The Rabbit Gentleman and the Fox Demon 007

007

Shen Hang Zhi finally understood why so many people liked to ask for divine advice, and seek ways to become immortal. After the day Lan Yi transferred his internal pill to him, he had felt he had become even more seductive. His eyes had brought about an inherent kind of charm, and was comparatively even more youthful and beautiful than before.

It was as though his body was being supported by some never-ending nutrition. He felt that the little faults from before had all disappeared; the vitality of his entire body kept getting better.

But in comparison, Lan Yi’s body was increasingly worse. If there was a even slight breeze in the middle of the night, he would catch a cold. There were a few times when there was wind blowing through his hair, Shen Hang Zhi could even see a few hairs of silver blowing about.

During this time, Shen Hang Zhi would carefully observe Lan Yi. He had discovered the corners of the other party’s eyes had formed some wrinkles when smiling.

Lan Yi would always smile and tell him, it was alright, this was extremely normal. Since the internal pill was given to him, some of his cultivation was a bit lost, it will be okay once he re-cultivates.

In the deep night, Lan Yi would always lightly whimper. The pain that could still be tolerated before seemed to have become worse now. There would be quite a few times where he would find out that when the other party could not handle the pain, and hence transform into a fox, then call out in a low sound, speaking in the fox tongue he could not understand.

It’s okay, it’s no problem.

Shen Hang Zhi would listen to him say.

As though deceiving himself, he could faintly feel something, but Shen Hang Zhi always liked to use Lan Yi’s words to lie to himself. Until after one night, the half head of white hair of Lan Yi’s had finally completely turned white.

The Lan Yi with a full head of silver threads still had not noticed it, and smiled towards Shen Hang Zhi. But once the other party told him of it, Shen Hang Zhi could clearly see him panicked for a moment. When faced towards him, he could also see the person at a slight loss and a bit hopeless.

His heart throbbed- he had begun to feel hopelessness for the other person, even a little bit afraid.

Lan Yi would often wait inside the room for him. In his hands, he would be carving something, but would not show it to him. He would smile and say wait until he was finished to see it. But after that, Lan Yi could no longer use the carving knife any more.

The fox that that was like a jade tree welcoming wind[1] at that time, now was a white haired old man, with wrinkles climbing up his face. The tip of his brow looked as though it had experienced many years of winds and frost. It was hard to tell with only a few months had passed, that such a graceful lord would turn out like this.

Every time he bumped into the bone engraver, Shen Hang Zhi would want to call out to the person, and even ask if there was a way to keep Lan Yi.

But he was afraid- afraid that the bone engraver would make him return the internal pill, that he would end up like Lan Yi, rapidly aging to his death.

Everyone’s admiration had made him close his eyes, like he went back to when he was small, and returned to that time he would be that little lord surrounded by all the stars.

The conflict within his heart had been covered by his smile. He watched as Lan Yi’s smile slowly disappear with every passing day, and his face increasingly age and thin out. Finally, when the other person could not hold onto his human form any longer and turned back into a fox, Shen Hang Zhi went crazy.

He held onto the weak-breathed fox and knelt in front of the entrance of the bone engraver, hoping the other party would come out to see him once, and tell him of a way to save Lan Yi. Even if he had to return the internal pill…… if he let him return the internal pill, he would be willing.

However, one day, two days had passed. The colour of the fox’s fur had long lost its lustre. When touching it, it did not have any of its soft, warm feeling from the past. If Shen Hang Zhi slightly used some strength, he could even feel out the other person’s bones. This was the first time he knew that there was something even scarier than death and aging in this world.

And that was never seeing the fox ever again.

Even if he transformed into a fox form, the pain of bone engraving would follow Lan Yi each and every moment. But right now, how could Lan Yi still have even the slightest energy to whimper? He didn’t even have the strength to move himself towards Shen Hang Zhi right now.

The skeletal frame quivered in his embrace. After that day, Shen Hang Zhi had shed tears for the first time. Teardrops as big as a bean wet the fox’s fur bit by bit, making the long fur stick together.

If it was before, if the fox had knew Shen Hang Zhi cried, it would definitely use its own paw to help him wipe his tears for him. Then, that energetic and unruly tail would wrap around him out of habit, and tell him to touch it- touch it, so that he wouldn’t be upset afterwards.

Silly idiot, he isn’t happy right now, so why won’t he use his tail to play with him?

The fox was in so much pain, its[2] bones would even make a crackling noise. It couldn’t even tell where it was, or which part of its body would be dry. It could only rely on its memories, use its sharp claws, and very carefully hook onto Shen Hang Zhi’s clothing.

Even if it had lost its senses, the fox would still remember its Shen Hang Zhi, afraid that it would hurt him even one bit.

Shen Hang Zhi had regretted it so much. When he though if he did not have the fox in the future, as though in comparison, even if he were to turn ugly while aging, it wouldn’t be as scary. He wanted to exhaust his resources in finding a way to keep his fox, but what was it that the bone engraver said?

It was a clear afternoon that day. The rays of light were bright enough it had allowed for Shen Hang Zhi to see the bone engraver sneer at him clearly. The face that he had formerly admired did not have any expression, but the forehead instead had displayed clear disdain and mockery.

“Once the internal pill leaves the body, it will never return back.”

“Shen Hang Zhi, you cannot save him.”

“Without an internal pill, Lan Yi will never have a reservoir- his cultivation will rapidly leek out, and the hundreds of years of attainment gone in an instant. He is no different from a ordinary fox. Oh, no. His life span would be even shorter.”

“Did you not strongly yearn for his internal pill? You’ve fulfilled your heart’s desire, what is there left to be unsatisfied about?

That’s right, was this not the result he always wanted?

Shen Hang Zhi held onto the fox that had fainted, and hazily looked at the person’s delicate facial features in front of him, and had felt faintly, was even a bit familiar looking.

What was there that he was unsatisfied about- his goal had been fulfilled.

But…… When he thinks about how that fox that loved to smiled would never be able to smile again, how he who would ordinarily babble on would never be able to clamour around, Shen Hang Zhi would feel his heart hurt and hurt, unable to breathe again.

He suddenly wanted to hear that sound “Zhi Zhi” from long ago.

Before, he always disliked the silly idiot calling out this name, hated him calling him wife even more, and even thought how great it would be if the other party were to immediately just give him his internal pill and quickly leave his world. But when this kind of situation came, Shen Hang Zhi actually felt a bit panicked.

If he did not have his fox in the future, then with such a long life, even if he were to possess beauty that others admired, he probably could not be happy.

No, that’s not right. He was not happy right now.

Shen Hang Zhi had never felt this alive inside his own memories before, even to the point that he felt the other party had been deeply engraved in his own head. Every smile, each moment that would make people’s heart move, the things that were formerly so close, when he recalled them, he had suddenly realized that he had been engraved this deeply.

However, these things had already left him far away. So far that he would never be able to touch it again.

Oh little fox, please, tell him how he could return to the former Shen Hang Zhi that would seem to never be moved, to the little lord that was cold-hearted and cold-lunged.

On this day, Shen Hang Zhi had hugged the fox tightly, as though hugging the past and the world.


[1] An expression used to compliment on a man’s handsomeness, derived from an old poem by Du Fu under the collection called ‘Eight Immortal Songs to Drink to’ (by eight famous poets of the Tang dynasty)

[2] At the beginning, the authors uses 他 in addressing the fox, however, at this point they start using the animal form (它) of addressing something, which can be interpreted as him losing his ‘humanness’ because you would only use 他/她 to address other people, and not animals.

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