Records of the Dragon Follower
First Published on Chaleuria
Chapter 50: Four Hundred Kilometers
After Senior Brother Ning had a short break, he began to help Xiaodong search for his lost item.
Seeing the talisman paper, Xiaodong finally understood why Spiritual Master Hu had sent someone over. If only the talisman was sent, most likely no one on Returnflow Mountain would know how to use it.
The talisman paper was not the yellow strip that was commonly seen, and the diagram on it was not drawn with a red cinnabar either. The paper was grey, in a way that looked as if it was charcoal close to burning into ashes. The diagram drawn on it was silver in color, and between the brush strokes, there was a faint trace of flowing light. It could be seen that it was not an ordinary object with a single glance.
The diagram drawn on it looked like dragons flying and phoenixes dancing, giving off a truly imposing feeling. However, no matter how imposing it was, it would be useless if no one on Returnflow Mountain recognized what the diagram meant. If no one were to give pointers on the usage of this talisman, they would have just stood idly by while looking at it. It may be part of Dao cultivation, but Returnflow Mountain specialized in cultivating sword cultivators, taking a different path than them, who specialized in talismans and divinations. As the saying went, different trades were as separated as the two sides of a mountain.
Xiaodong curiously asked, “Do we use it by burning it? Or is there a need for an incantation?”
Burning talismans and reciting incantations were all tricks used by frauds to fool people in order to make money. The fancier their actions, the more people would be intimidated. However, they were all trickery. Spiritual Master Hu’s Farknowing Sect was a famous sect of the just faction, why would they do such falsehoods? Xiaodong, however, was unaware, and so no one would laugh at him.
He asked a little childishly, and Mo Chen could only reply with, “We are all amateurs in this area. We have to listen to Senior Brother Ning.”
Xiaodong’s heart pounded. He wanted to say something when suddenly, he realized his lips were dry and his palms felt blazing hot. When he lost the pendant, he constantly told himself in his heart that since it was gone, he should just let it be… Even if he could never find it again, he had to handle this situation with a calm heart. However, now that things had reached this stage, how could he possibly remember the two words “calm heart”?
“Junior Brother Yun, stretch out your hand.”
Xiaodong wanted to stretch out his hands, but the moment he raised them, he realized his palms were damp as they were filled with sweat. He hurriedly rubbed them against his clothes twice before stretching out his two hands again.
Senior Brother Ning said with a smile, “Just the one that you usually use is fine.”
Naturally, his most often used hand was his right. However, at the heat of the moment, he actually could not distinguish between left and right. Xiaodong looked at his two hands, and after blanking out for a good while, he reached out his right hand tremblingly, as if he was still unconfident. It was as if he would mess up big time if he mistook his right hand for his left.
Senior Brother Ning had Xiaodong press his hand on that talisman paper. Senior Brother Ning then softly asked how big and what color the pendant was, and how many years he had worn the pendant. Xiaodong answered them all carefully.
Senior Brother Ning’s questions might all be related to finding his pendant, so why wouldn’t he be careful?
After asking all those questions, Senior Brother Ning said, “Alright, it’s done.” He then had Xiaodong raise his hand.
Xiaodong raised his hand in disbelief. He had barely exerted any effort, and it was done?
However, the talisman paper that he pressed on was already different from before. The silver diagram was clearly brighter, and it was even growing brighter. The top and bottom of the diagram began to flow and intertwine, like a meandering river flowing under the moonlight.
Xiaodong was stunned, not daring to even breathe. He was afraid that a single loud gasp could blow away this incredibly important talisman paper.
Xiaodong was not the only one entranced. It was also Jiang Fan’s first time seeing such a shining spectacle. Though he had visited Spiritual Master Hu, and seen him divining and drawing talisman diagrams, they were all different from this talisman. It could be seen that Spiritual Master Hu was treating this matter very seriously.
