Ch22 – “…It’s him.”

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When the young Qin Ruwang asked Ji Ning why he was kind to him, Ji Ning hadn’t explained the real reason, pretending it was because Qin Ruwang would become the future Emperor of Xia.

This wasn’t true.
He wanted to keep Qin Ruwang by his side because he felt guilty.
More importantly, he needed Qin Ruwang to fall in love with him to complete his mission. 

They could never have a pure and sweet love.
Qin Ruwang’s mother died because of the Gods Ji Ning served.
His hatred for the monarch, the Wushen kingdom, and the Gods would never fade.
Even if he loved Ji Ning, there would always be hatred intertwined.

Ji Ning didn’t want Qin Ruwang’s hatred to disappear.
His hatred was what would drive Qin Ruwang to poison the crown prince and personally shoot the Emperor of Xia during an autumn hunt.
He would imprison dissenting officials and relatives, use the threat of God to frighten the court and his opposers, and finally ascend to the throne as Emperor.

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Whether cruel or wise, Qin Ruwang would become the next Emperor of the Xia kingdom, Ji Ning wouldn’t stand in his way.

He couldn’t allow for his care and love to kill Qin Ruwang’s ambition.
Instead, Qin Ruwang must be made to both love and hate him. 

Ji Ning woke up from his sleep and opened his eyes in a daze.
The first thing that caught his eyes was Qin Ruwang’s pale face.

 

Those eyes were very similar to the handsome and elegant young man back then, but carried a little more maturity and harshness, as well as a cold emptiness unique to the deceased.

He sat cross-legged on the ground, his scabbard lying across his knees.
His dark eyes followed Ji Ning’s movements.
When he saw that he was awake, he called out in a deep voice, “Master.”

It was a dream just now…

 

Ji Ning gazed at him for a few seconds before remembering that those past events were all dreams.
They were no longer who they used to be and Xia had already vanished into the long river of history.

He blinked, propped up his body with his paws and fluffed up the fur on his body.
He was on a bed but he didn’t know who it belonged to.

He had still been in Ying Qianqiu’s carriage when he collapsed…

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Across a curtain of white gauze, the silver haired demon lord sat at his desk, writing.
Hearing Qin Ruwang’s voice, his pen movements paused as he raised his head towards Ji Ning, before standing up and quickly walking over. 

It seems he had stayed with Ying Qianqiu yesterday.
Fortunately the two hadn’t fought while he was asleep.

Wagging his tail, he called out, “Qianqiu” and tried to stand up, but immediately fell back onto the bed.
His body felt heavy and aching and his vision was blurry.

Why was he so uncomfortable…

He slumped back onto the bed lifelessly, his tail hanging limply. 

Seeing his unwell appearance, Ying Qianqiu frowned slightly, but at that moment a girl’s voice came from outside the carriage, “Qianqiu, let me in, I’ve got the Huaxing pills!”

Receiving permission to enter, Yun Dao bounced into the carriage, taking out a beautiful treasure bag and placing several boxes containing the Huaxing pills on the table, as if displaying precious riches.
She said happily, “Where’s Yingxue? Come and eat the Huaxing pill.”

“Sister…”

The cub’s voice was weak and aggrieved, “I’m so uncomfortable.” 

“What’s wrong with you?” Yun Dao was surprised, running over to the bed to see the little cub curled into a ball.
Seeing such a pitiful display she felt a sense of helplessness, “This…can Yingxue eat human medicine? No, I’ll go to Chen Sheng!”

Ying Qianqiu had huge power and many followers.
To fight against the twelve aristocratic families, his clan had travelled all across the mainland using tamed beasts.
Beasts were not immune to illness or injury and also required medical treatments.
Chen Sheng was their most talented medical officer who specialised in treating beasts.

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Yun Dao quickly called for Chen Sheng, moving Ji Ning to the cushioned sofa.
After giving the cub a checkup, Chen Sheng couldn’t help smiling, “Yingxue is fine, he just ate a lot of food last night and hasn’t digested it.
Take this medicinal powder.”

