Chapter 43.1 – Reader: Wine can warm you up.
Based on the information they got from Anne about the task, Du Ze and Xiu spent some money on a teleportation spell to the client’s location – a small town in the land of extreme cold.
After using the magical transmission matrix, some silly, cute person was almost frozen solid. A minute ago they were in the warm and humid south, then a minute later they were in the frozen north. There was a clothing store right next to the transportation array, perfect for mercenaries and people like Du Ze who had not prepared proper clothing. Du Ze and Xiu entered the store. After a while, two people came out. Xiu was wearing a blue and white coat while Du Ze was all wrapped up like a fur ball but was still shivering.
It’s cold! QAQ
Du Ze’s unfashionable fur hood1 wriggled as a small Phoenix popped out, its black eyes looking around curiously at this white world. In front of the town, everywhere one looked was covered with snow.
Xiu looked at the silly, cute, shivering bundle of fur and stretched out his right hand to hold Du Ze’s left hand. At first, the touch made Du Ze shiver even more since Xiu’s hand was unexpectedly colder than his, but soon their hands were covered with a layer of green light. Du Ze feel a warm current from Xiu’s palm that was transmitted into and diffused all over his body.
Xiu pulled on Du Ze’s hand and began walking to their destination. Du Ze stared at their joined hands and remembered a sentence that he once read.
– His palms are ice-cold because nobody can hurt him now.2
Like a needle stabbing him in the heart, Du Ze feel a sting. If Xiu knew that he is the culprit …
Xiu stopped. Du Ze ran into him because some silly, cute person had not noticed that they had reached Eddie and Rose’s cabin. Xiu, standing in the snow and ice, stared at the cabin with an unnameable emotion in his eyes. When he walked up to the door and knocked on it, his green eyes were cold, as though all of his feelings had precipitated and condensed into bitterly cold ice.
The wooden door soon opened and a young man with gray-blue eyes emerged. He saw Xiu and gaped at him for a moment. Du Ze looked at gray-haired youth who had grown up with Xiu and noticed that his face was very haggard. In “Mixed Blood,” Eddie wasn’t described much. The novel just said that he followed Xiu around like his shadow. Ironically, when Eddie stepped out of Xiu’s shadow, instead of defending his best friend, he only spoke out to denounce Xiu.
This is what made Du Ze extremely angry. Princess Kelly, that *****, didn’t know Xiu that well while Daniel and Urlika only knew Xiu from the Magic School. But the cute protagonist, Eddie, and Rose were together from the time when they were kids. How can they not know what kind of person Xiu is?! Evil, your sister! Would you die if you said a word to defend the Moe Lord? If the majority of Xiu’s allies hadn’t agreed, the Temple of Light wouldn’t have been so determined to see Xiu as evil. Princess Kelly sent Xiu to the edge of the cliff, but it was Eddie et al who pushed him down and thus doomed him beyond redemption.
So in the original “Mixed Blood” novel, when the blackened Xiu returned, all the scum people fell. 3 Xiu took the ice crystal grass task, and Eddie did not recognize Xiu’s elf form. Together they went to the snow-capped mountains, fought the monster that was guarding the ice crystal grass, and were going to pick the grass when an avalanche came. After the avalanche, Xiu found Eddie hanging from the edge of an ice cliff …
All the readers hid their faces in their hands: The protagonist double-crossed the good scum friend.4
So Du Ze’s mood is particularly complex. He doesn’t want to see Xiu let the scum fall down but if they do not take this task, even if Xiu never shows it, inside his heart he will never forget. Eddie and Rose are like a thorn in Xiu’s heart. If it’s not pulled out, the wound will fester.
“Are you …?” The stunned Eddie finally reacted. The black-haired youth and the silver-haired elf were both impassive but somehow he felt worried that they didn’t have good intentions.
Xiu silently looked at the familiar yet unfamiliar face. Once, he had thought that he would lose control when he saw Eddie again, but his heart was empty and he felt nothing except the warmth on his right hand that was transmitting heat to Du Ze.
It’s enough for him to hold onto the man.
Eddie saw that the silver-haired elf was emotionlessly showing him his mercenary card. The card was showing the task “Looking for ice crystal grass.” Eddie’s eyes lit up instantly but when he saw the E-class level on the mercenary card, that light was quickly extinguished.
Eddie’s forced a smile: “Thank you so much for taking this task, but the difficulty of this task is actually A-”
Eddie’s words came to an abrupt halt as he heard the sound of an attack that was too fast for him to see. He is already a mid-level Sword Master. Then is this elf a Grand Sword Master? Also, Eddie doesn’t know why but that attack was extremely aggressive and it felt as though his neck was really going to be cut. Eddie ignored this feeling and began to get excited. The other person has shown him a lot of power and now his task is going to be easier. In fact, today Eddie had decided to go find the ice crystal grass alone since Rose’s poison can’t be held at bay any longer.
