ASV Chapter 45: The Cost of Imagination

(T/N reminder: Please keep in mind the warnings/tags for this novel on novelupdates before reading.)

The vermilion door made a slight noise. Although the light was very dim, he could still vaguely see what was going on in the room. Qin Kaiyi’s face paled; he completely didn’t dare to believe the scene in front of him.

He saw two people sitting on the engraved lacquered bench facing the door. A man dressed in black was embracing another man dressed in snow-white in his arms. The white-clad man was obviously not willing to sit on the man in black. One could see that from his bound arms and his deathly pale complexion. The black-clad man seemed to not be able to see Qin Kaiyi standing at the door, burying his head in the man in white’s neck. With that ambiguous look, as long as one was a human one could understand what was happening. 

This sort of scene on its own wasn’t too extreme, but it made all the blood in Qin Kaiyi’s body freeze—the reason was that the man in white had the same exact face as him, and the man in black had Shen Feixiao’s adult appearance! 

What exactly was going on? Qin Kaiyi, who was so disturbed by this strange scene that his mind was completely in chaos, almost wanted to scream. His hand holding the lantern continually trembled, and the faint light in the lantern was obviously about to extinguish.

At this moment of crisis, Qin Kaiyi suddenly heard a heavy sigh in his chaotic mind. The sigh seemed to contain helplessness and countless pains, which made the somewhat sluggish Qin Kaiyi instantly wake up. When he glanced back, he found that the terrible scene that had just appeared in front of him had gone away. Not only that, but even the richly ornamented, incredibly luxurious building began to fade away as if by wind erosion, vanishing like smoke in thin air.

Qin Kaiyi lowered his head and saw that his body had begun to turn into powder starting from his feet. He didn’t feel any pain. But when the transformation reached his head, Qin Kaiyi’s vision suddenly went black.

“Shixiong, shixiong?” The feeling of being shaken was too obvious. Qin Kaiyi struggled to open his eyes, and actually saw Shen Feixiao’s expressionless face. He opened his mouth to scream, but fiercely suppressed it back into his mouth.

“Shixiong?” Shen Feixiao saw Qin Kaiyi’s frightened expression, and swallowed back the words that he was about to say. 

“I… what’s wrong with me?” Qin Kaiyi calmed down slightly and looked around, only to find that he was lying on the bed of the inn.

“You slept too heavily,” Shen Feixiao said indifferently. “I couldn’t wake you no matter how much I called.”

“What?” Qin Kaiyi listened to this for a while and had the illusion that he was Zhuangzi dreaming of being a butterfly (T/N: the philosopher Zhuangzi dreamt he was a butterfly, and when he awoke, he was no longer sure whether he was a butterfly dreaming he was a man or a man dreaming he was a butterfly)… what was real, was he dreaming now or was he dreaming then? 

“The other shixiong are waiting for you.” Shen Feixiao said lightly: “Shixiong, are you following the rest, or will you catch up later?”

“… other shixiong?” Qin Kaiyi was flabbergasted: “Didn’t they disappear?”

“What disappeared?” Shen Feixiao puzzled: “Shixiong, what are you talking about?”

“We… where are we?” Qin Kaiyi realized that everything had become strange. The face of Wei He flashed in his mind. Why couldn’t he believe that everything that had happened was just his own hallucination? 

“We set off from the Lingshan Sect and encountered heavy rain halfway, so we rested in this inn.” Shen Feixiao’s voice was still calm and without fluctuations. He was completely indifferent to Qin Kaiyi’s confusion: “Shixiong, what actually are you talking about?”

“… Aren’t we going to the Empty Waste mountain?” Qin Kaiyi was completely at a loss.

“Shixiong, are you confused?” Shen Feixiao glanced at Qin Kaiyi expressionlessly, and then turned around and walked towards the door: “Since shixiong is still uncomfortable, then I will tell the other shixiong to go first. Shixiong, take a good rest, and we will catch up when you get better.”

