Records of the Dragon Follower
First Published on Chaleuria
Chapter 33: Missing
Xiaodong continued to wait. As the night grew deeper, the weather turned colder as well. Auntie Qi signalled at him to rest, while Xiaodong told Auntie Qi to rest too. In the end, neither budged. Auntie Qi brought him a thick jacket. He did not know whose jacket this was, but seeing how broad and long it was, he knew it wasn’t Senior Sister Linglong’s. However, it really was thick and warm. With the thick jacket over him, Xiaodong sat down on the bed, pondering over some matters. He was wondering how long he had been sitting in a daze when he suddenly heard footsteps next to him. He realized he had actually fallen asleep.
Vexed, he was just about to open his eyes and stand up when the person beside him lightly stroked his head. “Don’t worry, it’s alright now.”
The moment Xiaodong opened his eyes, he saw Eldest Senior Brother standing next to him.
“Eldest Senior Brother!” Xiaodong hurriedly stood, causing the ill-fitting jacket to slip down his body. Mo Chen reached out his hand to grab it in Xiaodong’s stead.
“Senior Brother, are you alright? Are you injured?”
There weren’t any stains of blood or dirt on Mo Chen’s body. He looked calm and composed like usual.
Xiaodong heaved a long sigh of relief and carefully asked, “Then… Did you catch up them?”
Mo Chen did not reply.
Xiaodong pondered for a moment. He probably should not have asked. Lin Yan was definitely up to no good returning this late in the night, and it definitely concerned some of the sect’s secrets. Asking about it was definitely too bold of him.
Even if Mo Chen caught up to her, it would be inconvenient for Eldest Senior Brother to speak of it. If he had failed to catch up, then this question should all the more not have been asked.
Looking at the careful Xiaodong, who was afraid of making a mistake, Mo Chen’s heart softened. Fearing that Little Junior Brother would make up things in his mind again, he softly said, “She escaped. I couldn’t catch up to her.”
As expected, he shouldn’t have asked, Xiaodong thought to himself.
Mo Chen glanced at him. He could not let Little Junior Brother know of the complexities of the situation.
The person that came yesterday was basically not the real Lin Yan at all. When Mo Chen caught her, his grip had suddenly loosened and he realized what he had caught was merely a piece of skin.
Momentarily stunned, he did not immediately react. The owner of this piece of skin – unknown if it was a man or demon – took this opportunity to flee.
The real Lin Yan might have already been taken out even before she came to Returnflow Mountain. The skin was processed with drugs and chemicals, and it seemed unlikely to be a craftsmanship that could be done in a day or two.
One could not help but feel fearful thinking about it.
How should he let Little Junior Brother know about this? The truth would definitely frighten him to no end. Lin Yan had after all conversed with Little Junior Brother these past few days, and they had even shared the same table for meals. Even Mo Chen could not help but feel fearful and disgusted, Xiaodong would definitely be frightened to death.
“The door of your room is broken. For the next few days, sleep at my place for now.” Mo Chen covered Xiaodong with the thick jacket, and then turned towards the exit. Xiaodong hurriedly followed behind him.
The jacket was really too long. Even after putting it on, it was still dragging across the ground. Xiaodong had no choice but to lift the ends with his hands. His legs were short in the first place, and now he was also encumbered by the ill-fitting jacket. Eldest Senior Brother had a long stride and Xiaodong practically had to break into a small jog to catch up.
Probably because he heard the messy and hurried steps behind him, Mo Chen slowed down and turned to look at Xiaodong.
Xiaodong did not understand why he suddenly looked back and gazed at him with puzzled, round eyes.
Mo Chen stretched out a hand.
Xiaodong was briefly stunned, before hurriedly holding onto Eldest Senior Brother’s hand.
After that, Eldest Senior Brother slowed down his pace and Xiaodong was able to keep up.
Jiang Fan hurriedly walked over from the other side of the corridor. Seeing the two of them from afar, he picked up the pace.
“Eldest Senior Brother, Master wants to see you immediately, and he says to bring Little Junior Brother along as well.”
Mo Chen was a little surprised. “Xiaodong as well?”
Jiang Fan nodded. He was a little hesitant to explain any further in front of Xiaodong.
Xiaodong did not notice the peculiarities in Senior Brother Jiang’s expression as he was too busy thinking.
Master definitely had something urgent for Eldest Senior Brother, but why was Xiaodong called over as well?
Xiaodong pondered for a moment. Could it be that Master knew that he had almost lost his life last night, and wanted to see how he was doing?
Or could it be that Master knew the reason why Lin Yan attacked him last night?
During this short walk, several thoughts had run through Xiaodong’s mind, but he could not pinpoint the reason why Master called him over. Even Mo Chen was unaware.
Even after seeing his disciples making their way in, Li Fulin did not carry his usual smile, a sight rarely seen. More often than not, he always had a cheery mood, and had never put on airs in front of his disciples. However, it really was not the appropriate time for laughs.
He could not loosen up at all.
“Xiaodong, come here.” Li Fulin waved his youngest disciple over, signalling him to sit a little closer.
Xiaodong hesitated for a moment.
Though Master was really kind to him and his senior siblings had always friendly towards him, rules still had to be abided by. If Master was present, Xiaodong had to sit the furthest away since he came under Master’s tutelage the latest. Now that Master was having him sit closer, wouldn’t that mean he would be sitting in front of his senior siblings?
However, who would make a fuss about an issue like this at this time?
Xiaodong felt uneasy when he sat down.
Li Fulin noticed the evidently unfitting jacket on his body. He looked a little comical, as though he was a child who had secretly worn adult clothes to look big.
Right. His youngest disciple was still a child after all.
“You didn’t sustain any injuries last night, did you?”
Many people had already asked him this question. Even Auntie Qi who could not talk had tried asking him with her hand signs. Xiaodong was this close to swearing to the heavens that he was indeed fine.
“Eldest Senior Brother came just in time. Not only did Lin Yan not harm me, she had to forfeit one of her fingers. From her sword-wielding hand too! Even if she managed to escape this time, it would be hard for her to use that hand to wield a sword again.”
He was still unaware that the real Lin Yan had already died. Li Fulin glanced at Mo Chen, heaving a sigh of relief. He understood that Mo Chen did not reveal the whole truth to his youngest disciple.
“What’s this?” Li Fulin saw a red mark on Xiaodong’s neck, and his heart immediately tightened.
The human skin from last night had made Li Fulin sensitive to every single detail, not daring to relax even the slightest bit. From what they had seen of the enemy’s means, it was easy to see that she was a practitioner of the demonic arts. Li Fulin had inspected the thrownaway skin, ascertaining that even after it was peeled off, its originator should still alive.
What if his youngest disciple had been inflicted with some hidden technique? He could not afford to let down his guard.
“I’m really not injured, Master.” Xiaodong really wished he could swear to the heavens as guarantee. His neck did not hurt in the slightest, otherwise why would he still be here alive and kicking?
Though, he really couldn’t see what was wrong with his neck. There wasn’t a mirror around here either.
Xiaodong touched the area around his neck and did not feel anything was swollen, nor was there any trace of torn skin. Nothing was wrong.
Immediately after, his expression changed.
Where did the pendant that had always been on his neck go? That was the only remaining thing left to him by his parents, and Xiaodong had always worn it day and night. However, there was no longer anything strung around his neck. The pendant was gone.