“What payment do you want?” Eddie asked.
The elf finally spoke and the sound was as cold as his attitude: “We can discuss it when we return.”
“Shall we set out this afternoon?” said Eddie eagerly, but then he realized he sounded to impatient and said: “Sorry, my companion is in dire need of the ice-crystal grass.”
Xiu looked through the door of the cabin, nodded gently, then pulled on Du Ze’s hand and walked away. Eddie froze, the other two were already leaving to prepare for the trip when Eddie realized that he didn’t know their names.
“What’s your name?”
Xiu continued to walk away, indifferent. Du Ze turned his head towards Eddie and spoke, unhurriedly and clearly: “His name is Xiu.”
The Xiu that you abandoned.
Standing in front of the cabin, Eddie heard the name that he remembered and was completely stupefied.
The Arctic land is full of snow-capped mountains, forming a barrier of ice and snow in the northern part of the Chaos Continent. One of the highest peaks is said to be so high that only God can climb to its top.
A reader once asked what a person would find in the northernmost end of the Chaos Continent, past the land of extreme cold. Ye Zhi Qiu said: “That person would fall down.”
The world of the novel is a flat place that is divided into two sides. Even the ocean has an end. Only the space eye in the Lost Land allows travel to and from the two sides. If anything goes past the edge of the chaos continent, it will fall. Where the falling person or things will end up, only the author knows.
Du Ze climbed up the snow-capped mountains for two days. After midnight of the next day, they climbed up a snowy peak and looked down. On the bottom of the other side of the mountain was a valley full of sparkling ice crystal grass. The branches and blades of grass extended freely throughout the valley, and one can clearly see the exquisite veins. In the moonlight, the large expanse of ice crystal grass was sparkling like transparent blue glass.
It was such a beautiful scene, but Du Ze was in no condition to appreciate it. All he can feel is cold, all kinds of cold, cold that freezes his body. Even his constant shivering can’t shake off the cold. The temperature of the land of extreme cold is lower than that of the town where Eddie lived, and right now is the coldest time of the day.
“We’ll rest here before the next monster comes out. It is said to be a hell hound.” Eddie paused and he stared at Xiu before hesitantly saying: “Could you lead it away for a while? Just for a moment so I can pick some of the ice crystal grass.”
In the original “Mixed Blood” story, Eddie also made this proposal to Xiu, but when they went down, they found that it was not an ordinary hell hound. It was the legendary three-headed Cerberus. Although it gave Xiu some trouble, it eventually became one of the Moe Lord’s pets.
Chapter 43.2 – Reader: Wine can warm you up.
When Xiu nodded, Eddie breathed a sigh of relief and he quickly made camp. The two men sat down and though they were face to face, there was an invisible boundary dividing them. Eddie looked across at the silly, cute ball that had frozen into an icicle, hesitated, then pulled out a canteen from his pack. He offered it to him.
“Take a sip, it will warm you up.”
Xiu was the one who took the canteen. Unscrewing the cap, Xiu saw that it was full of wine. Du Ze saw Xiu drink a mouthful then pass it to him. It seems he agreed?
Du Ze rarely drinks. Basically, he only drinks a few mouthfuls when he is with his parents during the holidays. Wine can give the body the illusion of warmth and, since Du Ze was really cold, he took the canteen and began drinking.
The first mouthful wine was full of a fruity fragrance. It didn’t seem too strong and even Du Ze, who was a novice at drinking, felt that it was good to drink.
Eddie breathed a sigh of relief. Somehow he always felt that he was hated by the other two people. Eddie took out another canteen from his bag. Xiu coldly refused it, so the gray-haired young man also began to drink up.
The snow-capped mountains were very quiet at night. The two moons were close together and the moonlight was very bright.
“You … you are called Xiu, right?” As if he didn’t expect to get an answer from the grim-looking elf, Eddie continued without waiting for a reply: “I had a brother who was also called Xiu.”
Probably because of the wine, Eddie started talking more and more. Whether it’s because of that familiar name or because he was just drunk, Eddie began to confide in the stranger. There were a lot of pent-up emotions in his heart.
“He was dazzling and everyone liked him … including Rose.” Eddie was silent for a while and then said, “I’m jealous of him.”
