Ning Yu found Xiaodong’s eagerness a little strange. He did not rush into the matter at hand, but instead held up his cup and took a slow sip of his tea.
“The answers to many matters of this world are not just restricted to right and wrong, where it’s either one or the other. There are many things where no one can determine what’s true and false.”
Xiaodong became a little muddle-headed by his words, and his face revealed a confused expression.
“Some things might be false, but people are more willing to believe that they are true. Let’s take Scholar Cao’s case as an example. That story has spread so far because many people are hoping for fairness and justice, and also hoping that people who do evil will receive their just desserts, where buried injustices would come to light. There are also some matters where, even though they might be true, because there isn’t any proof and the stories sound too shocking, people instead are unwilling to believe them.”
Xiaodong pieced the intentions behind these words… Were they to stop him from being too serious?
But, his situation was different from the rest. Others might treat this as just a form of amusement, and forget about it after hearing it once.
Xiaodong, on the other hand, hoped to find something that might be useful from the book. After all, he had walked himself into this seemingly unsolvable predicament. How could he not treat things seriously?
“That matter… was something that my master told me before, and he only told me once. It was his own personal experience. Let’s first put aside the authenticity of it.
“It was about thirty to forty years ago. My master was heading north, where he spent a night with a family living in the mountains. The daughter of that family was about ten years old, and she made a bowl of egg soup for Master with an egg she sneakily took from the house. Master knew that this family was short of money, and that bowl of egg soup was a lot more than he could ask for. So, before he left, he secretly left behind a few gold buttons for the family as compensation.”
Xiaodong listened very attentively.
He also could not help but get sidetracked and wonder to himself. Spiritual Master Hu was still young at that time, right? Around twenty years old? Did the young lady of that family come to like him? Otherwise, why would she intentionally and sneakily serve him with a good meal?
“After about half a month, Master finished his tasks and took the same path back, where their house once stood. He discovered that the family had disappeared and the house had been burnt down.” After pausing for a moment, with an even more solemn tone, Ning Yu continued, “Master went to the nearby villagers to inquire about them, and found out that the family had encountered a series of misfortunes. The old husband and wife were dead, their daughter was snatched away by a rich household from the capital and the son’s whereabouts were unknown after he was beaten up.
“Through divinations, Master found the young son. The child was hiding in the mountains, and he was already on his last breath. He said that because he was disobedient, he snuck out the gold buttons – that his elder sister had hidden – to play with. His action lured in an evil tyrant, who insisted that the son stole the gold buttons. The evil tyrant then broke into their home and snatched away the rest of the gold buttons. The son’s parents were beaten to death there and then, and his elder sister was snatched away.”
Spiritual Master Hu had good intentions, but his gift had brought misfortune to his hospitable hosts, breaking their family apart.
“Master was both furious and guilty back then. He wanted to tend to the child’s injuries and save that innocent young lady. But even more so, he wanted to seek justice for this family.”
“Then did Spiritual Master Hu save her? And exact revenge for them?”
Ning Yu revealed a rather strange expression. “When Master entered the city, he punished the family of that evil tyrant. However, when he went to look for the young lady, he couldn’t find her at all. When he returned to the boy, he saw that the young lady had actually returned on her own.”
“Did she escape on her own?”
“This is the strange part of the story. She said that her younger brother was the one who brought her out. However, that child was clearly heavily injured, with even one of his legs broken. How could he possibly overtake Master and enter the city to save his elder sister? Master arranged for the siblings another place to settle down in. When that younger brother woke up, he said that he had actually entered the city to locate his elder sister in his dream. He even said that he was able to sneakily bring his elder sister out of the vile person’s apartment. His story matched with his elder sister’s. However, he was clearly unconscious the entire time, so it was impossible for him to enter the city.”
“He saved his elder sister… in his dream?”
Ning Yu simply smiled. “Master wasn’t able to figure this matter out either. This family were all normal people. They did not have any strange capabilities. If they had some power of their own, they wouldn’t be broken apart by the sabotage of others. Their family was poor too, so they couldn’t possibly have any talismans or artifacts on hand. After that, Master went to visit the siblings again. The elder sister had married someone, and the younger brother had gone to another village to make a living… The two people were normal the entire time, and their lives were very peaceful. After recalling this incident, Master said that this matter could only be explained by a unique bond that only relatives could tap into. It was difficult for others to experience it.”
Xiaodong’s hands clenched tightly.
This matter was different from the rest of the stories in the book. Since this was Spiritual Master Hu’s personal experience, then it was definitely not falsified.
In this world, other than himself, there were others who could have such strange experiences in their dreams.
“Are these two people still alive now?”
Ning Yu shook his head. “I’m not too sure about this. It’s been many years. Even if those siblings are alive, they would be old people who were aware that their time is almost up.”
Ning Yu indeed hadn’t been mistaken. Junior Brother Yun, strangely, paid a lot of attention to this matter. He was not listening only because he had nothing else to do and found the story interesting.
Could it be that he really wanted to look for those siblings to find out the legitimacy of this matter?
“Junior Brother Yun is interested in this?” Ning Yu said with a half-smile. “Seeing Junior Brother Yun’s personality, you should be our Heavenly Secrets Mountain’s disciple instead.”
Xiaodong said, slightly embarrassed, “Senior Brother Ning, don’t make fun of me.”
“I’m not making fun of you. In my eyes, you might really be fated with Heavenly Secrets Mountain. Later when Spiritual Master Li returns, I will make a request to invite you to Heavenly Secrets Mountain. Your master might even be fine with it. At the same time, we can have my master to divine your prospects. Your elder siblings have all been divined. You’re the only one left. My master will definitely not be picky and help divine for you.”
Uh, forget it.
Others might want to pay a thousand gold in hopes of meeting Spiritual Master Li of Heavenly Secrets Mountain, but Xiaodong felt that divinations weren’t all that. So what if the divinations were good? Even if the divinations came up bad, they would still have to live on. Why have an illusory and formless astrological prediction chain you by the limbs?
For the entire half of the day, Xiaodong thought about Ning Yu’s story. In the afternoon, Jiang Fan came overto look for him and update him.
It was time for Senior Sister Linglong’s seclusion to end. Tomorrow, they would go over to receive Linglong out of the seclusion cave.
Xiaodong found it extremely unexpected.
“It’s still alright. From what I heard from Eldest Senior Brother, Senior Sister Linglong’s seclusion this time round was rather successful.”
“We’re going to welcome her back together? Is there anyone else?”
Jiang Fan strangely asked, “Who?”
It seemed like Eldest Senior Brother had yet to tell Senior Brother Jiang about that matter.
Senior Brother Di must be thinking of seeing Senior Sister as soon as possible too, right?
When Eldest Senior Sister went into seclusion, Senior Brother Di sneakily sent her off on his own. Now that her seclusion had ended, Senior Brother Di definitely would think of meeting her as soon as possible.
Jiang Fan felt that Little Junior Brother had something on his mind, but he wasn’t saying anything about it.
However, very quickly, he could no longer care about such matters. Because Elder Lu of Sword Burial Valley, who had visited before, had come once again.