiting in trepidation for His Majesty’s fourth era name, but this time, Mo Ran didn’t have the heart to come up with one. For it was in this year that the unrest in the cultivation world blew up. The righteous martial artists and heroes of the cultivation world, who had suffered in silence for nearly a decade, formed a large army and laid siege to the palace of the founding emperor, Mo Weiyu.
The cultivation world didn’t need any emperor or king.
Especially not a tyrant like him.
After months of bloodshed and battle, the revolting armies finally reached the foot of Life-Death Peak. This tall mountain in Shuzhong was shrouded in clouds and mist year-round, and Mo Ran’s palace stood proudly at the summit.
With the arrow notched in the bow, all it took was one last strike to overturn the palace. But this strike was the most dangerous. With the light of victory close before them, the revolution union which had been united by their hatred was starting to have second thoughts. Should the old ruler be destroyed, a new order would have to be established in its place. No one wanted to exhaust any more energy at this moment, and thus, no one was willing to be the vanguard and lead the charge up the mountain.
They were afraid that this cunning, devious tyrant would descend from the sky, baring his beastly white fangs at them, and tear into those who dared to attack his palace, shredding them to bits.
Some said with heavy expressions, “Mo Weiyu’s spiritual powers are strong and he is a cunning person. We should be cautious so that we don’t fall for his tricks.”
The leaders expressed their agreement.
But it was at this moment that a handsome, prideful-looking youth came out of the crowd. He wore a set of silvery-blue light armour and a belt decorated with a lion’s head. His hair was held in a high ponytail, an exquisite silver ring decorating the base of the ponytail.
The youth’s expression was grim as he said, “We’ve reached the foot of the mountain but you’re all dawdling and not willing to go up, don’t tell me you’re waiting for Mo Weiyu to crawl down here on his own? You bunch of cowardly good-for-nothings!”
After he said this, the people around him started talking.
“Young Master Xue, what are you saying? What do you mean by ‘cowardly’? When it comes to fighting with an army, it’s best to be cautious. If we all gave no damns like you, who’ll be responsible when something goes wrong?”
Someone else taunted, “Heheh, Young Master Xue is the favoured son of the heavens, but we’re only sons of commoners. Since the son of the heavens can’t wait to duke it out with the emperor of the mortal realm, then why don’t you scale the mountain on your own first. We’ll set up a banquet at the foot of the mountain and wait for you to bring Mo Weiyu’s head back, isn’t that nice.”
Those words had been more extreme. An old monk quickly held back the youth who was about to blow up, putting on a kindly expression and persuading him gently,
“Young Master Xue, please listen to this old monk’s words. This old monk knows you and Mo Weiyu have a deep personal enmity, but the siege is an important matter. Please do think of everyone, don’t act on your feelings.”
The one they called ‘Young Master Xue’ was Xue Meng. Ten-odd years ago, he had been the talented young man whom everyone praised, the favoured son of the heavens.
But the times and situation had changed, he had fallen from grace, and now he had to endure the taunting and mocking of these people in order to climb the mountain and meet Mo Ran again.
Xue Meng was so angry that it warped his expression and made his lips tremble, but he strove to contain it, asking, “Then, until when are you going to wait?”
“We should at least see if there’s any movement.”
“That’s right, what if Mo Weiyu set up an ambush?”
The old monk who was just muddling along also tried to persuade him, “Don’t be hasty, Young Master Xue. We’re already at the foot of the mountain, so it would be better to exercise a little caution. Anyway, Mo Weiyu is already trapped in the palace and he can’t come down the mountain. His powers have reached their limits, and he’s no longer a threat, should we handle things so lightly just to take advantage of the present? There are so many people down here, with so many nobles and noteworthy people among them; who will be responsible if they lose their lives?”
Xue Meng exploded in fury, “Responsible? Then let me ask you, who can be responsible for my Shizun’s life? Mo Ran’s kept my Shizun under house arrest for ten years! Ten whole years! Now my Shizun’s on the mountain and you’re expecting me to wait?”
Hearing Xue Meng mention his master, no one could keep a straight face.
Some people looked guilty, while others looked this way and that, afraid to speak up.
“Ten years ago, Mo Ran called himself Lord TaXian, massacred everyone in the seventy-two cities under the Rufeng Sect, and even wanted to decimate the remaining nine of the major sects. Later, Mo Ran made himself emperor and wanted to kill you all. During these two disasters, who stopped him in the end? If not for my Shizun fighting to the death to defend you, would you still be alive? Would you still be able to stand here unscathed and talk to me?”
