Chapter Fifteen – Mu Family
In order to pull himself together, Xu Yi bit the tip of his tongue, letting the bitter pain wake his mind. He then noticed a flock of large carps moving around, foraging for food.
The large carp was one of the specialities of the Evil Dragon River. A grown carp would be roughly three meters long. These species always came in flocks, as they enjoyed collective life. As a dish, the large carp was absolutely a rare delicacy – large carp soup, relished with green onion, was the most popular cuisine - which appeared on the table of prominent officials and eminent personages.
Xu Yi was exhilarated by the appearance of these carps. To him, it was like stumbling across an oasis in a desert. He exerted his last bit of energy, as he paddled his feet and swam towards the largest one.
Meanwhile, on the surface, Shirong felt some ripples in the water. Suddenly, a subtle smile emerged on his face.
“Finally, you can’t hold your breath any longer!” However, when Shirong was about to wave his palms he came to a sudden stop. He felt confused, as he fully opened his eyes to observe what was happening on the surface of the water – ripples were seemingly coming from different directions in the water, making it difficult for Shirong to lock onto his target.
Frustrated by the multiple directions of the ripples, Shirong eventually stretched his palms and aimed at the largest one.
- Bang! Bang! Bang! -
Again, large waves exploded towards the shore. In the end, a single large carp floated towards the surface of the water, with its belly exposed to the sky.
“Xu Yi hasn’t surpassed the peak state yet, it takes years to make any concrete breakthrough. As long as he lives in Guanan, he will be caught sooner or later. It’s just a matter of time!” Shirong tried to console himself after his fruitless attacks.
Meanwhile Flying Snow was groaning bitterly, as if trying to arouse sympathy for what it had suffered, which made Shirong feel even more agitated.
Meanwhile, deep underwater, Xu Yi grabbed onto the tail of the largest carp and let it drag him along, down the river.
Out of sheer panic, the carp swam like crazy and as it did, the other carps in the flock quickly followed. They swam around like headless chickens, causing even more ripples to appear on the surface.
Eventually, the large carp, together with Xu Yi, swam several hundreds of meters away down the river. Xu Yi eventually managed to crawl on the back of the carp and then closed his eyes. As the carp kept moving deeper down and further away, Xu Yu gradually lost consciousness and left his life in the hands of destiny.
It was early morning, the sky was blue and a fresh air was lingering around.
In a narrow, yet neat yard, roses were blooming and a five-leaved ivy was climbing up against a wall. Moreover, there were numerous green melons and red fruit dangling on its vein, sending out a refreshing fragrance into the air. The flaming red and vigorous green made this place really a feast for the eyes.
Xu Yi was sitting on the doorsteps, gratefully breathing in the fresh morning air. He wore a blue robe and seemed to be in a rather good mood. Even though his bristly unshaven chin indicated that he was not in a particularly good condition, as he looked rather pale.
“Uncle Xu, get up. It’s time for breakfast. Come and enjoy the fried noodles. They’re delicious!” A young girl, at preschool age, urged Xu Yi to have breakfast. The girl had a straight nose and a chubby, yet delicate, face. She lifted a cloth bag with her left hand, while she was simultaneously putting crisp fried noodles in her little mouth with her right hand. Funny enough, she had a running nose, and occasionally, she would wipe it with her sleeves.
Hardly had the girl’s voice faded away, or an elder man appeared. He had strong muscles and a tall stature, leaving an impression that he most likely possessed some exceptional abilities.
“Autumn, you have been continuously gobbling down those noodles. You were supposed to leave some for your uncle, yet now it seems like the bag is already empty.” The elder man said jokingly to the little girl.
“Grandpa, you are wrong. There are… five… four… ah, only three left!” Autumn took it seriously, pouting with her little mouth as she even began to cry.
Seeing this, Xu Yi instantly moved over to Autumn and clutched the little girl in his arms. “Grandpa is just joking. Look, what is he holding in his hands?” Xu Yi consolingly said to Autumn.
