Records of the Dragon Follower
First Published on Chaleuria
Chapter 32: Anxiety
Even though Xiaodong said he was uninjured, Jiang Fan still touched all around his body. After ascertaining that Xiaodong was indeed unscathed, Jiang Fan said, “It’s a long story.”
Jiang Fan had complicated feelings as he did not know the full story either. Not to mention there were inside stories unsuitable for a child of Little Junior Brother’s age. He skipped over the matter and urged, “Let me send you over to Senior Sister for now.”
Xiaodong also did not press further the issue. “Right. Senior Brother Jiang, I think it’s best that you hurry and lend Eldest Senior Brother a hand.”
Though Eldest Senior Brother’s capabilities were incredible, Xiaodong was afraid that the enemy would come up with some plot or scheme and put him in a disadvantageous position. Furthermore, Xiaodong only saw Lin Yan, but what if her other two senior brothers tagged along as well? If the three of them were to team up, Eldest Senior Brother might find it difficult to fight off such numbers alone.
In the end, just as Jiang Fan was about to lead Xiaodong out, Xiaodong’s legs softened and he almost fell to his knees. Fortunately, Jiang Fan had yet to let go of Xiaodong’s arms. He hurriedly held Xiaodong steady and anxiously asked, “What happened?”
Could it be that Little Junior Brother had suffered internal injuries, and that Jiang Fan had failed to detect them?
“My legs… They went weak.” Xiaodong was embarrassed. “Earlier when Eldest Senior Brother brought me along… Suddenly I was up in the air, and the next moment I was down low again. The entire time my legs dangled in the air……”
Even without further explanation, Jiang Fan already understood.
Even though this was not the right time and place, Jiang Fan could not help but let out a few hearty laughs. After having his fill of laughs, he then felt he should not have reacted this way. Little Junior Brother had never experienced similar before, and he was young. It was unavoidable for his first time, but after he refined his martial arts and broadened his horizons, his fear would naturally go away.
“Don’t worry, don’t worry. If you really can’t walk, then Senior Brother will piggyback you.”
Xiaodong’s hair stood on end. When he was on Eldest Senior Brother’s back earlier, he did not really feel that fearful, but for some reason, he couldn’t stand stably after landing on the ground.
“Senior Brother, how far are we from the sect?”
“Not that far.” With a pull, Jiang Fan proficiently hefted Xiaodong onto his back.
Senior Brother Jiang’s back was broader than Eldest Senior Brother’s, so logically the feeling from lying on his back should not be so bad. Yet in comparison, Xiaodong simply felt that Eldest Senior Brother’s back felt more comfortable and firm. Senior Brother Jiang… well… it was pretty good. His back was soft, but the muscles were firm to the touch.
“Ehh? Don’t try to be naughty. I’m ticklish.”
Xiaodong did not dare to squish anymore, afraid that the two of them would fall into a ditch if Jiang Fan were to succumb to his squishes. Returnflow Mountain’s terrain was dangerous, and a fall would either lead to death or crippling injury.
Jiang Fan was splitting his focus by carrying Little Junior Brother.
He was worried about Eldest Senior Brother, too.
He also felt that Little Junior Brother really wasn’t eating enough. No, that wasn’t it. He was wondering just where did all the food he ate go? Even though he had been on the mountain for a very long time, his waist had yet to grow. Not to mention Jiang Fan did not feel that Little Junior Brother was the slightest bit heavy. Little Junior Brother felt light and floaty, as if what was on Jiang Fan’s back was a dummy made of paper paste.
Linglong saw them from afar and came to receive them. Jiang Fan carried Xiaodong down and directly handed him to Linglong.
Xiaodong was feeling a little giddy from the wind and his legs were even wobbler than before. The moment Senior Sister Linglong lowered him, he slipped towards the door like a noodle strand.
“Frightened, were you?” Senior Sister Linglong asked. “Little Junior Brother, are you injured?”
Xiaodong shook his head. “I’m not injured. Eldest Senior Brother came in the nick of time and scared off Lin Yan.”
“Alright, catch your breath. Look at how pale you are.” Without waiting for an answer, Linglong carried Xiaodong into the room and laid him down on the bed.
“Senior Sister, I…”
Senior Sister Linglong simply ignored his protest, covering him with a blanket. “Be obedient. It’s enough if you don’t add any more trouble into the mix. I will have Auntie Qi bring over a Nerve Calming Pill. Get some rest after taking it.”
Xiaodong flailed about and pushed away the blanket, but by then, Senior Brother Jiang and Senior Sister Linglong had already disappeared.
Xiaodong scratched his head, feeling a little dejected.
Indeed, he could not offer much help. Like just now, if not because he had to be brought along, Eldest Senior Brother would have most likely caught up to Lin Yan. Senior Brother Jiang and Senior Sister Linglong would not have to waste time taking care of him either.
Just as Senior Sister had said earlier, him staying out of trouble was already a big help.
Auntie Qi was a lady who worked on the miscellaneous affairs around Senior Sister’s apartment. Though she could not speak, she had great needlework skills. The clothes that Senior Sister Linglong gave him back then were altered by Auntie Qi. He heard that Auntie Qi was once married and had children too. As for why she was here on the mountain doing miscellaneous tasks now, the story was probably too arduous and painful to tell.
After taking the Nerve Calming Pill that Auntie Qi brought, Xiaodong felt that his nerves were not the slightest bit calmed at all.
The medicine probably took time to take effect.
How were his senior siblings? What about Master? Was he aware of the incident on the mountain today?
Why did Lin Yan look for him? How many of them were there? Was Senior Liu one of their companions? Could it be that Senior Liu harbored ill intentions as well?
No, no, no. Xiaodong did not believe that to be case. He recalled the interactions between Senior Liu and Master on Sword Conferring Peak. Even if the relationship between the two of them were not at the level where they would confide secrets to each other, the two were pretty close. No matter how Xiaodong looked at it, Senior Liu was not the crafty sort. Even if he harbored ill intentions, he would not do things like stab others in the back.
Oh right, an array existed on the mountain. Lin Yan and the rest had left the mountain quite a while ago. How did Lin Yan make it through the grand array then?
Could it be that they could comprehend the intricacies of the array?
The art of arrays was said to have been lost ages ago. They shouldn’t be able to know it.
Or they could have used some other methods.
Xiaodong reached out for his waist plate.
Every disciple on the mountain had his or her own waist plate, and Xiaodong naturally had his own as well. After entering the sect, Master personally handed one to him, instructing him to always have it at his side. With this waist plate, the array would no longer pose a problem when passing through the mountain gate.
Lin Yan and the rest were not disciples of Returnflow Mountain, but… They might have used some methods to obtain waist plates?
Countless doubts and questions tumbled around Xiaodong’s mind. He could not sit still at all.
He pushed the window open slightly and looked outside. The action attracted Auntie Qi’s attention and she anxiously made hand movements at him. Xiaodong had no choice but to awkwardly explain that he had no intentions of slipping out. However, Auntie Qi was still concerned. She then decided to bring over a set of clothes, laid it at the door’s entrance and sat down. As she received instructions to watch over Xiaodong, Auntie Qi complied to the fullest and “watched” him.
Xiaodong basically could not sit still at all. He circled around the room several times, a feeling of uneasiness overwhelming him. He was worried about his senior siblings, and lamented his own uselessness. Auntie Qi looked at him a little worriedly. If not because she could not speak, she would have already walked over and consoled Xiaodong.
Unfortunately, she could not speak, and Xiaodong could not really understand her hand signs. The only thing the two of them could do was look at each other, and look at each other they did, anxious.