Finally, someone coughed twice before saying gently, “Please don’t be angry, Young Master Xue. About Grandmaster Chu…we are all very remorseful and grateful towards him. But just as you said, he’s been under house arrest for ten years, and if there was something, he would have…Well, you’ve waited for ten years, so you don’t have to rush now, right?”
“Right? Like you’d ever be friggin’ right!”
That person’s eyes widened. “How can you cuss me out?”
“Why wouldn’t I cuss you out? Shizun disregarded the possibility of his own death just to save this kind of…this kind of…”
He couldn’t go on, his throat choking up. “I feel like it wasn’t worth it.”
At the end, Xue Meng jerked his head around abruptly, his shoulders trembling faintly as he held back his tears.
“We didn’t say we weren’t going to save Grandmaster Chu…”
“That’s right, everyone remembers Grandmaster Chu’s kindness in their hearts, we didn’t forget. Young Master Xue, when you say it like that, you’re making us look like a bunch of ungrateful people, and we can’t have that.”
“But when you think about it, wasn’t Mo Ran a disciple of Grandmaster Chu as well?” someone said softly. “If I had to say, the master should take some responsibility for the disciple’s evil ways. As they say, the father is at fault if the son is not taught, and the teacher is lazy if the student is not strictly taught. This isn’t something to find major fault with, so what’s there to complain about.”
Now this was a little harsh. Someone barked at once, “What crazy things are you saying! You watch what you say!”
Then they turned around to persuade Xue Meng with an amiable expression,
“Young Master Xue, don’t be so anxious…”
“How can I not be anxious?” Xue Meng cut them short, his eyes seemingly about to burst. “You don’t feel anything in your position, but that’s my Shizun! Mine!!! I haven’t seen him for so many years! I don’t know if he’s dead or alive, I don’t know how he’s living, why do you think I’m standing here?”
He breathed hard, his eyes rimmed with red.
“You think Mo Weiyu will come down on his own and kneel and beg for forgiveness in front of you if you wait like this?”
“Young Master Xue…”
“Other than Shizun, I don’t have anyone else I can be close to.” Pulling free the corner of his robe that the old monk had held onto, Xue Meng said hoarsely, “If you’re not going, I’ll go myself.”
Leaving behind those words, he went up the mountain on his own with nothing else but his sword.
The cold, dank wind carried the sounds of leaves rustling. In the thick fog, it sounded like fierce spirits and maligned souls whispering, walking between the trees and mountains.
Xue Meng travelled to the summit alone. The majestic palace where Mo Ran resided shone with peaceful candlelight. Suddenly, he saw three graves before Sky-Reaching Tower. Upon closer inspection, the first grave was covered by grass, and on the headstone, eight large words had been carved crookedly: ‘Grave of Consort Chu, the Steamed Noble Consort’.
In contrast to this ‘Steamed Noble Consort’, the second grave was new, and the earth had been filled in recently. Carved on the headstone were the words ‘Grave of Lady Song, the Stir-Fried Empress’.
If it had been over ten years ago, Xue Meng would’ve laughed out loud when he saw this outrageous scene.
Back then, he and Mo Ran had been under the same master. Mo Ran had been the biggest prankster of them all. Even though Xue Meng never liked him much, he would often be amused by the other’s antics.
He didn’t know what this Steamed Noble Consort and Stir-Fried Empress was all about; probably the headstones Master Mo the Learned set up for his two wives. This style was quite like ‘Wangba’, ‘Croak’, and ‘No Stick’. Although, the reason why he gave them such titles would remain unknown.
Xue Meng looked at the third grave.
In the night, the grave stood open. Inside was a coffin, but there wasn’t anyone in the coffin, and there were no words on the headstone.
But there was a jug of Pear-Blossom White, a bowl of chilli oil wontons that had gone cold, a few plates of spicy food, all of them being foods that Mo Ran loved.
Xue Meng stared at them for a while, stupefied, then suddenly became shocked—so Mo Weiyu had no intention of retaliating, and he had already dug his own grave, having decided to meet his doom?
He felt himself breaking out in a cold sweat.
He didn’t believe it. Mo Ran had always toughed it out till the end, never knowing what fatigue and giving up were. With his way of doing things, he’d definitely fight the revolting armies till the end, so why would he…
These ten years, as Mo Ran stood at the height of power, what had he seen, what had happened—
No one knew.
Xue Meng turned, his figure becoming one with the night. He strode towards the brightly lit Wushan Hall.