“Okay…” 

Yun Dao couldn’t help but blame herself in her heart.
It was because she forced the little guy to eat so much yesterday that he was so uncomfortable now.

Chen Sheng took some medicinal powder from his treasure bag and poured it into a cup of warm water.
He fed it to the cub, saying, “He will feel better in about an hour.”

“Then, can Yingxue still take the Huaxing pill today?” Yun Dao asked.

Chen Sheng shook his head, “A shape changing pill would be too much while his body is still weak, so he shouldn’t take any other pills today.
It won’t be too late to take the pill once he’s better tomorrow.” 

“I’m sorry Yingxue…” Yun Dao bowed her head in shame.
She said sadly to the cub, “It’s all your sister’s fault.”

“It’s fine big sister, I couldn’t blame you.”

Although Ji Ning felt unwell, he was actually extremely pleased.
How could he blame Yun Dao? He wanted to get on his knees and thank her! It was because of her that he didn’t have to eat those spiritual fruits last night and he was able to avoid eating the Huaxing pill today.
By tomorrow he would be able to return to Gu Chen’s world and wait for his power seal to be lifted.

“Yingxue would feel better faster if you combed his fur through with qi.” Chen Sheng said. 

“I’ll do it, I’ll do it!”

Yun Dao responded enthusiastically, trying to atone for her sins, but was stopped by a hand.
The silver haired man had moved over to the bed.
Winding qi around his fingers, he gently stroked through the cub’s fur.

This was really relaxing for Ji Ning.
He wiggled his tail and enjoyed the pleasant feeling of Ying Qianqiu’s weight, his body getting warmer and warmer-

That wasn’t right… 

Ji Ning abruptly felt that this was a very similar feeling to the one that happened just before his first transformation.
Startled, he hurriedly ran to the bed to hide, as his body suddenly changed, becoming human.

We’re sorry for MTLers or people who like using reading mode, but our translations keep getting stolen by aggregators so we’re going to bring back the copy protection.
If you need to MTL please retype the gibberish parts.

What’s going on here?

Llr ogbca qjkr tjv yfmbwf akb rwjii tjcvr, ktlif atf gfra bo tlr ybvs tjv aegcfv lcab j mtliv’r oluegf.
Al Rlcu kjr rtbmxfv rlifca, ktlira jijgw yfiir rbecvfv lc tlr tfjv.

【Ktf Lejzlcu qlii ifoa gfrlveji foofmar lc sbeg ybvs atja kfgf jmalnjafv ys atf dl.】Jtlwfv lc Meaegf, mbccfmalcu ab Al Rlcu’r mbcrmlbercfrr. 

「Isn’t that too unlucky?」Ji Ning was distressed,「When will I change back?」

【Unable to predict, the time is uncertain.】said Future.

 

What was he supposed to do, hide under the bed until he changed back? Impossible, Yun Dao and the others would soon follow him in here and see him.

Ji Ning was still thinking what to do, when Yun Dao asked, “Yingxue, what’s wrong with you? Why did you hide?” 

She was about to lay on the floor to check the cub’s condition, when the voice of a maid came from outside the carriage, “My lord, the Tiandu city lord is here to see you.”

“Please come in.”

Ying Qianqiu looked at the bed with a complex expression, then fluttered his sleeves and walked out.
Yun Dao hesitated for a bit.
Taking into account her image in front of others, she decided against lying on the floor and just bent downwards, “Xue Tuan, are you alright?”

“I’m fine sister,” a soft, childlike voice came from under the bed, “The ground is cool and comfortable.
I want to stay here for a while.” 

“Okay, but you’ll have to come out by yourself later, your sister is going to speak to guests.”

Yun Dao took out a black veil from her treasure bag, using it to cover the lower half of her face and leaving only her eyes visible.
She rearranged her skirt, then followed Ying Qianqiu outside.

After they had left, Qin Ruwang lay on the ground, stretched a hand out under the bed and called, “Master?”

“I’m fine Ruwang, I just want to stay like this for a while…” Ji Ning muttered. 