“Rose is my companion. I grew up with her and that guy. I love Rose, but from beginning to end, she only saw that person. Even when that man changed, Rose came running happily to me and said ‘I’m going with him’.” Eddie covered his face with the canteen. “So I made a mistake.”
On the silent snowy peak, Eddie’s hoarse words reverberated in the dim light of night.
“I betrayed my dear brother.”1
Eddie knocked out Rose then told the Temple of Light to go to the graveyard. After he did this, he was not happy but felt endless confusion. Year after year this confusion gradually worsened until it became bone-chilling remorse.
“I don’t dare to love Rose anymore, I just want to find that guy and give Rose back to him,” he said.
A liquid dripped down onto the snow but it was not the wine.
From beginning to end, Xiu’s expression did not change. He looked coldly at Eddie who was shedding tears of remorse, but the tears couldn’t form any ripples in Xiu’s heart. Eddie’s voice grew smaller until he was murmuring words too soft to hear, utterly sunk in his own world. Xui seemed to be bored. He looked over at Du Ze then he was stunned.
Du Ze was holding the empty canteen and kept raising it to his lips even though there was no more wine. In contrast to his comical movements was his earnest expression. The dark-haired young man still had a solemn expression on his face and didn’t look tipsy at all.
Xiu stretched out a hand and took the empty canteen. Du Ze looked at the person who took away his silver canteen, his black eyes unusually bright. Xiu originally thought that Du Ze was drunk but when he saw Du Ze’s bright eyes he was uncertain and said: “Du Ze?”
Du Ze opened his mouth: “Du Ze.”
“What’s the matter with you?” Xiu asked.
The black-haired youth again to repeated his words: “What’s the matter with you?”
Xiu is now very sure that some cute fool is drunk. He had not thought that there would be a drunk person who would not be noisy and instead repeat what other people said, although his voice was flat and emotionless.
The little Phoenix jumped down from Du Ze’s hood and fell on the canteen in Xiu’s hand. It looked up at Xiu and Du Ze: “Chirp.”
Du Ze said with an impassive face: “Chirp.”
The little Phoenix was unusually excited and spread its wings: This was the first time that its “Mother” had chirped in response to it!
“Chirp, chirp, chirp-”
Xiu caught the lively and disorderly small Phoenix in his hand. It quickly quieted down. Xiu looked at Du Ze who was repeating the small Phoenix’s cries and Xiu could not hold himself back from staring at his lips. He stared at Du Ze’s face that was red from drinking the wine and he wanted to bite him, so he did. Du Ze touched the place where he was bitten, even if his face is still expressionless, it still gives people a Moe feeling.
In the moonlight, the silver-haired elf stared at the black-haired youth and softly said: “I love you.”
Du Ze said to Xiu: “I love you.”
Xiu’s heartbeat quickened, even though he knew it was only self-deception, he still enjoyed it.
“I belong to you.”
Du Ze said: “I belong to you.”
“I will not leave you.”
Du Ze said: “I will not leave you.”
After the avalanche, Xiu removed the magic and came out of the plant’s protection.2 All around him was a vast expanse of whiteness. He didn’t know where Eddie was. The avalanche was so swift that it came in the blink of an eye.
Xiu summoned Cerberus. It’s three heads sniffed the air then led Xiu to an icy cliff that was above a dark abyss whose bottom could not be seen. Xiu caught a glimpse of Eddie hanging from a branch. The avalanche must have swept Eddie down to the ice cliff and he grabbed a branch to avoid falling down.
Eddie hung on the branch, tottering precariously. He dared not call loudly, for fear of triggering another avalanche. When he saw Xiu, the gray-haired youth eyes brightened.
However Xiu just stood on the edge of the cliff, indifferent. Eddie looked at Xiu, and when he was just about to shout again, Xiu finally opened his mouth.
“Do you want to know my name?”
Eddie was startled. He has asked several times before but the other person wouldn’t give him his name. Now is not a good time to chat. Eddie felt that the branch that was supporting his weight seemed to be near its limit.
Xiu looked down at Eddie and said: “My name is Xiu.”
Eddie, hanging on the edge of the ice cliff, heard a name that he remembered. The elf in front of him has the same name as that man.
What happened next made Eddie almost think he was dreaming. The silver-haired elf turned into a blond, blue-eyed young man whose familiar yet unfamiliar appearance was like his memory of his childhood playmate.
Xiu looked at Eddie’s stunned expression and his lips curved up slightly, hinting at a smile.
“Why didn’t you help me?”3
– excerpt from “Mixed Blood”
The author has something to say:
Reader: Wine can warm you up.
Author: It can also make you promiscuous.4
Protagonist: (silently takes out a barrel of wine)