Autumn slipped away from Xu Yi, running towards her grandpa, her eyes filled with expectation. In his hands she found a bag of steamed buns, with hot vapor spiraling out of the bag and into the air.
“Uncle Mu, goodmorning!” Xu Yi greeted the elder man with a big smile.
As an orphan, as well as a victim of the family revenge, Xu Yi’s previous years of experience had shaped his personality – indifferent and cynical. He would always keep to himself. Even though, when he was telling a story to the villagers, he would occasionally show a smile. However, this was out of survival, rather than happiness.
However, for some reason, Xu Yi really felt at home with this elder man and his granddaughter.
Three days ago, Xu Yi had narrowly escaped from Shirong, by grabbing onto a large carp. Actually, he had almost died at that moment, as his consciousness had been wavering. Luckily, an old fisherman, Uncle Mu, had netted the large carp, together with Xu Yi.
Uncle Mu had turned out to be a kind-hearted man. When he saw Xu Yi was seriously injured, without saying a word, he carried him home and treated him. Since Xu Yi was in the peak stage of a forged body, his self-healing ability was amazing and after only two days, he had already magically recovered.
In the three-day period of time, they got along with each other like they had been family all their lives – Uncle Mu was a traditional man, who never asked for anything in return whenever he did a favor to others; while Autumn was an adorable girl with a pretty appearance and a child’s simplicity.
Staring at the breakfast brought by Uncle Mu and Autumn, Xu Yi was touched by their warm-heartedness. To Xu Yi, it was a strange but comfortable feeling, as if his icebound heart melted a little bit.
After a nice and warm breakfast, Uncle Mu grabbed his fishing net and went out to fish. Autumn hastily snatched a steamed bun and hurried after him, with a backpack on her back.
Xu Yi quite enjoyed this harmonious atmosphere, as if he had already become a member of this family. After the two of them had left, he grabbed a broom and began to tidy up the house. When he finished sweeping, he decided to practice his fists. The qi and blood harmoniously flowing through his body, as if they were integrated with each other, thus creating a momentum of strength that was strong enough to kill a horse. Xu Yi felt refreshed and vigorous. It seemed as if the life-and-death battle against Shirong three days ago, had brought Xu Yi an advanced recovery ability. The more seriously he was hurt, the faster he would fully recover. He truly possessed a resilient, forged body.
Several minutes later, sweat began rolling down Xu Yi’s face. So he decided to take a break and do something else. He walked over to the wall that was surrounding the yard and jumped over it.
The Mu Family was situated in a small outskirt, with a poetic name – Hibiscus Town. It was several miles away from Guanan. Interestingly enough, the town was in the ‘dragon’s beard’ part of the Evil Dragon River (The river was in the shape of a dragon). This bustling small town was a beautiful place to inhabit. The riverside sceneries and the emerald-colored mountains added a touch of elegance to this town.
Hot steam was dancing on the wind, carrying a delicious smell. Xu Yi had arrived at the market street, where merchants were selling all kinds of breakfast food – buns, spring rolls and Shao Mai , etc. Wandering around, under the bright sunshine, Xu Yi had never felt so leisurely and comfortable, as if he had been insulated from the outside world for years.
Since Xu Yi was in the peak state of a forged body, his appetite had multiplied, which was why his stomach had been making loud noises all morning. Although the Mu Family generously provided him with three meals a day, Xu Yi was too embarrassed to tell them that it was not enough. So he went to the market street in the hope of finding some delicious food.
Half an hour later, Xu Yi carried a gigantic cloth bag, in which there were various kinds of food. He then walked towards the riverbank, where the branches of the willows were elegantly dancing on the wind.
While enjoying this alluring scenery, Xu Yi suddenly got distracted by a noise several meters away. There he found hundreds of people clustered together, each one of them was strong, with ample qi and blood. Needless to say, they were all cultivators in Wu Dao.
: Shao Mai or Shumai , it also can be called pork dumplings (although often other types of dumplings could also be filled with pork), is a type of traditional Chinese dumpling.