“Yes.”

Qin Ruwang didn’t question him after Ji Ning said there was nothing wrong.
He stood up again and moved in front of the bed, guarding his master.

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When would he change back…

Ji Ning clenched his small fingers and waited anxiously.
He could faintly hear voices from outside.
The Tiandu city lord knew that Ying Qianqiu was travelling near Tiandu and had specially invited them to meet him. 

“Since the city lord has invited us, we would be glad to visit him,” said Ying Qianqiu.

The messenger replied, “Then I will wait outside for the lord and the holy maiden.”

Ying Qianqiu nodded and the messenger bowed respectfully, then retired.
A group of servants entered to change their clothes and prepare gifts.
A large number of guards assembled who would travel with Ying Qianqiu and Yun Dao.

Yun Dao had wanted to bring the cub too, but considering Qin Ruwang would definitely follow him, it would be inappropriate to bring a corpse to visit the city lord of Tiandu, so she gave up on the idea. 

“Wait for us to come back, Xue Tuan.”

After saying goodbyes and leaving a large pile of food, Yun Dao left, following Ying Qianqiu.
Ji Ning’s anxious heart finally calmed down and he slowly crawled out from under the bed.

 

He leaned towards a bronze mirror to check his appearance.
He looked exactly like he had as a child, but because of the effects of the Huaxing pill, he still had beast ears and a tail.
Ji Ning was undoubtedly cute, but he still felt extremely annoyed.

There was no possibility of escape because Ying Qianqiu alone controlled who could enter and exit the carriage.
Without his permission, it would be impossible to break the confinement enchantment on the carriage without being far more powerful than him. 

In his current position, Ji Ning didn’t stand a chance.
Although Qin Ruwang was powerful, without further refining, he couldn’t match Ying Qianqiu, never mind surpassing him.

All in all, Ji Ning was helpless.
There were only two things he could do: pray that the two wouldn’t return until he had changed back into his beast form, or hope that a meteor hit the carriage so hard it broke the enchantment and he and Qin Ruwang could leave.

He sat in front of the mirror in a trance, as if he was feeling sorry for his reflection.
He was so lost in thought that he didn’t hear the sound of someone approaching.

“Oops, I forgot to hide the Huaxing pills, what if that greedy Xue Tuan eats it…” 

Yun Dao held a token infused with Ying Qianqiu’s qi that allowed her to freely enter and exit the carriage, and lifted the gauze curtain to step inside.
Unexpectedly she saw the back of a boy with fluffy ears and a tail, who seemed to be-

“Xue Tuan?” Yun Dao was shocked, “You ate a Huaxing pill?”

Why had she come back??

The boy’s tail froze and the girl quickly walked over, both worried and happy, “Are you feeling unwell? Come, let big sister see your face.” 

“No!”

The boy swiftly raised his arms to cover his face, burying his head in his sleeves as he squatted on the ground and shouted, “Sister, don’t look at me!”

“Why can’t I look?” asked Yun Dao, “Did you want Qianqiu to see you first?”

“No, it’s me, it’s me…” the boy’s soft voice turned into a cry as he choked back sobs, “I’m so ugly, I don’t want people to see me…” 

“No way, how can you be ugly, my Xue Tuan is the best looking.” Yun Dao coaxed patiently, “Come on, let sister see you.”

“No, no, no…wuwuwu, I’m really ugly…”

The boy’s cries became louder and he burst into tears.
He sounded extremely miserable.
Yun Dao was deeply distressed when she heard this and coaxed him repeatedly, “Okay, okay, sister won’t look at you, please don’t cry.”

“I, I want something to block my face, so no one will ever see me again,” the boy hiccuped. 

“It’s fine, I’ll give this to you.”

In order to persuade him, Yun Dao took off her veil and sent it into the boy’s arms using her qi.

 

The boy quickly folded the veil into a triangle shape and tied it across the lower half of his face, wrapping the rest of it around his head.
Yun Dao’s veil was supposed to be worn from behind their animal ears but Ji Ning had wrapped his entire head, his beast ears poking out between the pieces of fabric like two small horns.
It was very cute.

