Your name and mine are destined together.
Meng Qi patted the money bag and opened it a bit to show his gains.
“Physician, are these enough? If it’s not enough, we have to walk four hundred miles and dig up the ruins of that Mansion. There might be gold in the cellar.”
Speaking of running four hundred miles in one night made Mo Li feel very embarrassed. Even if he had never encountered an opponent who can make him use his full strength without reservation, he shouldn’t lose self-control. He actually got into a fight with a patient and struggled all night, not stopping until his internal strength was exhausted. The restraint taught by his teacher was completely forgotten, which shouldn’t have happened.
Although he thought so, Physician Mo didn’t show it on his face.
He had to restrain himself.
Among the gentleman’s six arts, “etiquette” was the one Qin Lu ingrained on Mo Li the most.
“Then go rob a horse and come back.” Physician Mo glanced at Meng Qi and casually said, “Ride back on horseback and don’t delay things. If you’re quick, you’ll arrive at Ma County by dark and you can recover your internal strength while riding.”
Meng Qi sighed, “Seems like physician hasn’t traveled far.”
Mo Li was startled.
Was he exposed? How did he know?
“Mongolian horses can run for thousands of miles but on the grasslands, not this kind of barren mountains with valleys, where few blades of grass grew in winter. As long as there’s no food, the fat on a horse will visibly fall, and it’s not easy to make a Mongolian horse gain a pound of fat. Besides, these horses all belong to the army. They’re branded and have no credible channels to market, so how would I sell them? No one dared buy it!”
Meng Qi shook his head slightly and spoke vigorously, “For example, if I rob a horse, I can’t sell it that quickly… I already have headaches, so can I still watch a horse starve to death? It’s so hungry but what can I do if it kept burrowing into my arms and acting like a baby? Where are we going to find good fodder in this barren land?”
Mo Li thought to himself. This person sounded so experienced. Did he rob someone before?
“How did Liu Dan and the others feed the horses?” Mo Li thought about it but didn’t see these people carry grass when they went out.
“Naturally at a relay station. Those stations are originally a place for government people to rest and change horses, so there’s no shortage of fodder. Although it’s not particularly good, they’d be temporarily satisfied. If we rob horses, we should also grab the grass!”
This picture was so beautiful. Two experts broke the wall into the relay station in the middle of the night to steal fodder.
“…I think it’s bad.” Mo Li wiped his face and couldn’t help thinking of the white fox in Qi Mao Mountain.
The white ginseng can’t run and the giant snake is always lazy, so these two won’t make much fuss. Only the fox likes to rely on him. But no matter how shameless it was, the white fox also hunts by itself, let alone be a picky eater.
Speaking of which, he’d been away from home for several days.
Don’t know if Elder Qin will strictly monitor Tang XiaoTang’s eating habits. With the gluttonous Xiao Tang, his teeth easily decayed, so if Qin Lu stared at him, afraid he wouldn’t get to eat any sweets.
Mo Li felt a little funny thinking about that situation.
When he recovered, he suddenly realized that Meng Qi’s robbery seemed to have solved a problem of his.
“Why don’t you cover your face when you went to rob?”
Mo Li asked seriously as if Meng Qi didn’t comply with the rules of bandithood. As a result, Meng Qi gave an unexpected answer.
“I feel like he knows me.”
This description was very strange. It can be said that Meng Qi is just guessing, or it’s a symptom of his memory loss.
Moreover, Mo Li was very concerned about what Liu Dan said before. Maybe this person with amnesia is not the former State Teacher Meng Qi, but it’s not surprising for blood relatives, like father and son, to look alike.
It can’t be a longevity pill, nor a beauty-preserving pill. He’d taken the pulse of this man who called himself Meng Qi. Judging from the physical conditions of his bones, meridians, and internal organs, he’s indeed a young man like his appearance.
Meng Qi didn’t know what Mo Li was thinking, so he talked as he walked: “When I had an attack before, General Liu noticed something was wrong and anxiously ran. He’s a fourth rank General Dangkou and not in the Great Capital all the time, so how can he know about me?”
“So you’re just guessing.”
“The results showed I’m right. He instantly recognized me upon sight.” Meng Qi’s expression practically says, ‘I’m so good that people are terror-stricken at seeing me.’
Mo Li had to remind him: “Liu Dan thinks you’re not Meng Qi.”
Meng Qi said disapprovingly: “What does he know? I practiced my martial arts, which is rare in this world, to become what I am now. Haven’t you heard the stories? The biggest flaw is that I’ll rejuvenate once every twenty years, and my skills will also shrink with my body. This is also the most dangerous time.”
It sounded so reasonable that Mo Li almost believed it.
However, he’s a doctor and he also studied under the Silver Fox Doctor who was once known as the world’s number one expert. He’s the clearest about these mysterious martial arts stories.
“There’s no such martial arts! Even if it can shrink the bones, it’ll only slightly change the outside, but the human internal organs will never change. How can you become a child?”
Meng Qi was stunned, obviously, he hadn’t thought that his guess would be wrong.
Mo Li packed up his things, and when he was about to leave, he found that Meng Qi was still in a daze, looking a bit pitiful.
Thinking about Meng Qi’s laid-back attitude when they first met, anyone who met such a suave person can’t help but want to get acquainted. As a result, a whole night passed and the person became utterly retarded, and shocked by reality.
“Meng…I’ll call you Brother Meng. We should go now.”
It’s rude to call someone by another’s name, but the surname can be used by anyone, even when asking for directions. The person speaking might not be younger than the other person, but it’s just a polite remark.
Because he didn’t know the true identity of Meng Qi, he might have forgotten it himself. Naturally, there’s no way to call him with another name, so he could only call him that first.
