It seemed like his youngest disciple was living rather well on Returnflow Mountain! He was already so tall.
Li Fulin was very pleased.
The child was entrusted to him by his old friend, and Li Fulin was afraid that he could not live up to his old friend’s trust. Now that his little disciple had already begun to grow, it meant that he had taken care of the child well! Though he still looked skinny, with his current pace of growing an inch or two every year, this little disciple could turn out to be a tall and mighty man like his uncle.
Xiaodong looked on as Master showed a smile as if he was daydreaming, and Xiaodong felt that it was such a silly smile.
“Head back then. You still need to practice your sword techniques more. If there are any parts that you’re unsure of, ask your senior siblings. It’s fine if you ask me as well.”
Xiaodong obediently nodded.
Li Fulin really could not hold it in. Who could resist doting on obedient little disciples? In terms of talent, he already had his outstanding eldest disciple. There really was no need to force every single disciple to be extraordinary.
“Come, come, come. Let me give this to you. You’re the only one Master is giving it to, none of your senior siblings have one.”
Xiaodong was handed a heavy, bulging pouch. Did Master give him him some pocket money? He had already given Xiaodong his red packet for the new year though. It’s true that money was needed by everyone, but there really was not much use of it on Returnflow Mountain. There was simply nowhere here to spend his money on, unless he were to descend the mountain. Though, there were not many things to spend on in the town either.
In the end, after looking into it, he found out that the pouch was not stuffed with bronze coins or scattered silvers, but dried fruits. He did not know what fruits they were. They were most likely something Master brought back from his trip. They were a little smaller than dates, and the flesh of the fruit was sweeter than honey, exuding an indescribable aroma. After finishing the flesh, Xiaodong could not bear to spit out the seed. The seed was sweet too, and it was tasty when he sucked on it. The fruits were air-dried and had not been pickled in any way, but he just could not figure out what fruits they were. He wondered if he kept the seeds, would he be able to plant them on Returnflow Mountain?
After tucking the seed away properly, Xiaodong held onto the pouch tightly. Li Fulin smiled at his little disciple and gave him a few winks.
Mo Chen had wanted to speak to Little Junior Brother a little, when Jiang Fan charged in from outside and whispered into his ear, “Eldest Senior Brother, we found Chu Er.”
Mo Chen did not show any change to his expression e as he followed Jiang Fan out of the building.
Jiang Fan’s voice was very soft. As he accompanied Mo Chen on a walk, he said, “The hunter living at the back of the mountain discovered him. The hunter went to chop down more firewood in preparation for the possibility of harsher winter, and there he discovered someone in the snow. He was wearing the uniform of Returnflow Mountain and had a plate on his waist too, so they brought him here.”
“Have you seen the body?”
Jiang Fan said, “Just a glance. His face and limbs had all been bitten off by wild beasts, but I was able to recognize that he was Chu Er. The plate on his waist is his as well.”
Mo Chen entered the stone room. A corpse covered by a gunny cloth was placed on the stone platform. Mo Chen took a glance after moving the cloth away, and he was able to ascertain that the person was indeed Chu Er.
“Does anyone else know about this?”
“The two guards securing the gate know about it, and they were the ones who carried the corpse here. No one else knows about it. I will instruct them not to spread it around either.”
The corpse was frozen rock solid, and it was not possible to discern just when he had died. Other than the bite marks, there were also some collision injuries. Some of his bones were broken too.
There were no signs of sword or sabre wounds. It did not seem like he was poisoned either.
Jiang Fan probed, “It seemed like he slipped and fell to his death?”
“Maybe.” Mo Chen had a feeling that things were not that simple.
Because it was too coincidental.
It was strange that Junior Brother Chen did not know the origin of his injury. Junior Brother Chen did not really have a deep relationship with anyone, let alone with these Outer Sect disciples.
It was such a coincidence that he had died right when Mo Chen wanted to ask him about the incident. If not for the people who climbed up the mountain for firewood, with just another one or two snowstorms, he would have been piled up with even more snow. Then, he would have only been discovered after the snow melted during spring.
Or his corpse could have stayed undiscovered forever.
Jiang Fan felt a little dumb.
He was not thinking as far as Mo Chen was.
When he first came up to Returnflow Mountain, Chu Er brought with him a letter. The writer of the letter did not have that good of a relationship with Master, but Master still had to save some face. There were many Outer Sect disciples anyway, so Master took him in. However, Chu Er was not very popular. He had poor aptitude and he was not hardworking with his martial arts either. All he cared about was being underhanded to achieve his means. Among the Outer Sect disciples, there was not a single person who got along well with him, and he had even made two enemies.
Chu Er had a martial arts background, so it was rather unbelievable that he would slip and die in a fall. Even Little Junior Brother would not make such a mistake.
Could it be he had offended someone? And he was then assassinated because of someone’s revenge?
This was not impossible.
However, the most important rule among the rules of Returnflow Mountain, was the forbiddance of slaughter among members of the same sect. No matter how bad Chu Er was, if another disciple had truly tried to attack him, then this matter would definitely have to be checked clearly. They could never allow such a ruthless person to exist on the mountain.
If such a person truly existed, then they had to locate him.
“Are we going to report to Master?” Jiang Fan asked softly.
“We have to update him on our findings.”
However, the timing was bad. Senior Liu and the disciples that he brought were still on the mountain. This incident might be a matter of Returnflow Mountain’s internal affairs. If a guest was not present, then they could close the gates and investigate however they wanted. However, with the guests still here, Mo Chen still had to deliberate when was the good time to inform Master of the problem.
He truly was unwilling to link Chu Er’s death with Junior Brother Chen. However, with how things were, he could only find out the truth after asking Junior Brother Chen.
After Junior Brother Chen finished practicing his sword techniques, Master pointed that he was over-exaggerating his movements. Junior Brother Chen harbored an enormous amount of inextinguishable hatred, anyone with eyes could see that darkness and killing intent were seeping out of his sword moves.
If this were to go on, he might die from qi deviation before he could exact his revenge.
Furthermore, how was he going to exact his revenge? Could it be that he was going to kill his parents after mastering his skills?
If he were to let go of his grudge, then the death of Junior Brother Chen’s biological mother would truly be for nothing. Though outsiders could never know the full details of the inside story, people could still come up with a good guess just from listening to rumours.
“First, keep a close watch on this place. We shall deal with this after I inform Master.” After pausing for a moment, Mo Chen added, “Do not let anyone else know about this, especially Little Junior Brother.”
Jiang Fan imagined how Little Junior Brother would react after seeing this, and immediately, a chill ran down his spine. He hurriedly nodded and guaranteed, “Senior Brother, don’t worry.”
Mo Chen exited the stone room. Raising his head, he glanced at the gloomy sky. The mountain winds were strong again, and people would normally shiver from the sheer cold from the winds.
No matter how difficult his missions outside were, they had never made him feel this irritated. If Chu Er had truly been slaughtered by a member of their sect, then it would be an incredibly uncomfortable case to work on.