“Thank you sister…” 

The boy was finally willing to turn around, looking at her with red rimmed eyes.
He had stopped sobbing but appeared a little shy, as if embarrassed by how hard he had been crying.

“Your eyes are so beautiful…”

Seeing the boy’s large and dark eyes, for some reason Yun Dao felt a sense of familiarity, but couldn’t remember who he reminded her of, “With such beautiful eyes, how could you be ugly?”

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“I’m ugly…” 

The boy mumbled, his shoulders trembling slightly as if he was about to cry again.
Yun Dao put those thoughts away and quickly comforted him again so he wouldn’t cry.
After that, she hid the Huaxing pills and left in a hurry.

He had dealt with the situation even if he’d had to abandon his pride.

Ji Ning thought bitterly, as he wiped the sweat from his forehead with the veil he’d used to cover his face.

Yun Dao put on a new veil and hurried back to the carriage. 

Ying Qianqiu and the envoy of Tiandu sat either side of her.
Seeing that she had been gone for a long time, Ying Qianqiu asked, “Why did it take you so long?”

“I left the Huaxing pills out in the open and was afraid Yingxue would eat them by mistake so I hurried back.”

As they were in front of outsiders, Yun Dao spoke gracefully before whispering softly to Ying Qianqiu, “After I rushed back, Yingxue had already eaten the Huaxing pill.
It was my mistake, I ask the lord to punish me.
Fortunately, Yingxue is safe and sound in human form…”

Ying Qianqiu paused and asked, “What does he look like?” 

“I don’t know yet, Yingxue refuses to show me his face,” Yun Dao replied.

The air stiffened.

For some reason, the envoy of Tiandu felt a sense of trepidation as a heavy pressure emanated from the silver haired demon beside him.
If he was not worried about losing face for Tiandu, he would have already retreated over a hundred miles away.

“Please wait for me, I will return quickly.” 

Before waiting for the envoy to reply, Ying Qianqiu vanished.
Yun Dao didn’t understand his reaction but followed behind, leaving the envoy to wipe the sweat off his brow and breathe a long sigh of relief.

Yun Dao had returned so suddenly that Ji Ning’s vigilance was aroused.
He didn’t take his veil off completely and paid close attention to any movements outside the carriage.

 

This time, he quickly sensed Yun Dao approaching.
What was even worse was that Ying Qianqiu was with her.
He immediately fastened the veil tightly and hid behind Qin Ruwang, to prevent Ying Qianqiu from tearing the cloth off his face.

Ying Qianqiu’s silver hair shimmered against his dark robe as he stalked into the carriage.
He looked into the carriage with sharp eyes and saw the boy hiding behind Qin Ruwang.
He said to Qin Ruwang coldly, “Step aside.” 

Qin Ruwang put a hand on the hilt of his sword, not moving an inch away from Ji Ning.

Yun Dao was anxious, saying to Ying Qianqiu, “Qianqiu, what’s wrong with you? Are you eager to see Yingxue’s transformation? Don’t force him, he said that he’s not good looking, don’t act like this…”

“Yingxue,” Ying Qianqiu was unmoved, “Come out.”

“I’m too ugly, Qianqiu, don’t look at me…” 

The boy’s choked voice came from behind Qin Ruwang.

“If you don’t come out,” Ying Qianqiu’s terrifying aura rose sharply until the furnishings in the carriage couldn’t bear it, shattering and splintering as they broke apart into shards as thin as paper, “I’ll kill that murderous corpse.”

“Qianqiu!”

Yun Dao was scared by his attitude and clutched his sleeve, but Ying Qianqiu brushed her hands off. 

There was a wild look in his eyes and Yun Dao couldn’t understand why he was so angry.
He had even turned a deaf ear to her, as if he wouldn’t stop until he saw the boy’s true appearance.

“Don’t!”

The boy shouted in panic, walking out from behind the murderous corpse.

The murderous corpse raised a hand to protect him, but the boy shook his head, briefly touching the corpse’s hand.
His face was still covered by the cloth so that only a pair of reddened eyes were exposed. 

