Records of the Dragon Follower
First Published on Chaleuria
Chapter 40: Hatred
After returning, Xiaodong couldn’t sleep when he lay on the bed. Mo Chen was sitting cross-legged on the couch on the opposite side meditating. With cultivation at his level, sleeping was already no longer a necessity. Afraid that Xiaodong would be anxious sleeping in a new place, Mo Chen left a lamp lit in the room.
Xiaodong rolled to one side of the bed, and then to the other moments later. Mo Chen heard the rustling from the bed, sounding like a sneaky and cautious little mouse searching for food.
However, Mo Chen did not hate the sound one bit.
“Are you not asleep yet?”
Xiaodong stopped tossing around and softly said, “I can’t sleep.”
When he closed his eyes, he could still see that scenery. Dazzling lights in the sky that looked like stars, intersecting and connecting to form a large array which then enveloped the boundless earth. That view was something that he would never forget.
“When I first saw that array, my reaction was about the same as yours. When I went back home, I couldn’t sleep for an entire night either. Afterwards, if Master wasn’t around, whenever the array core relocated, I would personally go to inspect it. Though I have seen it many times, I can still feel the profoundness within the array. It looks more like a blessing from the heavens and earth themselves than something manmade.”
“Right, right!? That’s exactly it. I wonder which senior had such capabilities to place down an array like that. Just how much thought and energy had to be put in to create such a thing?”
Xiaodong felt the same way too, but he just couldn’t express it into words. Eldest Senior Brother’s words felt as if they had been pulled out from his own heart, as his feelings were one and the same.
“Senior Brother, is this array meant for eradicating that demon back then?”
“No, it isn’t.” Mo Chen paused for a moment before replying, “This array existed long before that.”
Strange. If it wasn’t for eradicating that demon, who placed an array on this mountain?
After tossing and turning about two more times, Xiaodong still could not sleep.
“Eldest Senior Brother, why do you think… Fourth Senior Brother wanted to leave? Where will he go?”
He said this very softly, as if he was muttering to himself. The room was quiet, not to mention Mo Chen’s cultivation was deep and profound, so naturally, it was impossible for him not to hear it.
“Have you have been thinking about this matter all day? I still haven’t asked you this either, who told you the news about Chen Jingzhi leaving?”
Xiaodong became a little anxious and stuttered a little, “N-no one.”
He sounded so guilty that he had made it clear that he was hiding something.
Mo Chen did not pursue this line of questioning any further. “Are you feeling upset?”
“Mn, I feel upset.” Xiaodong quietly heaved a sigh of relief. If Eldest Senior Brother had continued to ask, he would most likely have poured out the whole truth.
In the end, Eldest Senior Brother did not pursue the matter. Xiaodong felt relieved, but at the same time, he felt a little disappointed.
He had been holding onto this secret alone for a long time. Regarding this secret, he carried expectations and fear, but he mostly felt confused.
If it was Eldest Senior Brother, then there wouldn’t be much danger telling him. Eldest Senior Brother had seen many things and had a wide range of knowledge. It felt as if there was nothing that he couldn’t deal with. Eldest Senior Brother might know where these strange dreams of his came from, and why he was experiencing them.
Was there anyone else like him?
Whenever he felt restless and couldn’t sleep, he would have the habit of touching the pendant on his neck. Now, when his hand only managed to grab empty air, he began to grow even more upset.
“I didn’t actually want to tell you this now, but since you can’t let this go, I’m afraid you won’t be able to sleep tonight without an explanation.” Mo Chen stood up, got down from the couch and sat next to Xiaodong. “Do you think what your Fourth Senior Brother did was right?”
Xiaodong could not speak with Eldest Senior Brother as he was, as that would be too disrespectful. Sitting up while holding onto the blanket, he replied, “Of course he wasn’t right.”
“What wasn’t right?”
What wasn’t right? Everything wasn’t right.