Inside Wushan Hall, Mo Ran’s eyes were closed, his face ashen.
Xue Meng guessed correctly; he was set on dying. That grave outside had been dug by himself for himself. Two hours ago, he had dismissed his servants with transportation spells and consumed a deadly poison. His cultivation base was strong, and the strong poison spread exceptionally slowly within his body, causing the pain of his organs being eaten and dissolved away to become deeper and sharper.
With a ‘creak’, the doors opened.
Mo Ran didn’t raise his head, only saying hoarsely, “Xue Meng. It’s you, you’ve come, haven’t you?”
Upon the golden brick floor of the hall, Xue Meng stood alone, his ponytail flying, his light armour gleaming.
Former disciples met again. But Mo Ran was expressionless as he sat with his chin against his hand, his fine, thick lashes hanging low before his eyes.
Everyone made him out to be some twisted demon with three heads and six arms, but in fact, he was very good-looking. His nose bridge had a gentle curve, his lips were light-coloured yet full, and he naturally looked gentle and sweet. By looks alone, anyone would judge him to be a kind, good person.
Upon seeing his face, Xue Meng knew he had indeed taken poison. He didn’t know what he was feeling, and he looked about to speak, but said nothing. In the end, he clenched his fist, simply asking, “Where’s Shizun?”
Xue Meng said harshly, “I asked you, where’s Shizun!!! Your, mine, our Shizun?!”
“Oh.” Mo Ran hummed softly. He finally opened his purplish-black eyes, his gaze seemingly passing through years upon years of time before landing on Xue Meng.
“Thinking about it, since the farewell at Kunlun Taxue Palace, you and Shizun haven’t met for two years.”
Mo Ran smiled faintly as he spoke.
“Xue Meng, are you missing him?”
“Cut the crap! Return him to me!”
Mo Ran looked at him calmly. Enduring the pain in his stomach, the corner of his mouth twitched mockingly as he leaned back against his throne.
His vision kept going black. He could almost feel how clearly his organs were twisting, dissolving, turning to foul bloody liquid.
Mo Ran said nonchalantly, “Return to you? What foolish talk. Use your brains a little; why would I allow Shizun to live when I’ve held such a deep grudge towards him.”
“You—!” Xue Meng’s face drained of all colour. His eyes widened as he stepped back. “You couldn’t have…you’d never…”
“I’d never what?” Mo Ran laughed softly. “Why don’t you tell me why I shouldn’t.”
Xue Meng’s voice trembled, “But he was your…He was your Shizun after all…How could you have done it!”
He lifted his head, looking at Mo Ran who sat high above in his throne. There was Fuxi in the heavens, there was Yanluo in the underworld, and there was Mo Weiyu in the mortal realm.
But to Xue Meng, Mo Ran shouldn’t have become this way even if he became the emperor of the human realm.
Xue Meng’s entire body was trembling, so full of anger that his tears were falling.
“Mo Weiyu, are you still human? He used to…”
“He used to what?” Mo Ran looked up without much emotion.
“You should know how he used to treat you…” Xue Meng said tremulously.
Mo Ran suddenly smiled.
“Are you trying to remind me how he once beat me until I was covered in wounds and made me kneel and admit my wrongdoings in front of everyone. Or are you trying to remind me how he stood in my way for your sake, for the sake of unrelated persons, preventing me from accomplishing what I wanted several times?”
“…” Xue Meng shook his head, pained.
That’s not it, Mo Ran.
Think about it carefully, put away that twisted hatred of yours. Look back.
He used to teach you cultivation and martial arts, protecting you on all sides.
He used to teach you how to write and read, how to compose poetry and paint.
He used to learn how to cook for your sake, he was so clumsy that he hurt his hands all over.
He used to…He used to wait for you, day and night, alone, from night…till daybreak…
He had so much to say, but it was all choked up in his throat. In the end, Xue Meng could only sob,
“He…He did have a bad temper, and his words sounded harsh, but even I know he treated you so well, why…How could you have the heart to…”
Xue Meng raised his head, holding back way too many tears. His throat was choked up, and he couldn’t say any more.
After a long pause, there came a soft sigh from Mo Ran.
“But Xue Meng. You know what?” Mo Ran’s voice sounded very tired. “He once caused the death of the only person I ever loved. The only one.”
The silence stretched on for a long time.
The ache in his stomach was like a raging flame, as if his flesh and blood were being ripped to bits and pieces.