“No!” Qin Kaiyi knew that the current situation was very bizzare, but even so, he didn’t want to stay with Shen Feixiao alone. Without knowing why, he always felt that the current Shen Feixiao gave him a particularly dangerous feeling.

“Oh?” Shen Feixiao stopped with his back to Qin Kaiyi. The teenager’s body was still thin, but such a thin back gave Qin Kaiyi great pressure. He only saw Shen Feixiao pause for a moment, then turn to Qin Kaiyi and say: “Shixiong means, you want to follow the rest of the team?”

“That’s right.” Qin Kaiyi gritted his teeth and forced himself to reply.

“Okay.” To the surprise of Qin Kaiyi, Shen Feixiao didn’t say anything. He pushed open the door and went out.

What Qin Kaiyi did not know was that after Shen Feixiao left the room door, his originally black eyes turned into a rich purple. At that time, the previously unseen sable mysteriously appeared at Shen Feixiao’s feet.

“Is it him?” Squatting down, Shen Feixiao’s behavior didn’t seem like a boy in his teens. He petted the head of the sable and asked an inexplicable question.

The sable hesitated for a moment, tilted his head to the side, and then shook it gently.

“He isn’t?” Shen Feixiao’s eyes showed a bit of hesitation and looked at the sable for a moment. He slowly stood up.

“It’s not him ah.” With his eyelids half-lidded, Shen Feixiao’s cracked the corners of his mouth open and displayed a chilling grin: “… Since he’s not.”

Then just kill him. 

Qin Kaiyi, who was still in the room, didn’t know that he was being thought of by someone. He was all muddleheaded now. He called out to Yan Gu in his sea of knowledge, and it took a while to get a response.

“Huh? What’s the matter?” Yan Gu’s voice was unusually weak, and Qin Kaiyi discovered that he had transformed back into the shape of a flame. 

“What’s wrong with you?” Qin Kaiyi froze: “How did you change back?”

“… Qin Shi, I said you underestimated the enemy. Do you really still think that Shen Feixiao is just a twelve-year-old child?” Seeing Qin Kaiyi still didn’t seem to understand, Yan Gu’s tone seemed to be angered, hating iron for not becoming steel: “You didn’t even guard against him at all.”

“…” Qin Kaiyi listened to Yan Gu’s blame. For a while, he didn’t know how to refute. Yan Gu was right. In his conception, the current Shen Feixiao was still some distance away from that cold-hearted protagonist. He didn’t place the threat that awkward child posed in his heart… 

“He carried a sable beside him that could pull people into a dream.” Yan Gu sighed: “The moment you were rescued by him from Wei He, you were dreaming… ai, Xue family’s descendent actually let his mind fall into enemy hands because of a flower thief (T/N: figuratively means r*pist). Should I curse you as an idiot, or praise you for being pure?”

“…” Qin Kaiyi’s complexion turned black one moment and then white the next, and he finally realized that if there was no Yan Gu, then he might never know… what happened.

“But you are still lucky.” Yan Gu saw Qin Kaiyi’s remorse and felt a little better. He continued: “What did you see in that dream?”

“…” As soon as Yan Gu mentioned the dream, the strange scene in his mind floated in front of him again. Qin Kaiyi’s complexion became even more ugly in an instant. He gritted his teeth and decided to clear things up: “What does that dream represent?” “

“The dream that the sable drags people into is not an ordinary dream, and that dream will be mixed with something that will happen in the future. Wu, I say you are lucky because this dream is not one that everyone can enter. Well, what good things happened in the dream?” Yan Gu asked.

… Something that… will happen in the future?? Hearing this sudden truth, Qin Kaiyi went completely dumb. He would never forget the sight of that person who looked exactly like himself being imprisoned. This… was actually related to his future?? What would happen between him and Shen Feixiao??

“What actually did you dream about?” Seeing Qin Kaiyi’s face becoming incredibly strange, Yan Gu was curious: “I see that your mind hasn’t been injured too much, why is your face so ugly right now.”

