“Senior Brothers, wait for me. I will be back after sending the pills.”
Not many people usually traversed the path to the back of the mountain. As spring was time for growth, grass and weeds were beginning to grow rapidly too, drowning the little gravel path to the point where it could barely be seen.
Xiaodong was afraid that he would be too late and that Senior Sister would enter the cave without realizing she didn’t have the pills. That would certainly be disastrous. The more he hurried, the less dexterous he was. Some grass and leaves had thorns grown on the sides, and their surfaces were as rough as sandpaper. When people walked through them, the hems of their clothes would be hooked by the leaves or branches. There was as well still undried dew left on the surface of the leaves, which drenched his shoes and robe.
Just as he was about to reach the top of the slope, the hem of his clothes was caught by a protruding thorn. In his haste, a shredding noise resounded as the thick thorn tore into the corner of his clothes.
Xiaodong hurriedly bent down his waist and pulled out the thorn. Just as he was about to get up, he heard someone speaking in front of him.
It was Senior Sister Linglong’s voice, and she said, “I already told you that you didn’t need to come. What did you run this extra mile for?”
Senior Sister saw him? Just as he was about to respond, he heard another person. “I don’t feel at ease if I don’t see you off. The seclusion training this time is very important to you, you… must be careful at all costs. Don’t be anxious for results and take risks…”
Xiaodong had heard this voice before, but he was not that familiar with it.
Xiaodong probed through the shrubs and long grass. He could faintly see Senior Sister Linglong and that Senior Brother Di chatting under cypress tree near the gravel path.
Since they were acquainted and Senior Brother Di even came especially to send her off, why didn’t he come along with them earlier?
Did he miss the opportunity, or was it intentional?
Xiaodong saw Senior Brother Di take out something from his sleeves and pass it over. “This is something I prepared especially for you. The herbs and spices inside can be used to calm your nerves. Keep them, you might need to use them.”
“Alright, I know,” Senior Sister Linglong received the package and replied. She then urged him, “Hurry and go back now, I have to go too.”
Senior Brother Di assented, but he still stood there without stepping away. Senior Sister Linglong said she was going to leave, but she also did not move away.
The two stood there, silent, unmoving. They continued to look at each other, as if no matter how much they looked, it wouldn’t be enough.
“Head back then,” Senior Sister urged him once more.
Only then did Senior Brother Di turn around and leave. The path he took was not Xiaodong’s path, but the one that led to the western slopes. It was much more of a detour than Xiaodong’s path.
It seemed like he was intentionally avoiding them.
After he took a few steps, he turned around again and waved at Senior Sister. “Hurry up and go then.”
Senior Sister responded, “I know already.” However, she still did not budge and simply stood there, watching Senior Brother Did leave.
Xiaodong was not a five-year-old child. Watching the two of them like this, he had a vague understanding of the relationship between the two.
Usually, he did not pay much attention to Senior Brother Di, and he did not talk much with him either. All Xiaodong could remember of this person was that his temperament and personality were both pretty good. He would often had a smile on his face, and spoke with a kind tone. He did not have any scars on his body and he had a rather large and tall body frame. It seemed there were those who would crack jokes at him, saying if his cultivating talent was subpar, he could still head down the mountain and make a living off of his looks.
However, he had never noticed him with Senior Sister…
It wasn’t that Xiaodong had any prejudice against the outer sect disciples, nor would he look down on them. To tell the truth, if they were to compare true capabilities, there were many among the outer sect disciples who were stronger than him. Xiaodong was able to have Master take him as a direct disciple because of his uncle. He wouldn’t feel that Senior Brother Di, as an outer sect disciple, would be unfit for Senior Sister.
It was not that strange for Senior Sister and Senior Brother Di to avoid people while seeing each other. They were possibly shy.
After Senior Brother Di had gone far away, Linglong turned her head towards Xiaodong’s side and raised her voice, “Come over then. You’re hiding over there like a little mouse.”
So he had long been discovered by Senior Sister.
Xiaodong found it a bit embarrassing as he hurriedly walked over.
“Senior Sister, I forgot to return your Grain Staving Pills earlier. I almost caused you trouble.”
Linglong received the pill bottle. She then reached out her hands to pinch Xiaodong’s face, squeezing his little face off its former shape. “Did you see everything just now?”
Xiaodong cried out, “N-No, I didn’t see much.”
“It’s fine if you saw it, there’s nothing to be ashamed of between us anyway.” Linglong did not let go of his face, and instead fiercely said, “You’re not allowed to tell anyone else, you hear me? Not even Eldest Senior Brother.”
Knowing that Xiaodong was like Eldest Senior Brother’s little tail and had the utmost trust in Eldest Senior Brother, Linglong especially emphasized him.
Xiaodong had no choice but to nod. He dared not to use too much force in his nod either, as his cheeks were still being pulled.
Only then did Linglong release her hands and even rub his face for him. It was not because she was especially considerate, but because Little Junior Brother’s face was simply too tender. With just those pinches of hers, there were already two especially glaring red marks on his cheeks. If he returned like this and Eldest Senior Brother saw them, this child might not be able to keep any secrets, and the beans would get spilled just like that.
Linglong was speaking sincerely earlier. She felt that there was nothing to be ashamed about with Senior Brother Di. There was no rule among Returnflow Mountain’s doctrine that said disciples in the same sect could not date. Master was even more so an open-minded person, so even if he knew about this, he wouldn’t oppose it. He might even see Senior Brother Di in a different light and take him as his direct disciple during the next disciple test.
It was exactly because of this that the two did not announce their relationship. One reason was because… Linglong was thick-skinned after all, and the two of them had only just started their relationship. Secondly, Senior Brother Di had talent in the first place and was rather righteous. Even without Linglong’s support, him becoming a direct disciple was just a matter of time. Why cause a ruckus now and have others say that he was merely riding on Linglong’s coattails and had simply relied on their relationship to rise up in status?
However, there was no need to explain all these reasons to Little Junior Brother. This was not the time to talk about it. Furthermore, just how old was Little Junior Brother? He was definitely still oblivious about relationships between men and women.
Xiaodong hurriedly walked back. It was not long before he saw Eldest Senior Brother still waiting for him by the roadside. Senior Brother Jiang wasn’t there. It seemed like he had returned first.
“What’s wrong with your face?”
Xiaodong had yet to reach in front of Mo Chen when Mo Chen saw his reddened face. Xiaodong’s skin was tender and white, so the pinch marks would be too conspicuous to hide.
“Ou.” Xiaodong did not know either and only when Senior Brother asked did he recall about it. He reached out his own hands to touch his cheeks. The pinched areas were warm and they ached a little too.
Before even waiting for his reply, Mo Chen had already figured it out. “Linglong pinched you? She sure was rough with her hands. She really has a bad temper.”
Seeing that Eldest Senior Brother was not going to probe for further details, Xiaodong truly heaved a sigh of relief.
He did not feel right hiding from Eldest Senior Brother, but since Eldest Senior Brother was not looking for details, then he wasn’t going to say anything.