He looked at Ying Qianqiu with those eyes and begged softly.

“Please, don’t look…”

The vibration that thrummed through the carriage suddenly stopped,

In an instant, Ying Qianqiu restrained the terrifying qi that bore down on everything.
Standing stiff as a sculpture, he stared at the boy. 

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After a long time, he turned around, his back to the boy, and walked out of the carriage.

“Then I won’t look.”

 

“This…” Yun Dao was shocked and confused.
She looked between Qin Ruwang, the boy, and Ying Qianqiu’s back.
She hesitated for a moment, then gritted her teeth and followed after Ying Qianqiu, saying to Yingxue, “Don’t be scared, I’ll ask him what that was!”

She followed the silver haired man, complaining in her heart.
She didn’t understand why Ying Qianqiu had reacted so violently, then suddenly gave up after a look at the boy’s face.
What was he trying to do? 

Yun Dao walked over to Ying Qianqiu with a sullen expression, but froze at the sight of his expression.

Because Ying Qianqiu’s eyes were filled with water.

“…It’s him.”

He whispered. 

“It’s him.”

That night Ying Qianqiu and Yun Dao did not return.

Yun Dao asked a guard to go back to Ji Ning and inform him that the lord and holy maiden were warmly received by the lord of Tiandu city.
They were to stay in Tiandu for the night and would return the following day.

Ji Ning stayed in the wrecked carriage, absentmindedly eating the food Yun Dao had left for him. 

Thinking of the scene of Ying Qianqiu leaving, he felt extremely uneasy, wondering if Ying Qianqiu had seen through him.

It didn’t matter, as long as his sealed powers were unblocked, there was a chance to save Qin Ruwang…

Qin Ruwang picked the quilt off the broken bed and cleared a clean place for Ji Ning to rest.
Curling up against Qin Ruwang’s shoulder, Ji Ning fell into a light sleep.
When he woke up again, he was already in another world.

The last time he had been in Gu Chen’s world, ‘Rebirth of an Interstellar Actor,’ his villa had been destroyed, so he had moved to the Ji family’s villa.
When he awoke, it was noon and he had slept for so long his head was pounding. 

After washing up, he walked down the stairs to the first floor.
Rubbing his head, he weakly greeted his parents in the hall, “Dad, mom, good afternoon…”

“Afternoon Xiao Ning.”

His parents responded with a smile, not scolding their son for his chaotic work and rest schedule but distressed by his obvious fatigue.

“What are you looking at?” 

Ji Ning asked as he looked at the light screen the size of a wall, picking up a strawberry and putting it in his mouth.
He didn’t need to maintain his aloof personality here, as young master Ji in the original novel was more relaxed in front of his immediate family.

“Federal news,” his father laughed, “It shouldn’t be of much interest to you.”

 

Actually, it was fine, Ji Ning thought privately while eating more strawberries, casually watching the news broadcast across the screen that was describing the opening of a new interstellar passage.

“Recently, the chairman of the Federation met with Ozer, the monarch of the Mo Ling Empire.
During this meeting, the two sides discussed the issue of the development of the interstellar passageway between the two planets…” 

As the newsreader spoke, a corresponding video was broadcast onto the screen.
Sitting in the centre of the conference room was the imperial monarch Ozer, the newsreader explained.

“The Mo Ling Emperor is really young,” said Ji Ning’s mother, “He must be in his twenties?”

“Just turned twenty five.” His father glanced at the information displayed on his terminal.

“He’s truly amazing, it’s just a pity…” 

His mother looked at the monarch displayed on the screen with a little regret.
He was a young and handsome man, dressed in a white suit that toned well with his honey complexion.
His eyes were lake green, a classic characteristic of the royal family and he carried a noble temperament.

But at the same time, his expression looked distant as he leaned against his wheelchair, standing out in the group photo of people standing.

“Even with the current medical technology, his legs can’t be healed.”

Splat. 

The fruit in Ji Ning’s hand fell to the floor.

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