“Nothing.” Qin Kaiyi didn’t describe the contents of his dream. He took a deep breath and went to the basin by the window to wash his face, trying to wake himself up a bit.

Now the development of circumstances was falling more and more outside of his expectations. In the end there was only one  method–get the return value as soon as possible and leave the world! Strengthening his confidence, Qin Kaiyi wiped the water on his face with a towel. He returned to the room to pack his things and pushed open the door and went out.

Those outside had obviously been waiting for him for a long time. Although they didn’t say anything out loud, their expressions weren’t very good. When they saw Qin Kaiyi’s pallid face, they sucked in the ridicule that was about to exit their mouths. 

“I’m sorry everyone, I’ve delayed everyone’s schedule.” Qin Kaiyi smiled apologetically: “I’ve troubled everyone.”

After listening to Qin Kaiyi’s apology, the second shidi, who didn’t really have a presence, hurried out to compromise. After a few conventionally polite remarks, he helped Qin Kaiyi get on the carriage, and the whole team set off again.

Although no one really said any words of blame, Qin Kaiyi felt that the uneasiness in his heart did not decrease much. His sixth sense that rarely appeared told him… This trip was definitely not as simple as he thought. Qin Kaiyi couldn’t tell exactly what would happen.

Shen Feixiao was still in the same carriage as Qin Kaiyi. Since Qin Kaiyi got on the carriage, he hadn’t said anything to Qin Kaiyi. That cold expression made it seem as if he almost regarded Qin Kaiyi as invisible. Although Qin Kaiyi thought that Shen Feixiao’s attitude change towards him was too strange, he still couldn’t say anything about it. After all, his relationship with Shen Feixiao really couldn’t be counted as good. Asking after an attitude change at this time was just looking for trouble.

They spent their time on the road without exchanging words.  Qin Kaiyi’s motion sickness symptoms were miraculously much better. He leaned against the carriage wall and closed his eyes to refresh himself. On the surface, he seemed to be resting, but secretly he was working hard to try to fix his damaged meridians to allow his power to recover earlier. In this silent atmosphere, after a month’s journey, the Empty Waste Mountain that originally seemed to be so far out of reach finally appeared in front of them. 

When Qin Kaiyi came out of the carriage and looked towards the dense and dark forest, his heart trembled inexplicably–that disturbing sense of danger became stronger and stronger.


kurodazecos, thank you for the Ko-Fi and the encouraging words 😀


10 thoughts on “ASV Chapter 45: The Cost of Imagination

  1. The last chapter was so confusing that I felt as muddle-headed as QKY in a dream. +1 for the author managing to make me empathize, and +100 for you, dear translator, because I’m biased. Jokes aside, great job bringing the same feeling with your translation.

    And ooh that ending seems to be suggesting more fun stuff ahead, nice.

    Liked by 5 people

    1. :* :* :* how sweet, this translator is unworthy! :* :* :*

      A mere glimpse of adult SFX is not enough, we need to store rare candies to evolve this pichu into a raichu. At this point I’ll be content with even a pikachu


      1. XD the novel has 97 chapters (including extras) so I’m getting the feeling we’re somewhat close to a time skip. *contributes to your candy – storage *

        Liked by 2 people

  2. O really don’t understand why the MC insists on hiding he’s the one who gave the sable and the rest of things he did for ML. He keeps saying he doesn’t care about what happens after he returns home, but still cares about this thing. The system never told him not to expose himself. There doesn’t seem to be such stipulation anywhere.
    Also, as a writer, he’s terribly inattentive. In the treasure pavilion, Yan Gu told him he’s allowed to take anything ‘as long as he’s able to’. But he completely ignore the last bit. And there was another situation with that ZYP where he again completely ignored what was being said. As a writer who plays with words all day every day, that’s a bit too hard to take. Unless he’s an awful writer to begin with. But that doesn’t seem to be the case since he already mentioned he had an income from his writing.

    Liked by 1 person

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