Records of the Dragon Follower
First Published on Chaleuria
Chapter 44: Ruler
Xiaodong snuck peeks at Eldest Senior Brother several times for the entire night. Eldest Senior Brother had been stroking and weighing two pieces of black, shiny rocks, as if he was comparing their weights and sizes.
Xiaodong was incredibly curious, constantly turning his head towards Mo Chen several times. Mo Chen put down the two stones and asked him with a smile, “If you want to ask, then ask. Seeing that you’re so anxious, you won’t be able to practice in peace and all you will achieve is wasted effort.”
Xiaodong leaned over, embarrassed. “Senior Brother, what are you looking at?”
Mo Chen picked up one of the stones and passed it to him, asking, “What do you think?”
Xiaodong reached out his hands to receive it. The moment he held it, he felt his two hands sinking down. The rock looked only a little bigger than his fist but it was actually strangely heavy. Fortunately, Xiaodong received it with his two hands, otherwise, he wouldn’t have been able to hold it up with just one.
Not only was it heavy, but the rock was also especially cold. The weather was already this hot and the rock had just been held by Eldest Senior Brother earlier too. Yet, Xiaodong felt as if he was holding onto a glacial stone. It was so cold it felt piercing to the touch.
“What… is this?”
Mo Chen retrieved the rock. “It’s a meteorite.”
“Ah, so this is a meteorite.” Xiaodong’s eyes widened, carefully sizing up this piece of rock.
It was so deep black, and so cold. Most importantly, it was much heavier than a regular rock. Even if it wasn’t ten times heavier, it was at least seven to eight times heavier, right?
“I heard that inside meteorites, you can find fine steel and profound iron, and they all good materials with which to craft weapons. Is that really true?”
Mo Chen nodded and said, “These two pieces are not considered good, they aren’t of much use.” Seeing Xiaodong’s curious look, Mo Chen explained further, “If it was something else, then I would have given them to you as a toy. This meteorite carries deep profoundness and is beneficial for cultivation, but there are also some that are detrimental. Many years ago, a sword practitioner senior’s heart was taken over by his inner demons because of using a meteorite-crafted sword, and in the end, he went crazy and died. In the future, if you see such things, you must be careful. Do not get harmed by a moment of carelessness.”
Mo Chen took this matter seriously, and Xiaodong hurriedly nodded. “I will remember it. I will definitely be careful.”
In the past, he simply heard that meteorites were good materials for crafting weapons. Blades that were coated with meteorite, even if just a little, would immediately turn incredibly sharp, becoming different than regular weapons. However, he never expected that these things could bring such harm too.
“Senior Brother, hurry and keep them then, don’t keep holding onto them. Why don’t you put it back onto the shelves?” Thinking that the shelves were still too close, he changed his mind. “I think it’s best to put them at the eastern side of the room.” It was further away there.
Mo Chen laughed as he watched him.
Little Junior Brother sure was obedient and interesting. He was actually worried that these two rocks were scourges and was afraid that Mo Chen would suffer from harm. He was anxious to the point where he was about to start sweating. The sweat on the tip of his nose reflected brightly against the candlelight. His black eyes were like dots of paint, looking at Mo Chen worriedly.
Little Junior Brother had grown a little taller since the previous year, but his face was still a little chubby. Mo Chen teased him a bit, and then said with a smile, “These two are naturally fine. If there’s really something wrong with them, why would I bring them back? Once Master returns, you are most likely going to get your own sword as well. When that time comes, these two meteorites will be of use.”
Xiaodong heaved a sigh of relief. His gaze on the two little rocks no longer looked as if he was glaring at two vile beasts.
“Recite to me the sword technique theory, and also let me know what sort of insights you have gained from today’s sword practice.”
Xiaodong’s little face instantly frowned again.
Reciting the sword technique theory was fine, but insights from his sword practice would be a huge pickle. He was simply frustrated beyond compare. Though his sword techniques had indeed improved a lot, most of the time he would actually go into a daze during practice. By the time he regained his senses, one set of techniques had already been executed completely and Senior Brother Jiang would even praise his execution.
He could not even remember how he executed the moves, how was he going to describe them to Eldest Senior Brother? He couldn’t possibly lie with his eyes open, right?
If he could not describe them, Eldest Senior Brother would not let him off easy.
Mo Chen endured his desire to laugh, and from a stone container placed at the side, he pulled out… a ruler.
That’s right, a ruler.
Xiaodong had seen it before in the past. Though he had never gone to school for formal education, he had seen those teachers using this thing to ruthlessly smack the palms of children as punishment. Eldest Senior Brother had already Xiaodong the ruler a few days ago, and even told him that this ruler was bestowed by Master. Master had allowed Mo Chen to use it to discipline his junior siblings. If anyone dared to disobey the sect rules or laze around, that person would have to taste the wrath of the ruler.
Master had to leave so hastily, so why did he waste his time and pass Eldest Senior Brother something like that!?
Xiaodong was instantly filled with resentment towards the faraway Master.
Though Eldest Senior Brother had only taken it out to scare him and had yet to really hit him with it, Xiaodong felt that his future was bleak. The day when that ruler would hit his body was not far away.
Xiaodong was frightened and hurriedly focused. Clearing his throat, he began to recite the sword technique theory from the beginning.
The three parts of the sword technique theory were not long. Altogether, there were just about two thousand words. The words were neither too difficult nor too abstract, and remembering them was not much of a challenge. Xiaodong was worried about the ruler and could not help but glance at it as he recited.
The ruler was made out of a bamboo board, but he did not know when it was made and how many people it had smacked. One thing he did know, was that the bamboo board was polished to the point of shining perfection.
Xiaodong recalled the times he heard those school children crying out loud from being hit, and he could not help but gulp. Initially, his recitation was smooth and steady, but the moment he lost focus, he made a single mistake.
He anxiously looked at Eldest Senior Brother, afraid that he would be hit for that one mistake.
As expected, Eldest Senior Brother glanced at him. Fortunately, Eldest Senior Brother did not have any intention to pick the ruler up and simply said, “Continue.”
Xiaodong heaved a huge sigh of relief. He did not dare to lose focus anymore and hurriedly recited the sword technique theory to the end. He then stammered out his own thoughts about his sword technique.
Though anxious the entire time, he managed to survive this round. The back of Xiaodong’s clothes was already drenched with cold sweat. He finally managed to see Eldest Senior Brother nod and say, “Acceptable.” Xiaodong instantly felt his legs go limp, and he was this close to falling to the ground.
Seeing his appearance, Mo Chen could not help but regret his actions a little. Was he a little too strict with Little Junior Brother? Even though he took out the ruler, he had no intention of hitting him and simply wanted to give him a warning, so that he would not be too leisurely. After all, a strict teacher would produce a good student. When Master left and entrusted the mountain affairs to him, he also hoped to see his junior siblings make accomplishments in their learning journey and master techniques of their own. That way, they would not be taken advantage of when they headed out in the future. After all… the world now was growing uneasy. The demonic cultivators were beginning to make their moves. For the past few months, Mo Chen had heard of several pieces of bad news, and most of them were related to demonic cultivators. Little Junior Brother was too honest and naive, and he lacked real-life experience. If Little Junior Brother were to be pampered now, Mo Chen was afraid that it would harm him instead.
This child was really honest to a fault. Couldn’t he spend some time thinking about how – even if he failed his recitation – would Mo Chen have truly been able to be ruthless?