“Although, we at least used to be master and disciple. His corpse is at Red Lotus Pavilion on the southern peak. He’s lying in the lotus flowers, very well-preserved, like he’s asleep.” Mo Ran exhaled, forcing a calm appearance. When he said this, he had no expression, his fingers resting on the long red sandalwood table, but his knuckles were pale.
“His corpse hasn’t rotted because I’ve been maintaining it with my spiritual energy. If you miss him, then don’t waste your breath here with me. Hurry and go while I’m not dead.”
A foul taste surged up his throat. Mo Ran gave a few coughs; when he opened his mouth again, his lips and teeth were bloody, but he had a carefree look in his eyes.
He rasped, “Go. Go see him. If you get there late, my spiritual energy will be lost when I die, and he’ll turn to dust.”
After these words, he shut his eyes. The poison had reached his heart, burning him from the inside.
The pain seemed to tear through his heart and lungs. Even Xue Meng’s agonised cries and howls seemed so distant, as if they were passing through the waters of the vast seas.
Blood poured from the corner of his mouth. Mo Ran gripped his sleeves, his muscles spasming.
When he opened his eyes groggily, Xue Meng had already run off. That fellow’s qinggong wasn’t too bad, so it wouldn’t take him much time to run from here to the southern peak.
He’d probably be able to see his Shizun for the last time.
Propping himself up, Mo Ran got up shakily. Forming a hand seal with his bloody fingers, he transported himself to the area before Sky-Reaching Tower.
It was now well into autumn. The crab-apple flowers were blooming splendidly.
He didn’t know why he chose to end his sin-filled life here. However, since the flowers were blooming so beautifully, it would be a fine burial.
He lay down in the open coffin, looking up at the flowers in the night as they fell soundlessly.
They drifted into the coffin, drifting onto his cheek. They scattered, just as the things of the past wilted away.
In this life, he experienced countless things, going from being an illegitimate son with nothing to becoming the only emperor in the world.
He was the very height of evil, his hands stained with blood. He loved and hated, he desired and detested, yet in the end, there was nothing left.
At the end, he didn’t write anything on his own headstone with those unrestrained words of his. Be it an extremely shameless ‘Emperor of the Ages’, or something as ludicrous as ‘Stir-Fried’ or ‘Steamed’, he didn’t write anything. No words had been left behind at the grave of the cultivation world’s founding emperor.
This nonsensical affair which had lasted ten years was finally over.
After many hours had passed, the crowds raised their lit torches and entered the palace like a large fiery snake. But all that awaited them was an empty Wushan Hall, a deserted Life-Death Peak, a Xue Meng who lay on the bone ash-covered ground next to Red Lotus Pavilion, having cried so much that he was numb.
And, in front of Sky-Reaching Tower, that Mo Weiyu whose corpse was already stone cold.
MC dies in chapter one?! Shock!!! But let me tell you a secret: this is a rebirth novel…
That said, let’s get a closer look at those new names.
Mo Ran = 墨燃, courtesy name Weiyu = 微雨. (燃 = ‘to burn’, 微雨 = ‘light rain’) Our MC.
Lord TaXian = 踏仙君. (踏仙 literally means ‘stepping on immortals’, possibly because MC viewed himself as superior to all other cultivators and therefore above them) Spelling was edited following a suggestion from Eik.
Xue Meng = 薛蒙. (蒙 has many meanings; the more fitting ones for names include ‘fine’ as in ‘fine drizzle’, ‘first light of dawn’ from 蒙蒙亮, etc) This is one of MC’s two fellow disciples, and also his younger cousin who kept calling him a dog-fellow.
Rufeng Sect = 儒风门. (儒 can refer to scholars, and is often associated with Confucianism 儒家, but it’s not clear why this sect uses 儒 in the name)
And…If you came here through SWIYBR and PFoD, you should be familiar with my style by now. I cultivate the footnotes Dao.
: 王八 wangba, a slang term for ‘tortoise’. When used to refer to people, it’s a pretty big insult, so please don’t call anyone a 王八 unless you truly hate their guts.
: Lines from the Students’ Rules 弟子规, the original being 子不教，父之过，教不严，师之惰.
: In case you didn’t catch on, Xue Meng is being sarcastic.
: Originally 梨花白. A variety of wine that’ll be mentioned every now and then in the novel.
: 轻功, a skill in Chinese martial arts that improves one’s running and jumping ability. One can also use 轻功 to stand on objects that are ordinarily unable to support their weight. In wuxia and xianxia settings, it’s mostly used for faster travel (think running on roofs or along a wall that’s perpendicular to the ground). Also, I can’t think of an English equivalent for this.
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!