Back to the Countryside
Chapter 83 : 来人
As they hurried on their way, the snow started to fall again. All they could see before their eyes was all white, making it difficult to see the road ahead. Their progress was naturally slowed down.
By the time the weather was getting dark again, they were unable to reach the town where they could stay for the night. It was not possible to travel and face dangers through the snow and wind at night. In the end, they had to find a certain col (level ground in the mountains or hills) to be their shelter from the snow as their temporary stopping place.
It was so cold as the weather was windy and the snow was heavy outside. Qi Yue told He Ling to stay put in the carriage. He himself lifted the curtain and got off from the carriage. Just at the same time, he saw Shen Juming jumping down from the another carriage.
He exercised a little before he rushed forward here, “Shi Xiong, we’ll have to stay here for the night.”
They were quite strong and fit, not having any problem at all but it might be a little hard for He Ling. However, the good thing was that on the carriage, the cotton-padded quilt and (the heating) stove were all available there, so it wasn’t that bad.
“Let’s make the fire first and cook something to eat!” Qi Yue took a look at the col (level ground in the mountains or hills).The place wasn’t too big and the three carriages almost filled it up but the wind and snow didn’t get in, so it was pretty good.
“Then we must go and find some dry firewood first, right?” Lin Yuxue and her seniors also got out of the carriage and walked up to them, “I’m afraid it’s not easy to find firewood in this weather, it’s all damp at the moment.”
“Just now, we passed by a mountain forest. It’s not too far from here. I’ll go there and look for some. Ju Ming, you help me take good care of A Ling for me.” The other party’s agility was not as good as him so it would take him a lot of time to go there. Since it was getting late, if he went he could get it faster.
“I’ll go with Qi Gongzi!” Seeing that he was going, Lin Yuxue hastily took up the job as well, “My Qing Gong is pretty good. I won’t delay your time!”
[Qing Gong is a technique in Chinese martial arts. Its use has been exaggerated in wuxia fiction, where martial artists have the ability to move swiftly and lightly at superhuman speed, perform gravity-defying moves such as gliding on water surfaces, scaling high walls, and mounting trees.]
Qi Yue wanted to refuse at first but after thinking about it, he nodded his head and agreed. The other party was still having a fanciful or impractical idea toward him so if she was left here and suddenly wanted to attack his Fu Lang, Shen Juming and Yun Su probably wouldn’t be able to manage the three of them. By taking Lin Yuxue away, at least both sides would be balanced.
Lin Yuxue was delighted in her heart for being able to be alone with the other party. She had just put on a shy look, then she saw him turn around and go back to the carriage, lifting the curtain to speak to He Ling. At that moment, she pulled a long face (put on a serious expression).
“I’ll go for a while, if you need something, just call Juming!” Qi Yue took his hand and squeezed it lightly, informing him that he had to leave for a moment.
He Ling nodded his head, hearing the wind howling outside and telling him again, “You have to be careful!”
After saying goodbye, Qi Yue and Lin Yuxue’s figures disappeared into the snowstorm. Together with the two disciples from the Hidden Detached Palace, Shen Juming took down some cooking utensils and ingredients from the carriage and arranged it.
If an ordinary person were to move around in this kind of foul weather, they would not be able to bear it. However, for those who practice martial arts, apart from the obstruction of vision, none of it could become a problem.
Lin Yuxue divided her attention to focus on the person next to her. The tip of his feet tapped the ground lightly, leaping through the drifting snow. His white robe was lifted by the wind and his face was handsome and flawless, like an immortal banished from heaven and descending to the mortal world (earth), uncontaminated by dust and dirt.
From the first time she saw the other party, he had already captivated her heart like this. She could not take her eyes off him. At that time, she thought that only a man like him would be worthy of her.
She had always known that she was not the only one who had fallen in love with him. He never stayed for anyone and never took anyone into his heart, but left them to sink into it.
He seemed gentle and polite, extremely good to get close to but in fact his heart was tightly closed to all. Even so, she still for a long time could not forget about him and vowed to be the one to stand beside him.
