Chapter 98: Returnto the Village
chapter 98: returnto the village
not long after han li had left the celestial rainbow mountains, sect leader wang announced that he had decided to accept li feiyu as his successor and had promoted him from division head deputy to division head of the external blade division. from then on, wang juechu had placed an immense amount of care and trust on him. furthermore, han li’s third uncle would make a careless blunder and break the sect rules in the future several years from now. when he should have been worrying for his life, sect leader wang had intervened and defended him.
and as for sect leader wang himself, he became grievously injured after facing several formidable enemies in one of the sect’s future conflicts and was drawn to the brink of death. but every time the sect members thought that he would finally succumb to his injuries, sect leader wang would consume a medicinal pill from a jade bottle and somehow miraculously survive. not only that, but he could also still prance about, full of vitality. this caused others to feel somewhat jealous, and they probed him for details about the origins of the medicine. but of course, wang juechu would never divulge the secret; instead, murmuring inconsequential words whenever they asked him. thus, all those who wanted to know his secret returned empty-handed.
after wang juechu passed away, he left behind a medicinal pill named “vitality raising pellet.” by this time, there were only three pills left inside the jade bottle. these three pills caused a storm of blood and brought endless troubles for wang juechu’s descendants. nevertheless, these were all events that would take place in the future, so there was no point discussing them right now.
as for the current li feiyu, he was holding a few bottles in his hand and a paper note. he had just returned back to his residence from zhang xiuer’s place, and discovered several items that suddenly appeared in his house.
the paper note was left by han li, and the information it contained was very simple: han li had left the seven mysteries sect and might never return. the note also mentioned that inside the bottles were medicinal pills that he had painstakingly concocted. they would be able to extend li feiyu’s lifespan, so han li hoped that li feiyu wouldn’t reject his gift.
on the back of the paper, there was an impression of han li’s smiling face near his signature. adjacent to the smiling face was a sentence congratulating li feiyu and zhang xiuer, hoping that they would marry soon and have many babies together.
after li feiyu recovered from his shock, he ran out of his residence and rushed up a small mountain peak that was close to his home.
on the mountain peak, li feiyu gazed towards the main gate of the seven mysteries sect, only to see a field of green. he was unable to discover a single silhouette, but he waited motionlessly for half a day before drawing in a huge breath. trembling as emotion showed on his face, he said in a low voice, “take care of yourself! i wish you well on your future path!”
only then did li feiyu slowly descend from the mountain peak. depression emanated from his lonely back.
at this moment, a horse-drawn carriage was trotting on the pathway, heading east.
han li and crooked soul were sitting inside the carriage. although this four-wheeled carriage was not that cramped, han li had spent three taels of silver and temporarily rented the vehicle so that only the two of them were within the carriage.
this wooden carriage appeared worn and tattered on the surface, but the interior was actually extremely clean and tidy. not only that, the two horses that were pulling the carriage were at the prime of their life, filled with strength and vitality. with vigorous strength, they pulled the carriage along with such swiftness that it could be comparable to flying.
it was precisely because han li had noticed these two details that he was willing to spend three taels of silver to rent the carriage. normally, only one tael of silver would be sufficient to rent this kind of carriage.
the driver was a skinny tanned middle-aged commoner who refused to partake in conversation. other than the time han li had initiated a conversation and asked for directions, he wouldn’t speak any unnecessary words, making han li feel satisfied.
next to han li was crooked soul, who had an immense stature and a mask to cover its face, making it seem extremely mysterious. if the driver was a gossip, there would surely be many troubles.
the intelligent yellow-feathered cloud-winged bird stood on han li’s shoulder. its eyes were half-closed, as if it were resting.
crooked soul, who was in the seat facing han li, carried a large package. other than some clean clothes, the package contained gold, silver, and some bottles that were pretty heavy.
as for the rest, such as doctor mo’s will and certain small miscellaneous items, han li carried them on his body, out of fear that he would misplace them.
han li sat quietly in the carriage, listening to the sounds the wooden wheels made as they turned, with no fluctuation in his expression. there was no reason for him to be downcast about leaving the seven mysteries sect.
the only thing that he would not bear to leave behind was his intimate friend, li feiyu. but with the knowledge that his counterpart had received his note and the pills that he had concocted, han li hoped that these would be sufficient enough for li feiyu to carry out the second half of his life in peace.
thinking of this, he stretched this body, rested his back on the cushioned seats, and dozed off. as for his destination, he had already informed the driver earlier: the small village from which he had originated.
although he knew that it was impossible, he hoped beyond hope that, the moment he opened his eyes, he would be able to see the faces of his family surrounding him.
he had left home for so many years that their faces had long blurred in his memory. thus, before han li truly started on the next leg of his journey, he needed to see his family members one last time. if not, his heart would never be at ease.
“i wonder how my little sister is doing right now. she should already be 16 or 17, a grown woman! according to the letters that i received, it seems that she was betrothed to a good family and is currently preparing to get married.” a weak and small figure appeared in han li’s mind just as he was falling asleep. the owner of this figure was always behind him, calling out “fourth brother, fourth brother!”
“time truly passes by extremely fast!”
in this warm atmosphere with his own memories, han li fell asleep. this time, he slept soundly and was at peace, similar to the times when he was young and his parents were beside him, protecting him from danger.
after five days of travelling along the yellow earthen path, han li finally saw a village far off in the distance.
there was the low wall made of mud, the rows of rice paddies, and that bumpy road full of potholes. all this had once captivated han li so the extent that he had dreamt about it daily; now, it finally appeared in front of his eyes.
han li suppressed the excitement in his heart. he allowed the driver to stop the carriage far outside the village, while crooked soul remained in the carriage. then, han li walked towards the direction of the village. the closer he got, the faster his heart thumped.
for a time, han li become overwhelmed with emotions he had felt only long before.