He recited the first and second chapters rather smoothly, and after finishing, Xiaodong stopped. He looked at Senior Brother, waiting for Senior Brother to praise him.
But the praise did not come. Mo Chen said, “Why aren’t you reciting anymore? Continue.”
However, he hadn’t learned the final chapter yet. Until now, all he had been taught were the first and second chapters. Senior Brother Jiang even said that he wouldn’t comprehend the third and final chapter right away anyway, and so that he would not bite off more than he could chew, Senior Brother Jiang did not teach him.
Xiaodong could not see the smile at the corners of Mo Chen’s lips, and only thought that he could not disappoint Eldest Senior Brother. After clearing his throat, he began to stutteringly continue his recital.
At first, Mo Chen had wanted to make things a little difficult for Little Junior Brother. Alright, it wasn’t just that. He just couldn’t help but want to tease Little Junior Brother after seeing his expression. Little Junior Brother treated everything especially seriously, sometimes too seriously. He was worried about Chen Jingzhi, worried about Master, and was even worried about Mo Chen.
Regarding how he was abandoned while swaddled in silk, Mo Chen had never felt upset nor hateful. In the past, he did occasionally wonder what kind of people his actual parents were and why they abandoned him. According to Master, he had extremely good inborn celestial bones and among the young generation, there were merely a few that could compare to him. With such impressive aptitude, any family would treat him as treasure, so who would be willing to throw him away? Not to mention he was abandoned at such a secluded area. The perpetrator was too ruthless, as clearly, he deliberately wanted Mo Chen to die.
After that, Mo Chen no longer had these thoughts. So what if he didn’t have parents? He grew up in Returnflow Mountain and didn’t lack anything.
Yet Little Junior Brother was, so seriously, feeling upset for him.
Mo Chen could not explain the feeling he was now experiencing. It felt warm, as if a stagnating invisible wall within him was gradually melting away.
Mo Chen simply wanted to tease him when he had Xiaodong recite the final chapter despite knowing fully that he had yet to learn it.
Mo Chen did not find it odd that Xiaodong could recite the beginning few sentences, but Xiaodong ended up reciting a large half of the chapter, though he did stammer through it.
But he really didn’t know the final few parts.
Mo Chen softly asked, “Junior Brother Jiang taught you all this?”
Xiaodong honestly shook his head. “No, I simply remembered from when you senior siblings were talking.”
His words were not exactly untrue, as he did hear his senior siblings discuss it in his dream after all.
Mo Chen was relieved. “See, you’re not stupid at all. You have pretty good comprehension ability. However next time, if neither Junior Brother Jiang nor I teach you, don’t practice on your own. This is to prevent you from not only practicing incorrectly, but also prevent you from harming yourself.”
Xiaodong obediently responded yes.
Mo Chen softened the pillow for him. “Sleep then.”
Xiaodong lay down as instructed, but he still was unwilling to have Mo Chen walk away.
“Eldest Senior Brother, why don’t you rest as well?’
Mo Chen nodded, took off his outer garments, removed his shoes and then laid next to Xiaodong. “I will accompany you for a short while then.”
This time, Xiaodong did not dare to roll about anymore. If he were to move, he would definitely bump into Eldest Senior Brother.
For a short while, he still could not sleep. Several thoughts surged up and sank back down in his mind. He thought about the past and then thought about the future.
Eldest Senior Brother was definitely going to take over Master and become the sect master of Returnflow Mountain, but what about him? Where would he be in the future? Though there were sayings where one would head down the mountain after completing one’s apprenticeship, Xiaodong did not want to leave.
He hoped that he could stay on the mountain when that time came. In any case, even if he did not want to leave, Eldest Senior Brother would not throw him out. Mn. He might even be able to help Eldest Senior Brother with managing the internal affairs, and also take care of disciples…
Mo Chen turned his head to the side. Xiaodong had already fallen asleep. His mouth was half-open and his two arms were still placed outside the blanket.