Spiritual Master Hu’s temperament was different from many people. Even if some people brought luxurious gifts and begged for his divinations, he might not be bothered to help at all. Most of the time he would just divine without much effort put into it. If it were just any other person, he might not even be bothered to help a child find an inexpensive object. However, Spiritual Master Hu actually treated this like it was a serious matter. Not only did he bring out a rare talisman, he even sent Senior Brother Ning, his beloved disciple, to help. Of course, he might be giving Spiritual Master Hu some face, but Spiritual Master Hu himself was someone that valued friendship greatly. This was why he was being so meticulous.
The diagram on the paper grew even brighter, to the point where it looked as if rays of light were shooting out. It was so piercing to the eyes that people could hardly look at it directly. Xiaodong’s eyes even began to narrow, though he was unwilling to turn his head away, afraid that he might make a mistake by missing out what was happening.
The talisman’s light gradually dimmed, and then, everything stopped. Xiaodong looked left and right, yet he still could not see his pendant popping out.
Could it be that there was still some profound mechanism at work?
Mo Chen and the rest were surprised, but none of them was as surprised as Senior Brother Ning was.
“Strange.” Senior Brother Ning held onto the talisman paper and looked closely at it. “Theoretically speaking, this shouldn’t have happened.”
Mo Chen softly asked, “Is there something wrong?”
“This talisman is made by my master himself. The grey grass paper and silver emery ink used were all of the highest quality as well. Though I have never used this talisman before, I have seen my master use it several times…” Senior Brother Ning was silent for a moment. “As long as the targeted item isn’t too far, it will definitely be found.”
Jiang Fan asked directly, “Just how far is this ‘isn’t too far’?”
“A radius of four hundred kilometers.”
Jiang Fan was stunned. Though Returnflow Mountain isn’t considered small, it naturally could not cover an entire radius of four hundred kilometers. For Spiritual Master Hu to bring out a talisman like this, he had surely gone all out. However, if the pendant couldn’t be found, then… Could it be that the pendant had already been broken? Or could it be that it wasn’t within the four hundred kilometer raidus?
That was largely impossible.
Jiang Fan was aware of the situation that night as well. When Eldest Senior Brother brought Little Junior Brother out to rendezvous with him, they were no more than thirty kilometers away from the sect, right? Even if he had remembered it wrong, then it would still definitely be less than a hundred and eighty kilometers. The pendant that Little Junior Brother wore definitely could not have been thrown four hundred kilometers away! That was a pendant, not a rabbit! It couldn’t have possibly grown legs and ran off on its own, right?
Senior Brother Ning was afraid that Xiaodong would grow anxious, and so explained, “Most likely, my skills are still not up to par. Junior Brother Yun, there’s no need to worry. I shall now send a message back and consult my master. I carry a message talisman on me, so at the very latest, my master will definitely reply by tomorrow morning.”
Mo Chen immediately said, “There’s no need to rush. Spiritual Master Hu gave you a message talisman for use in for emergency situations. Now isn’t the appropriate time to use it.”
Xiaodong hurriedly added, “That’s right, this matter isn’t urgent.”
He had never seen Spiritual Master Hu before, and this was his first time meeting Senior Brother Ning too. Xiaodong just could not feel at ease having such people help him so seriously and with so much effort. This message talisman sounded like a very important item, how could it be used so casually?
Though Senior Brother Ning might have said that, Mo Chen was not Xiaodong, and he would not believe that it was truly because of Senior Brother Ning’s “subpar” skills.
Jiang Fan did not believe it either.
Spiritual Master Hu was extremely satisfied with this particular disciple of his, and he valued Senior Brother Ning the same way as Li Fulin valued Mo Chen. In the past, he had mentioned more than once that Ning Yu’s achievements would definitely be above his. Other the frail constitution he was born with, Spiritual Master Hu simply felt that this disciple of his was perfect in every way, with nothing bad to speak of. He even went as far as saying that Ning Yu was the only one who could inherit all of his knowledge and skills.
Furthermore, finding a lost object wasn’t a difficult task. With Ning Yu’s capabilities, he definitely could not have made a mistake.
It seemed like Little Junior Brother’s pendant was truly not on Returnflow Mountain anymore.
However… Four hundred kilometers away… Just what was going on? Could it be that the pendant had really been washed downhill from the rising waters due to the melting snow, and had flowed into the long Yellow River?