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Chapter 20 – The Mysterious Fish in the Dragon Lake

Tian Ying

Numerous emotions flicker across Hong Chuan’s face. In the end, he sighs and says, “I didn’t expect that it would end up like this. Allow me to thank Brother Lu for saving my life!”

Lu Chen grins. He waves his hands to gesture that it was a small matter and asks, “Right, Brother Hong, I remember that when you left yesterday, you were heading for the Mourning Ghost Chasm right? Why did you suddenly appear unconscious on the lake?”

Hong Chuan hesitates for a moment before shaking his head with a bitter smile on it, “There’s quite a long story to it. Yesterday, when I was at the back of the mountain, I intended to head to the depression. However…”

Perhaps it is due to the gratitude he feels towards Lu Chen for saving his life, he didn’t hide a single thing from him and tells him what he met with yesterday.

It seem that when Hong Chuan is ascending the tea mountain yesterday, due to it being his first time there and not to mention the Spirit Tea Trees are planted densely in a complex manner around the mountain, making it similar to a labyrinth, Hong Chuan got lost. Anyway, since he casually picked a path up the mountain in the start, so he simply chose the roads that lead to the top.

However, when he was halfway up the mountain, he found something amiss. There are always a few paths before him and he would always choose the one which leads to the top of the mountain. However, as he walked, he somehow found himself walking on the wrong direction… Instead of leading to the east foothill, he suddenly found himself on the path that leads to the west.

Thus, Hong Chuan starts to panic and returns back on the path he came from. However, the more panicked he got, the more mistakes he made. As he got more and more lost, the sky turned dark.

When the sun sets, the entire tea mountain is submerged into darkness. It is difficult to even ascertain which road is the path. Although Hong Chuan brought along a fire torch-like object, due to the strong mountainous wind, the fire is unable to illuminate too far a distance. As he walked and walked, he found himself standing before a lake in the mountains.

At this point, Lu Chen bursts in laughter, “That is to say, you accidentally reached the Dragon Lake.”

“Dragon Lake?” Hong Chuan asks curiously.

Lu Chen nods his head, “That’s right. The names were passed down within the village since ancient times. The name of the lake on top of the mountains is Dragon Lake while the pool at the foot of the mountains is Dragon Pool. It is said that the both body of water on the top and at the foot of the mountain are connected. Of course, it is up to you to believe it.”

After saying those words, Lu Chen smiles and Hong Chuan follows suit. This kind of far-fetched names are often seen in the divine central continent. There are many places who are named after dragons in the world. Even if there isn’t tens of thousands of them, there are at least eight to nine thousands. There are Dragon Mountains, Dragon Seas, Dragon Lakes, Dragon Veins, Dragon Hills, Dragon Forest and such named places everywhere. This is especially true for remote locations. Also, in each of these kind of places, the locals would tend to be able to recount a mystical and ancient legend to you.

Perhaps, this could be due to the fact that the ancient Heavenly Dragon Tribe capable of soaring in the skies and many mystical arts has left behind an ineradicable impression on the humans. However, anyone who has basic knowledge of the world would simply chuckle upon hearing these. The reason is quite simple as well: Even if many of the ancient Heavenly Dragons really came rushing down to the mortal world, there were only sufficient of them to play the roles depicted in less than a hundredth of the legends.

Humans were too passionate with their legends, there weren’t enough Heavenly Dragons to fill the gaps…

Coming from Kunlun Sect which has a long history, Hong Chuan still retains that kind of basic knowledge. At this moment, he gazes at Lu Chen and chuckles in harmony.

However, after a short moment, Lu Chen frowns once again, “That means, you reached the Dragon Lake on the west of the foothill. But, how did you end up falling in the pool at the bottom of the mountain?”

Hong Chuan shakes his head and says, “This is where things got weird. After seeing the lake, I realised that I have been walking the wrong way, so I got depressed. However, since it is already late and I am here, I doubted that I could find the way back now. So, I decided to spend the night by the lake and head to the Flying Swallow Crag tomorrow.”

At this point, he stops for a moment, as though recalling something. He looks at Lu Chen with an apologetic smile and says, “Keng, the Flying Swallow Crag I said refers to the depression. Pardon my words, I am used to saying those words so it is hard for me to change it suddenly…”

Lu Chen bursts into laughter and replies, “There is no need for you to be so formal, I get it. Let’s just continue with the story.”

Hong Chuan continues speaking, “Un, eventually, I found a location that shields me from the wind by the lake. However, in the middle of the night, I heard… a mysterious sound coming from the Dragon Lake and awoke from fright. Then, I saw the calm lake start to billow furiously then a moment later, a mysterious fish suddenly jumps out from the surface of the water with water splashing all around. Silver light radiates from its body and it is exceptionally dazzling, as though, as though like a carp turning into a dragon as depicted in the legends.

Even the calm Lu Chen is astonished and exclaims, “What?”

Hong Chuan smiles bitterly, “That… That is really what I saw with my own eyes last night. It isn’t something that I made up after hearing Brother Lu talk about the name of the lake.”

For a moment, Lu Chen is speechless. Then, he hears Lu Chen saying, “I was also stunned at the moment. Due to the overwhelming shock, I couldn’t help but to stand up. In the end, when I took two steps forward, the mysterious fish turns towards me and glances at me…”

Going by Hong Chuan’s words, the fish seems to possess extraordinary powers. Even though he is a cultivator and is protected by his own cultivation, he was still struck by a spell of dizziness and the sight before turned dark. His body fell forward…

After that, Hong Chuan only remembers himself staggering and falling into the lake. The icy cold currents wash through him and afterwards, nothing else. By the time he awoke, he was already in this straw cottage.

After hearing Hong Chuan’s words, Lu Chen is silent for a moment. His eyebrows knit tightly together, as though he is contemplating something.

Taking a look at him, Hong Chuan asks him, “Brother Lu, based on your words, you found and saved me at the Dragon Pool at the bottom of the hill?”

Lu Chen nods his head, “Indeed, while I was walking around in the night, I noticed some movements at the pool. In the end, I found you floating on the surface of the water. There is indeed no way I could have gone to the Dragon Lake on the top of the mountain to save you…”

Halfway through his words, he suddenly stops. Then, he says, “That… Could it be that the legends are true, that the Dragon Lake and Dragon Pool are connected by a secret waterway?”

Alright, I know I translated the ‘pool’ as ‘lake’ for the water at the bottom of the hill previously. Will edit the rest to reflect so.
I get that pool isn’t really appropriate (after all the water is connected to a stream at the lake at the top), but I really can’t find a better word so just bear with it.

…ancient Heavenly Dragon Tribe capable of soaring in the skies and many mystical arts
TL: The author used an idiom to describe the Heavenly Dragon Tribe (腾云驾雾) which could mean soaring in the skies through propagating clouds or possessing supernatural abilities (and an irrational state of mind, but it doesn’t apply in this context). So, it could mean either one or both of them, but I just wrote both of it down anyway.

I also get that it sounds weird that if it is a foothill, why would one lake be higher than the other. The phrase the author used is 山麓 which does mean foothill. Literally, it refers to the part where the slope of a mountain is adjoined to flat land, so the flat land may not necessarily mean ground level. If I had to guess, perhaps the west foothill might be a valley on higher grounds than the Dragon Pool? (At here, I realised my usage of foothill isn’t appropriate also T_T)

Also, technically, the difference between 湖(Lake) and 潭(Pool) for the Chinese character is probably just their depth (With pool being the deeper one apparently). There are many different explanations also like some say lake is closer to the sea etc, but it doesn’t really apply here and in real life, there are exceptions here and there as well.

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