Mo Chen carefully tucked Xiaodong’s arms back into the blanket. He then got up and continued to meditate and train.
Xiaodong’s dream tonight was not about anyone else, but was instead related to that large array.
He dreamed that large array was like a large fish net, trapping him within. No matter what he did, he could not break his way out.
As spring came, the weather grew warmer by the day. As long as Xiaodong had the spare time, he would head out to look for his pendant.
However, he still couldn’t find it.
Peach blossoms welcomed the beginning of spring, and begonias and camellias followed after them. During winter, Xiaodong was more afraid of the cold than anyone else, and now, he was the one most afraid of heat than anyone else. In the morning he would sneakily remove his coat, and in the end, the moment the mountain winds blew, he would let out large sneezes because of the cold. As he wasn’t wearing much, his entire body would turn cold from top to bottom the moment the winds blew.
Jiang Fan seized him, gave him a stern lecture in his face, and then had someone quickly retrieve his coat for him.
Xiaodong could not even raise his head while being admonished. When Senior Sister Linglong came, he thought that she would help him out a little. However, Senior Sister Linglong simply glanced at him and left three words for him.
“You deserve it.”
Xiaodong became spiritless.
After Senior Sister Linglong said those sarcastic words, she then felt like she was too mean to Little Junior Brother. This was how she was, someone that would always act before thinking. After acting it out, there would be times she would regret her actions. It was just that she couldn’t control herself during those times.
“Are you going to look for your pendant again?”
“Don’t be anxious. Didn’t Master promise you? He will have someone perform a divination for you, and that person is very accurate in his divinations.”
Xiaodong could only console himself with those words.
However, for some reason, he had this feeling that… he might not be able to find his pendant anymore.
Linglong, who was bad at consoling others, continued to console him, “If we really can’t find it, then I will beg Master to give you another pendant, alright? Do you like gold or jade? Oh right, shall we make one with fluorite? It’s colorful and can even emit light in the dark. It’s pretty good.”
Why would he want to wear a pendant that would light up at night? To use it to light up his surroundings in the night? That would only be able to light up a small area below the tip of his nose, right?
Jiang Fan secretly laughed to himself at the side.
At first glance, it might seem as if nothing much was different on the mountain.
The remaining people did not really bring Chen Jingzhi up. Senior Sister Linglong only felt hatred towards him. Not only would she not mention him, but she also didn’t allow others to either. When there were times when he had to be mentioned no matter what, he would be referred by name, and never did she call him Junior Brother again.
Because of her stubborn attitude, Mo Chen and Jiang Fan did not find it comfortable to bring him up either, otherwise it would make her unhappy.
Xiaodong made great improvements with his sword techniques. Though Senior Sister Linglong would still bluntly say that his techniques simply looked good, it was definitely much better than before when they didn’t even look good, right?
“I wonder when Master is going to come back.” Senior Sister Linglong loved to head down the mountain in the past, but for the past few months now she hadn’t gone down the mountain. This was truly a difficult time for her.
Xiaodong was also hoping that Master would return quickly. The previous time Master left, he did not really have many thoughts about it, but things were different now. He was worried that Master would be schemed against by others outside, and he was worried that the matters Master had to deal with this time were very troublesome.
Jiang Fan headed out of the hall for a moment and then returned with a box. He then hurriedly came back in and looked for Mo Chen.
Though Master was not here and the people of Returnflow Mountain were closing themselves in the mountain, communication did not break down because of this. Though it was inconvenient to bring in visitors, letters were still being received and sent out.
Senior Sister Linglong looked from afar and casually said, “Could it be an important visitor has arrived? Jiang Fan is running so quickly.”
Xiaodong shook his head.
If Senior Sister was not aware, he naturally did not know either. In any case, these matters were always handled by Eldest Senior Brother, so these matters did not concern them.
Mo Chen held onto the letter and was silent for a moment. “We do not have any dealings with Sword Burial Valley, so why would they send people here for a visit?” He placed the letter back into the box. “Did they speak of their intentions?”
Jiang Fan shook his head.