But one day, he disappeared after eliminating a sect. He disappeared as if he had vanished from the face of the earth, without any single trace left. She was worried and anxious, wondering if he had been wounded and had gone into hiding to recuperate. For more than half a year, there was no more news about him.
When she met him again at the inn, she was simply overjoyed and couldn’t wait to step forward and talk to him, but he seemed to have not changed at all, still so noticeable (attracting attention), still gentle and cultivated as a man of virtue (君子)1[君子 : Man of noble character; man of virtue; gentleman (originally a Confucian term, meaning an ideal man whose character embodies the virtue of benevolence, and who acts in accordance with the rites and rightness].
She thought her chance would come when she went on the same journey with him this time, but what she didn’t expect was the harsher truth that he was unexpectedly already married. Moreover, he was married to a country ger who did not have a single good point beside his appearance.
He was like a different person when he was with that ger. He never took his eyes off of the other party, all the time always protecting the other party in his embrace. Even with only the slightest frown from him, he would nervously ask if he was unwell?
She saw it in her eyes and was jealous in her heart. She didn’t understand what was so good about this ger that he could make the person she looked up to care for him so much in every possible ways that he wanted to hold him in his hands.
Lin Yuxue’s line of sight always set on him. Qi Yue naturally knew it but he just didn’t want to pay attention to her. Even if she was so much in love with him, it was none of his business.
Vaguely seeing the outline of the forest ahead, he slowed down his pace. The winter trees were covered by the accumulated snow and many of them were too wet and completely could not be used.
Qi Yue stopped his figure and looked around, trying to find some place that was sheltered from the wind and snow, in there he should be able to find some firewood.
Lin Yuxue followed behind him, throughout the journey they kept moving forward and as the atmosphere became somewhat silent then she asked, “This time when you return to the valley, Qi Gongzi supposedly should not leave again right? As far as I know, it seems that Yun Gu Zhu (the master of the valley Yun) has always intended for you to take over his position!”
Qi Yue’s attention had always been on searching through the forest. He didn’t turn back when he heard her question, “Miss Lin is joking. There are many other disciples who can take over the position. This time I only came back to visit Shifu. After that, I will take Ah Ling back to the village.”
“You mean that after this, you will live in a small village?” Lin Yuxue stopped in her tracks to look at him in surprise. She thought this time, the other party was returning to Jiang Hu.
“Naturally.” Qi Yue’s footsteps did not stop. He also did not care whether she catched up with him or not, “The affairs in Jiang Hu are no longer my concern. I only want to spend my life in peace with him and will no longer bother with the other things.”
“How can you do that?” Lin Yuxue ran up to him and stopped him in his tracks, “You are extremely skillful in martial arts, a great doctor and also a great poisoner. You have such great capabilities at such a young age! How can you waste your life in a village?”
Qi Yue stopped in front of her, compared to her excitement, his expression as calm as a lake without a ripple, “Lin Guniang, no matter what kind of decision I make, it’s definitely none of your business!”
His words left Lin Yuxue with no way to refute it. She bit her lip in silence for a long time before her eyes turned red, “How can you be so heartless? You clearly know what I have in mind for you ……”
“Lin Gu Niang!” Qi Yue interrupted her before she could say it, he definitely did not want to hear someone other than A Ling say this to him, “What you have in your heart is your business but I can only have one person in my heart!”
Lin Yuxue eventually shed her tears but her heart still remained unwilling. She extended her hands and lunged forward to hug him but was dodged by the other party. Ashamed and resentfully she turned her head and stared at him, “A physically weak [the literal one: ‘lacking the strength even to truss a chicken’] country ger, are you not afraid that he will die by my sword?”
Hearing these words, the corners of Qi Yue’s lips curled up, revealing a smile but his eyes were even colder than the snowflakes dancing around in the air, “If you really dare to do it, I will make your life worse than death!”
Lin Yuxue stumbled and took one step back. The other party’s ruthlessness was always more than she could have imagined. Her whole heart was poured into him but not even a trace of it was accepted (could be kept).
