Compared to his own situation, these two stories were similar yet different at the same time.
Like Xiaodong, while they were either dreaming or unconscious, the two people in these stories experienced a few things, met a few people, and their encounters all turned out to be true. These were the similarities.
As for the differences… The first one might have met a ghost… Though Xiaodong had never seen a ghost, this Scholar Cao had most likely met one.
Xiaodong had never seen ghosts.
The second person went to a place several hundreds of kilometers away while she was unconscious. Many people had seen her, conversed with her, and even eaten with her.
However, Xiaodong had never been seen by anyone.
That was the difference.
But the person who recorded these stories did not find out the actual causes behind these strange happenings. For the story of Scholar Cao, the author simply concluded that the deceased soul was unwilling to die without justice being served, and searched for an opportunity to address this.
For the second story, the author simply said that the girl who almost drowned missed her homeland. Under the circumstances of her body being unconscious, her soul drifted out and returned to her homeland to meet with her dear relatives.
Then how did Xiaodong see those past and present incidents in his dreams?
Eldest Senior Brother had helped Xiaodong ascertain his dreamscapes.
Among the incidents that Xiaodong saw, Jiang Fan losing his oil box and Mo Chen accompanying Master to Sword Conferring Peak were all incidents that he saw after they happened.
However, the most recent dreamscape was something that happened in present time.
He could see the past and present.
Also, Xiaodong’s dreamscapes seemed to be limited to Returnflow Mountain. To be more exact, it was a range with a radius of about fifty kilometers. The land that the sect resided in was considered neither small nor large. As for Sword Conferring Peak, it was not even fifty kilometers away from the sect. At the very most, it would take a walk of about five kilometers to reach it. As for places that were further away, Xiaodong had never dreamt of them.
If Eldest Senior Brother had not mentioned it, Xiaodong wouldn’t have discovered that his dreams had always revolved around the sect. He had never even crossed the mountain gates.
With this point alone, he was already different from the girl whose soul had drifted several hundreds of kilometers away. That girl sure had gone far! Compared to her, Xiaodong was considered a good-for-nothing.
Mo Chen had also asked Xiaodong about those fragmented dreams that he had had before coming to Returnflow Mountain. Those things happened many years ago, and Xiaodong could no longer remember them. The only things he could recall… seemingly, probably, the dreams he had were all about the people next to him.
“Junior Brother Yun?”
Xiaodong regained his senses and hurriedly replied, “Senior Brother Ning, please feel free to speak.”
“What are you thinking about?”
Ning Yu had been observing him from the side for a long while. Watching Xiaodong’s expression changing again and again, he grew really curious.
From tilting his head and scratching his ears, to making a frown and letting out a sigh.
Just what did the child read to have such varied reactions?
“Ou, these…” Xiaodong flipped the book open. “Have Senior Brother Ning read these two stories before? Who is the author of this book? Did the incidents written here really happen?”
Ning Yu understood the moment he glanced through the contents.
These two stories were indeed pretty interesting. When Ning Yu read these, he also had some mixed emotions about them.
“It’s hard to distinguish if they’re real, but I do know of the author. He is a senior in our sect. It’s already been a hundred odd years ago since this book was written. That senior loved to roam the world, and whenever he saw interesting people or situations during his journey, he would pen them down in his handbook. There’s several dozens of such handbooks written, but in the end, only a few of them managed to survive this long. Among the handbooks, some contained tips that were beneficial to cultivation, so I naturally can’t bring them out nonchalantly. This book isn’t that important, and others don’t care about it much, so I have always been keeping it with me.”
“It’s already been more than a hundred years?”
Then this book was preserved pretty well. At the very least, there weren’t many books on Returnflow Mountain that were more than a hundred years old.
“That’s right.” Ning Yu looked at those few pages and nodded. “These two incidents were told by the people who resided there, and they claimed that the incidents were not falsified in any way. Especially the story of Scholar Cao. No matter if he had actually met a ghost or not, it was true that they had dug out a corpse from that house. The deceased was murdered by his own brother. After his death, the brother lied and said that he had become a peddler and gone far away. Not long after, his businesses and properties were taken over. Maybe, Scholar Cao had grown suspicious after hearing about this, thought about it for a long time, and thus dreamt of it.”
“Then digging out the corpse was a coincidence?”
“It might be. However, the people who resided there had their own suspicions and guesses. The brother claimed the deceased had gone far away, but on the day before the murder, he was still at home with no plans of leaving. No one had seen him leave either, so how could he have disappeared all of a sudden? If this person hadn’t gone far away and also hadn’t taken a single step outside the house, then no matter if he was still alive, he definitely still remained in that compound.”
Xiaodong nodded thoughtfully.
Then looking at it this way, the thought of meeting a ghost in the dream was no longer reliable. Scholar Cao might have just had a dream, and with his own conjectures, coincidentally dug out the person who was murdered.
“Scholar Cao might possibly know about some internal affairs, and used the excuse of a dream to completely investigate this incident.” Ning Yu continued, “After all, he’s the only one who knows if he actually met a ghost in his dream or not. His words could not be proven true.”
That was indeed the case.
There was basically no basis behind his words. Scholar Cao said he met a ghost in his dream, but what proof did he have? Could the dead person he dig out… be considered as proof?
“Then what about the second one? Many people claimed to have seen her for themselves in the second story,” Xiaodong hurriedly asked.
“This one isn’t easy to distinguish too.” Ning Yu flipped the pages of the book in his hand, and pointed at a part of it for Xiaodong to see. “Look at this line.”
Xiaodong had yet to reach that page, and he hurriedly looked at the part that Ning Yu pointed out.
“On the first six days at the Feng Family Village, I have yet to see any members of the Feng Family…”
The words were especially sloppily written here. It seemed the author was not feeling very happy.
“The problem starts here. That senior of mine wanted to know if this incident was true. After hearing about the incident of the Feng lady, he made the effort to rush over a hundred kilometers to investigate the matter with the Feng Family. In the end, he did not find any Feng family members there.”
“Did not find any?” Xiaodong asked in wonder, “Where did those people go? Did they move?” Ning Yu shook his head. “Nothing was written about it. I don’t know either.”
Xiaodong was a little disappointed.
In other words, there was no way to prove the authenticity of the Feng lady’s incident?
Haah, this might not be true too.
Then, these two stories were not useful to him.
Looking at XIaodong’s dejected look, Ning Yu guessed that he was interested in such strange anecdotes.
This wasn’t an irregular sight. A child his age, and not to mention one who had just started touching the threshold of cultivation, would especially be curious about strange things.
When Ning Yu was his age, he was most likely like this too.
Ning Yu rather liked Xiaodong and did not want to see him unhappy, so he took the initiative to talk about something else.
“It’s hard to find out the authenticity of the stories here, but when my master was still young, he had indeed encountered a strange incident concerning an out-of-body experience.”