Records of the Dragon Follower
First Published on Chaleuria
Chapter 38: Martial Siblings
Xiaodong regained his spirits and even cracked a joke in front of Master. “Does Master want to learn how to find cats too?”
Li Fulin stroked Xiaodong’s head. “Now that’s something a child would say. Knowledge and skills are no burden. You never know when these new skills might save lives sometime later on.”
Xiaodong stood up and respectfully responded with a “yes”. Li Fulin waved his hand. “It’s not even a reprimand, there’s no need for you to do this. I, Your master, have only just returned recently, and I should be staying on the mountain for a few days to give you some pointers. However, this matter is too urgent, and it seems like I will have to head out again. I don’t even know when I will be able to return. If I keep on returning and departing like this, I’m afraid I might be disregarding you.”
Xiaodong hurriedly replied, “Master, don’t say such things. My senior siblings all took really good care of me, and this disciple has already learned several things from them too. However, Master has only just returned a few days ago, are you really going to head out again soon?”
Xiaodong was quite unwilling to see Master go, but he knew that Li Fulin wanting to leave was definitely related to last night’s incident. He had no choice but to leave.
“While your master is away, remember to listen to your senior siblings. Martial siblings are like one’s flesh and blood. Do not fight amongst each other. If your senior siblings treat you improperly in any way, your master shall help you vent your frustration once I’m back.”
Master, are you sure it’s appropriate for you to say such things in front of my senior siblings?
Xiaodong silently threw a hoity-toity look at Master in his mind, but he replied, “My senior siblings will never bully me. I’m just afraid that I’m too stupid and always make my senior siblings angry.”
Master waved his hand heedlessly. “Why should they be angry? This is something they have to bear.”
Cold sweat was about to pour out of Xiaodong. Wasn’t Master drawing hate towards him right now? Fortunately his senior siblings all had big hearts, otherwise just these words from Master alone would cause them to mistreat him.
Eldest Senior Brother even chimed in heartily, “Master, you can feel rest assured. I will definitely take good care of my junior siblings, so there’s no need for Master to worry about home outside.”
Actually, Mo Chen was feeling a little complicated in his heart.
He did not really feel at ease having Master head out alone. Though Master did indeed possess astonishing skills, it was hard for a spear in the open to guard against an arrow in the dark, and a pair of fists would find it hard to deal with four arms. A scourge of mosquitoes can kill elephants, after all. He wanted to go with Master.
However, Li Fulin had instructed him to stay behind to look after the affairs in the sect, and to look after his junior siblings especially. Master made it very clear. “What’s the rush with dealing with the grudges from a faraway past? Your master’s trip this time is merely to let off some steam at those people who came to bully us and tarnish our Returnflow Mountain’s reputation. You lot are more important. If you were to come with me, who will manage the affairs on the mountain? Are you telling me you can feel at ease if neither of us are here?”
He indeed could not feel at ease.
This was truly a dilemma.
Master had already decided and so he had no choice but to obey.
“Your master made you frightened this time, so I will bring back something good for you when I return. I guarantee that it will be something you have never seen before.”
Xiaodong shook his head and obediently said, “Master needs to be careful outside and return safely, that’s all I ask for. I don’t want anything else.”
“Don’t worry, Master will definitely come back safely. There’s not many people in this world who can scheme against me. When your master was still young, because I got caught up in some mess, countless people wanted to give me trouble, yet your master managed to come out unscathed. Let me tell you this, do you know how your master was able to escape…”
Xiaodong had never heard of this story before, but the rest of the disciples seemed to have already heard it so many times cocoons were about to form in their ears. Mo Chen coughed heavily and interrupted Li Fulin’s boasts. “Master, what are you going to bring on the trip this time? Let this disciple help you prepare your luggage.”
Li Fulin said, “I will bring my sword along. I have yet to unpack from my recent return, so there’s fortunately no need to pack again.”
Seeing the opportunity, Xiaodong hurriedly asked, “Master, did Fourth Senior Brother really leave?”
Xiaodong felt a little perturbed when he asked this.
Li Fulin stroked his head and was not angry when he heard this. “He did indeed leave. Does Xiaodong miss him?”
Since even Master said so, then it was definitely true.
But if it was about missing Fourth Senior Brother, Xiaodong felt that it was really inappropriate for him to leave without saying a word. He was in Master’s debt, and he and everyone else were all disciples in the same sect under Master’s tutelage. By leaving like this, what was he treating the others as?
Though if Xiaodong said he did not miss Fourth Senior Brother, it would be wrong too. Xiaodong was a little worried for him.
Wasn’t Fourth Senior Brother already homeless to begin with? Where could he go after leaving Returnflow Mountain? Would he encounter any problems or get into trouble?
Xiaodong was silent for a moment before replying, “A little.”
Li Fulin said, “Though he did not see me as his master, since he has not been officially ousted out, this matter does not conclude here. A statement must be made in the future.”
Xiaodong did not really understand Master’s words.
Was he going to find Fourth Senior Brother and bring him back?
Or was he going to officially kick him out?
Xiaodong was a little puzzled.
He was really unwilling and a little afraid to see Master go. With Master here, everyone would feel as if they had a back to lean on. Even if a problem occurred they would not panic, especially now when an incident had just happened. However, things would be different if Master left. It felt as though the large umbrella above their heads shielding them from rain had been blown away. Xiaodong was not the only one feeling uneasy.
Master left as quickly as he said he would. The mountain instantly turned quiet and cold again. Several people had gone missing among the outer sect disciples, and the remaining people had all changed their residences. Those previously scattered around were now all living in a single apartment, as they were thought that if anything were to happen again, they could at least look after each other. Even if this was not exactly useful, at the very least, having more people together would make them more courageous.
That night, Xiaodong was also shifted by Eldest Senior Brother. He now lived in Eldest Senior Brother’s apartment. He did not have many belongings to begin with. Carrying his warm wood with one hand, he bundled the rest of his belongings with his bedding, and off he went.
However, while he was still packing up, Xiaodong saw the rabbit fur gauntlets that Fourth Senior Brother had given him. The gift was still here, but the person who had given it to him had disappeared.
He placed the gauntlets inside a box and carefully closed the lid.
Senior Sister Linglong brought Xiaodong a new jacket and a new pair of shoes.
“This jacket is something that Auntie Qi rushed to complete for you, and it’s made with your size in mind this time. It definitely fits better than the previous one.”
Xiaodong received the jacket and put it over himself. As she had said, it was both fitting and warm. Auntie Qi was dedicated and her sewing skills were top-notch too. The new cotton padding was fluffy and warm, and even though it felt light when worn, it was really strong against the winds.
“Thank you, Senior Sister. Please help me thank Auntie Qi for her hard work, and also to say sorry for making her worry.”
“No need to be so courteous. Auntie Qi will be happy just by seeing you wear it.” Linglong also knew that her Little Junior Brother had lost something important and she empathized with him a lot.
Little Junior Brother truly was really unlucky.
Xiaodong kept thinking about the dream he had that day. He woke up right in the middle of Master and his senior siblings’ conversation, so he wondered if he could still listen to the remaining portion. He wanted to ask Eldest Senior Brother about it, but he did not dare to be so rash. This matter was definitely an important secret, so how should he explain if Eldest Senior Brother wanted to know how he found out about it? Xiaodong did not even know how to explain this ability of his. He himself had yet to figure out just what was going on after all.