Mo Li was thinking about the prescription and was ready to find a pharmacy in town to grab some medicine.
The main medicine has no suspense, but the number of auxiliary herbs must be carefully considered since a prescription for martial arts experts is always different from ordinary people.
The two of them walked a long way until there was a trace of real qi in their dry dantian and saw a faint smoke rising from the end of the mountain road.
“I’ll ask where this is in a moment.”
Mo Li felt that he had memorized the map of Pingzhou in vain. What about the southeast and northwest of Zhushan County? All useless. The premise of using a map is knowing where you are.
At this time, Meng Qi, who hadn’t spoken all the way, finally spoke: “You don’t know? This is Qinghu Town, just look at the lake just now. Pingzhou is located in the northwest and has few lakes, let alone such a big lake.”
Physician Mo, who had never traveled far before: “…”
Meng Qi blinked then immediately said: “But the world is so big to have no surprises. Some will not be recorded in the county records and I haven’t traveled all over Pingzhou so I’m not sure if this is Qinghu Town. If I’m wrong, please forgive me.”
“Brother Meng’s adaptability makes me want to bow down.”
Since the other person already said that, what can Mo Li do but follow him?
Just that, even though the other person backed up, he’s still angry. This guy’s momentary hotheadedness caused him to lose direction.
Fortunately, Meng Qi changed the topic in time: “Actually, my memory is very vague, and I can’t be sure about some things, such as the no-blade knife of the Silver Fox Doctor. I remember when your teacher walked Jianghu back then, he seemed to have used a dagger. I was really shocked when I saw you using double daggers last night. Maybe after living in seclusion for many years, your teacher figured out a new sword skill?”
“Teacher can’t use double daggers, this is just my habit.” Mo Li said casually.
Meng Qi pondered: “The power of two daggers is indeed greater. It suddenly came out of nowhere. I don’t know if physician’s medical skills is like this, but anyway, I don’t know physician’s name yet.”
Mo Li frowned, and simply picked a similar sounding name.
“My name is Mo Li, Mo as in mo (the word means there is none), and Li (word meant leave)…” (T/N: For reference, Mo Li’s name meant black carp, which is his original form. In this one, he just picked words that sounded similar to his name.)
“Who would not say that this is overwhelming, we bid each other a sad farewell?“
The atmosphere froze for a moment and Physician Mo turned his head, looking strangely at Meng Qi.
The latter was very calm as if they were just casually chatting, not noticing that he deliberately pulled two irrelevant poems and pieced them together.
“Don’t worry, I won’t drive you away for the time being until your consultation is over.” Mo Li hardened his face and said, “if you are cured, I’d be happy if you say goodbye to me.”
Meng Qi suddenly smiled: “Physician, you misunderstood. I just think that physician’s name…”
Mo Li was slightly startled and thought it’s just a homophone. Did he guess that it’s a fake with just that?
“…has a destiny with mine.” Meng Qi said happily.
Mo Li’s eyes went dead, thinking that this should be the master skill of the State Teacher, bragging and citing fates, right? No matter who you have a predestined relationship with and no matter who you are, it’d bring a disaster. But since it’s destined, the calamity will naturally be resolved.
“Meng Qi Mo Li, Mo Li Meng Qi…isn’t it like Mo Li Mo Qi, right? Yes, I should call myself Mo.” Meng Qi recovered a lot of internal strength, so he dried his clothes and regained that clean image while sighing, “There are many coincidences and many secrets in the world. If physician does not want to say his name, I understand. You don’t have to force it.”
——what, you thought I deliberately climbed over your fate, so I picked a name that matched yours?
Mo Li endured and gripped the dagger in his sleeve.
Endure, he can’t beat a patient.
“But in terms of words, the name Li is too fake.” Meng Qi kindly reminded him, and enthusiastically said, “Speaking of women from Jianghu, they often like to call themselves Mo Chou, which is both poetic and unique. But there are too many Mos, so it’s nothing rare.”
If you continue, Physician Mo won’t be able to stop the dagger in his hand.
While they were talking, the two had arrived at Qinghu Town.
It’s still early and also winter, so there’s no farm work and no people can be seen in town.
Mo Li took a breath and found the smell of smoke permeating the town.
There was a child in the distance hurriedly running with a cloth bag. When he got closer, Mo Li saw him coughing and looking sick. When the child saw the strangers, he took a step back in a panic.
“Ephedra, cinnamon, herbaceous peony roots…”
Mo Li looked at the cloth bag with medicine in the child’s hand, then leaned over and asked, “How many people are sick in this town?”
The child pursed his lips and dryly said: “A lot.”
Okay, so the whole thing was 莫道不消魂， 与君离别意？
The first one, 莫道不消魂 is the eighth line from the poem “Drunk in Blossom Shade” by the Song Dynasty Chinese poet Li Qingzhao. Here’s a link: https://chinesepoemsinenglish.blogspot.com/2019/06/li-qingzhao-zui-hua-yin-enchanted-in.html
In this one, it’s translated as ‘O say not my heart is not with gloom consumed!’ but I opted for the more casual translation here: https://eastasiastudent.net/china/classical/li-qingzhao-zui-hua-yin/
The second one, 与君离别意 is the third line from the poem “Farewell to Vice-Prefect Du Setting out For His Official post in Shu”. Here’s a link: https://chinagrep.com/poems/song-du-shao-fu-zhi-ren-shu-zhou/
I spent thirty minutes just figuring this out.
One thought on “Fish 026: Unknown Life Span”
wow, all those word plays and literary works… great work detective!
Thank you so much for translating =D
Ahahaha I’m really loving their dynamics together and banters