Master treated them so well, to the point where it could be said that his kindness was as heavy as a mountain. This saying might be excessively used, but he felt that it was still not sufficient to describe how much Master had given as their master, and how deep his affection was. Yet, Fourth Senior Brother actually abandoned his sect and left, betraying Master’s kindness. Not to mention he left in a very disrespectful manner, quietly leaving by himself and only leaving behind a single letter. Was he afraid that people would stop him? Or had he not taken seriously the the bonds that they had developed for many days and nights?
What was even more unbearable was the fact that he picked this time to leave. Returnflow Mountain encountered an unforeseen event, so shouldn’t they all work together to get through these difficult times? Him leaving without saying a word at this time was simply too heartless.
Xiaodong’s words were a little disjointed and his thoughts were all over the place, but Mo Chen understood everything.
“Do you know why Master was not the least bit angry at all, nor did he find it unexpected?”
Right, Master indeed wasn’t that angry.
“Junior Brother Chen’s mother was killed and he harbored hatred for every single person with the surname Chen. His heart was entirely filled with vengeance. The only way to erode that amount of hatred is through blood. Since the very first day Master decided to keep him, he wanted Junior Brother Chen to walk a more stable path. Master did not want him to forget that hatred. Rather, Master wanted his life to be unswayed by hatred. The deceased may be gone, but the people alive must still live on. If he were to keep living for revenge, those flames of vengeance would one day engulf him…
“However, even after Master had spent so much effort to teach him, Junior Brother Chen only understood one thing – that Master was not going to aid him in his revenge, and that Returnflow Mountain was also not going to aid him. From then on, he probably has always wanted to leave this place, to find a path where his wish can be granted.”
“Probably because I was raised by Master since I was young and never had any parents or relatives, I can’t understand just how deep of a hatred he carried in his heart. All I know is that Master had arranged a stabler, just way for him. Not that he left Returnflow Mountain, the path he is going to take will definitely be that of an unjust one. Master understands this very well himself.”
After a short pause, Xiaodong finally whispered, “Then… Will Master bring him back?”
“Finding him is a given, but he will probably not turn back anymore.”
Mo Chen did not let Little Junior Brother know that it had not been just a few days since Chen Jingzhi had decided to leave. Since he had decided to leave at this time, he must have long planned for it in advance.
After taking this step, most likely even if he wanted to, there was no going back.
Xiaodong wrapped himself in the warm and soft blanket, and Mo Chen did not know what he was thinking about. However, Xiaodong was growing colder by the second, as though he was sitting in a field of ice where not the slightest bit of warmth could be felt.
Mo Chen held onto one of his hands. “Don’t be afraid.”
“No, I’m not afraid.”
He really wasn’t afraid.
He couldn’t explain it properly either. He simply felt very stifled in his chest, to the point where he couldn’t breathe.
After a long while, Xiaodong finally asked, “Senior Brother, how old were you when you were picked up by Master?”
“According to Master, it seemed he picked me up when I wasn’t even a hundred days old. I was swaddled in silk and placed next to a wooden bridge. Back then it was already late in the autumn and I was probably there for a long time since the silk was already covered in frost. Master at first thought that I was already frozen and was no longer alive, and he did not expect to see me still breathing after carrying me up. After that, he brought me back here.”
Senior Brother was abandoned? Just who would be so ruthless to throw a child that was not even a hundred days old at such a place, and during such weather as well? If Master hadn’t discovered him, wouldn’t he have been frozen or starved to death?
When Xiaodong’s uncle died from his illness, Xiaodong lost his pillar of support. However, now that he thought about it, he was more blessed than Eldest Senior Brother, Senior Brother Chen and the rest.
He clasped Mo Chen’s hand, wanting to say something. In the end, Mo Chen spoke first. “Enough, don’t think too much now. If you still can’t sleep, then recite the sword technique theory to me again.”
Xiaodong hurriedly focused and recalled the first part of the sword technique theory. He then recited it smoothly and fluently.