If the other party hadn’t come to provoke him, he would not have cared for her maiden feeling and affection at all. Besides, he had no time to understand it. But if she seriously, for this reason, hurt even a single hair of Ah Ling’s, he would make her regret coming to this world!
“Miss Lin (Lin Guniang), it’s getting late! Let’s finish collecting the firewood quickly and go back early!” As if nothing had happened, Qi Yue smiled gently at her and turned back to continue on his way.
Lin Yuxue wiped the tears from her face and followed him, pretending that nothing had happened. However her mind was lost in a myriad of thoughts, this person never saw her in his eyes, so naturally he would never take her into his heart. No matter how much she did, no matter how much she said, it was all in vain (useless).
He Ling lifted the curtain hanging on the carriage window and looked at the snow that was still falling outside the col. He was a bit worried, he didn’t know where his Xiang Gong had gone to find the firewood in this cold weather? Would he be okay from the freezing weather?
Yun Su just got in from outside the carriage and saw his anxiously waiting appearance (望眼欲穿: keep gazing till one’s eyes are strained—long), immediately he curled his lips and said teasingly, “Xiong Fu Lang, are you worried that Shi Xiong will be unfaithful, being together alone with Lin Yuxue outside there?”
Hearing the tone of his voice, He Ling turned his head and met face to face with his cunning gaze and smiled helplessly, “What nonsense are you talking about? Xiang Gong definitely will never do that! What brought you here?
Not seeing the look he wanted to see, Yun Su pursed his lips as he found it boring and moved to sit beside him, “Juming Shi Xiong was afraid that you have nothing to do by being alone in here so he asked me to come over to accompany you and to chat with you.”
“Shen Shi Di is always so attentive!”
He was indeed just as Xiang Gong had said, doing things steadily, dependable and making people feel at ease.
“Chi! He just likes to worry about things!” Yun Su lay back and leaned back on the soft pillow, squinting his eyes comfortably, “He’s been like this since he was a child. He loves to meddle in other people’s business, so fucking annoying!”
“Oh?” He Ling didn’t believe this excuse of him at all. From his observation as he took it all in, he could see it from the way the other party looked at Shen Juming, “Do you seriously think he’s annoying? Then I will go and tell him to leave you alone in the future!”
Seeing that he was really about to get up and go down from the carriage, Yun Su hurriedly stopped him and pulled his arm. As he tried to hide it but only to make it more conspicuous, he said, “Don’t move (randomly)! Shi Xiong has told you to stay put, you have to listen to his words!”
He Ling originally was just teasing him, so following along with the force, he sat back and poked his slightly red cheeks, “If you like him so much, why don’t you tell him?”
“Who, who likes him?” Yun Su excitedly and subconsciously retorted back, yet when he saw his smiling eyes, he dropped his head in defeat and twisted his fingers, “That bookworm (nerd), all he knows is to treat me as his little brother all the time. He doesn’t understand a single thing!”
These words of his, He Ling agreed with him. Everything about Shen Shi Di was good, however he seemed to never be enlightened (unable to understand) in the matters of love. He doted on Yun Su, attached himself so much to him and loved him dearly (as brothers) but there was less love feeling (between lovers) for him. No wonder he was so frustrated like this.
“Who is that?!”
At first, he was about to say a few more words to help the other side to get over his worries. However, suddenly Shen Juming’s soft shout sounded from outside the carriage. He was just about to probe open to see but he was pushed and held down by Yun Su, who had a serious face and was listening carefully to the commotion outside.
It wasn’t long before the sound of swords clashing became clear, the horses neighing as if they were frightened, and the carriage they were sitting in right now swayed for several times!
It was obvious that there was a fight going on between the other three and the villains outside. He had never encountered such a situation before so He Ling stared in disbelief and did not know what to do. His heart was beating fast.
- 1[君子 : Man of noble character; man of virtue; gentleman (originally a Confucian term, meaning an ideal man whose character embodies the virtue of benevolence, and who acts in accordance with the rites and rightness]