Jiang Fan stood next to the door and looked at Little Junior Brother who was sitting cross-legged on the lotus plate, meditating.
“I can’t even remember what I did all day when I was Little Junior Brother’s age.” Jiang Fan softly asked, “I must have worried Master a lot back then too, right?”
Mo Chen smiled.
Junior Brother Jiang had never had an unruly personality, even when she was young, but as he was growing up, he had indeed given Li Fulin a lot of worries. Everything wasn’t blissful just because children were obedient. Even obedient children could induce headaches in some cases.
“How are the herbal baths? Are the ingredients enough?”
“One of frost grass variants aren’t enough anymore. I will have to brew them up again later.”
Jiang Fan took this chance to take over the conversation. “I don’t have much to do these days either. If Eldest Senior Brother is too busy, I can brew the frost grass.”
“That’s fine as well.” Mo Chen did not have be too polite with with his own junior brother. The frost grass’ brewing process was not complicated either, so Jiang Fan could properly handle it.
“Alright. Then I will work on it once the sky brightens. It should be completely prepared in about seven days, so it should be just in time for Little Junior Brother’s next use.”
The herbs that were used in Xiaodong’s current herb baths were not considered expensive. Many of the herbs were grown on the mountain, and because of the high amount of nutrients and water available on the mountain, there was barely any need to tend to the herbs after sprinkling the their seeds all around. All they had to do was gather the herbs up when needed. The list of ingredients for the herbal bath was revised by Lin Fulin. The medicinal effects were not as great as the original recipe. However, if the original recipe was used, firstly, the herbs were hard to find, and secondly… Returnflow Mountain was not one of those wealthy sects, they simply couldn’t afford those expensive herbs.
The revised recipe was coincidentally suitable for Xiaodong. If the medicinal effects were too strong, then his little body wouldn’t be able to take it.
The sensation that Xiaodong had when circulating his internal energy was different from before.
In the beginning, during his meditation, because he couldn’t grasp the trick behind circulating his internal energy, most of the time his efforts during meditation were fruitless. After sitting for a short while, his legs would instead just go numb. That sensation… People who had experienced it would know! Stiff, tingly, aching, piercing, and numb. The moment his foot made contact with the ground, it would feel as if he had been stabbed by countless small needles, and this sensation would only go away after half a day.
After that, Master and his senior siblings often helped Xiaodong in circulating his inner energy by inserting their own spiritual energy into Xiaodong’s body. This allowed Xiaodong to feel spiritual energy spread across his meridians, and how a complete circulation around the body felt. After several times, Xiaodong gradually began to grow enlightened. The thing he was doing could finally be considered as actual meditation. In the past, he was merely taking up the appropriate posture, and it couldn’t be counted as meditation at all.
This sensation was…
The feeling of spiritual energy moving around his meridians felt like springwater bubbling out of the ground, then gradually following the flow, converging into streams.
He could hear many things that he couldn’t in the past, like the beating of his pulse and the trembles from the expansion of his lungs. There was a sense of order and harmony to these sounds, as if there was some profound truth hidden within.
After every circulation, the sensation that he felt could be said to be enjoyable. It was as if a layer of filth had been washed off after a bath in the warm shower, or like he had eaten something nourishing. He could feel his spirit being healthier and more vigorous than before, and his limbs seemed to be more nimble and stronger than ever.
Xiaodong gradually opened his eyes and let out a light sigh.
Mo Chen was watching over him the entire time. Seeing that he had ended his meditation, he nodded approvingly. “Not bad, you’ve improved.”
Xiaodong broke into a grin. Only now did he realize that the sky had already turned completely dark. The meditation this time seemed to have been a little longer than before.
“Senior Brother Jiang already left?”
“He left a long time ago.” Mo Chen passed him a cup of water. Xiaodong held the cup with his two hands and drank the water with small sips. After he had finished drinking, Mo Chen finally asked, “I have something that I want to ask.”
“Senior Brother, go ahead.”
Xiaodong had nothing he wouldn’t tell Eldest Senior Brother.
However, he did not expect that what Mo Chen was about to ask was the one thing he couldn’t talk about.
“What time was it when you saw Senior Brother Ning on the stone tower?”
“It’s the afternoon of that day… as for the specific hour, I’m not sure.”
“Then while you were at the tower, did you see anyone pass by that place?”
Xiaodong instantly turned silent.
He did see someone, and very clearly even.
However, he had promised Senior Sister that he would protect this secret.
Xiaodong’s mouth was half-opened. The dumbfounded, and then guilty expressions he made had clearly revealed the answer.
Mo Chen found it a little unexpected.
Little Junior Brother had clearly seen him, but why was Little Junior Brother hiding it?
Mo Chen understood Xiaodong very well, and it was exactly because he understood that he found this puzzling.
“What is it?”
Caught in a difficult predicament, Xiaodong stuttered, “I… I…”
Mo Chen stroked his head and gently said, “No worries. If it makes things difficult for you, then I won’t ask you.”
Xiaodong felt really guilty.
It was not his intention to hide it from Senior Brother. If not because he had promised Senior Sister first, he would have definitely told Eldest Senior Brother whatever he wanted to know, without the slightest bit of hesitation.
“I saw, but I promised not to say anything about it.” Xiaodong’s head drooped.
In the past he had heard of a saying, one would not be able to live without the trust of others. However, hearing it was one thing, but he had never thought that gaining trust and keeping promises were actually not simple things to achieve.
Eldest Senior Brother did not force him to answer, but Xiaodong still felt unbearable in his heart.
Mo Chen suddenly asked, “Did you promise Linglong to keep it a secret?”
Xiaodong instantly raised his head.
How did Eldest Senior Brother know?
The moment he saw Xiaodong’s expression, even without a verbal confirmation, Mo Chen already knew he had guessed it right.
Little Junior Brother was too simple. Everything was written on his face. People would figure it out with a single glance, and there was no need to put in much effort and make anymore guesses.
Weren’t things really obvious now? Little Junior Brother was very honest, and he rarely had contact with others. The only people he could trust without worries and eagerly speak with, other than Master, were the senior siblings who were Master’s direct disciples like he was. The people who could make him promise to keep secrets were only these select few. Since it wasn’t Master, nor was it Mo Chen or Jiang Fan, then Linglong was the biggest possibility. As for other people, they still did not have the capacity and level of affection to make such requests to Xiaodong.
With this figured out, Mo Chen gathered his thoughts for a moment, and managed to make a pretty confident guess on the inside story.
He too had seen Linglong and Di Wenjun trading sword moves twice in the past, though their actions did not clearly show intimacy. However, Linglong had an incredible personality, where she would even beat up and bully Jiang Fan during sword practice. For Di Wenjun to have someone like that have him in her sight, wasn’t it already clearly indicating something was going on?
“Alright, I understand now. Since you promised her, then you should keep your promise. You are being trustworthy, and that is a good thing.”
“But Senior Brother, how did you already figure it out?”
Xiaodong’s feelings were really complicated now.
He didn’t say anything, but Eldest Senior Brother had already guessed everything. Was he really stupid?
However, Eldest Senior Brother had always been like this, as if nothing could even trouble him, nor was there anything that could be hidden from him.