But, Ding Dang’s discomfort disappeared in a flash. Lu Chen flicked his hands with a smile, “It is easy to find Spiritual Stones, but a beauty like you is hard to come by. If there is a chance to approach such beauty, it is an opportunity I cannot pass by.”
Ding Dang’s face flushed as she rolled her eyes before turning around to leave.
Lu Chen watched as she returned into her house in the distance. Then, he spun around and continued back in his original path. When he passed by that large chinese scholar tree, he saw that fisherman Old Yu was still under the shade of the tree fishing. It seemed that he was the only person in the village who remained nonchalant to the spectacle that just happened.
However, behind the Old Yu, he found Old Ma scanning the clear stream in front of him.
Lu Chen walked over by Old Ma’s side, “There is no fish in this stream.”
Old Ma didn’t seem surprised at all by his sudden appearance. Instead, he pointed to the gaps between rocks in the clear stream and replied, “This time, you are speaking nonsense. Look, there are many fishes over there.”
Lu Chen looked, annoyed, at a leisurely swimming gray-black little fish which was not even the size of his pinky. He sighed, “I am saying, there isn’t the big fish which Old Yu wants to catch here.”
Old Ma pondered and replied, “You’re right.”
The two man walked side by side along the bank of the clear stream. The spring breeze tickled their face, bringing them a pleasant and relaxing sensation. While walking, Old Ma suddenly mentioned, “That woman named Ding Dang, if she were to really collect a thousand Spiritual Stones, pass the test of the Immortal Discerning Mirror out of sheer luck and become a cultivator under the Thousand Autumn Sects, what do you think would be the first thing she would do?”
Lu Chen looked at the green mountains in the distance. A faint smile crept onto the corner of his lips as he replied, “Oh, trying her best to cultivate so that she could achieve immortality?”
Old Ma glanced at him, “I think that after she starts cultivating, the first thing she would do is to sneak back here and kill you, the man whom she had a relationship with.”
Lu Chen laughed as he patted Old Ma’s shoulders. He replied, “Old Ma, why are your thoughts so pessimistic? She is just a woman and she didn’t provoke you at all. Why are you so against her? Besides, those things have yet to happen, so who could say for sure? In my opinion, after Ding Dang starts cultivating, she might start to reminisce her past relationship with me and return here to enlighten me and bring me to the mountains to cultivate. What do you say?” Saying those words, he couldn’t resist and laughed heartily.
Old Ma laughed patronizingly and ignored him. A few steps later, he reached the fork that led to the little tavern just ahead. Abruptly, he spoke matter-of-factly, “You know that I am right.”
Lu Chen’s halted his footsteps momentarily. He walked toward the fork in the road and turned back with a smile on his face, “It isn’t early anymore. You should return back to your little tavern. I will go back home to enjoy my sleep.”
Old Ma stared at him, “You have seen much more than me. Why do you pretend not to see them?”
Lu Chen eyelids drooped slightly. After a moment in solemnity, he replied, “Seeing more, I would like to try to be more open. This way, at least I would be able to live a little more comfortably.”
He shrugged and continued, “Otherwise, even if I continue living, it might just be worse than death. So, I might as well make myself a little more happy.”
Finishing his piece, Lu Chen laughed. He looked cheerful and happy. By the side of the river, in the embrace of the spring breeze, under the green bamboos and the peach blossoms, he waved his hands at Old Ma and pivoted around to leave.
Old Ma stared at his back figure and shook his head. An expression of lament emerged on his face, but he chose to remain silent.
After leaving Old Ma, Lu Chen continued his path along the clear stream, all the way until he reached the foot of the mountain. He could see a lonely straw cottage by the side of the foot of the mountain. Slightly further, there was a deep large emerald lake. That was the origin of the clear stream.
Lu Chen was chewing on a bamboo leave. It had a slightly bitter and refreshing taste which stimulated his taste buds. He continued to walk leisurely toward the straw cottage.
Just that, 30 meters away from the straw cottage, his body began to tremble out of a sudden. He staggered and nearly fell onto the ground. Fortunately, there was a peach blossom tree just by the road. Lu Chen grabbed the bark of the tree. Due to the excessive force he exerted, the peach blossom tree shook and countless pink flower petals fell, creating a colorful and enchanting spring rain.
Lu Chen’s face distorted as he widened his mouth suddenly. He seemed to be screaming loudly, reminiscent of the roar of an injured wild beast. However, bizarrely, no matter how wide how wide he opened his mouth, not a single noise was produced.
Following which, his entire body started to quiver uncontrollably, as though he was plunged into unimaginable pain.
Without any warning, two balls of fire suddenly blazed within his pair of black pupils.
The black flames burned frenziedly, just like that night of that year!
From various parts of his body underneath his shirt, an unusually deep sound seemed to resonate. It sounded of friction between bones, and the scream of agony of flesh and blood, sending a shiver down one’s spine.
Lu Chen took in a deep breath as he clenched his teeth, before proceeding to bolt toward the straw cottage at the bottom of the mountain. Staggering, each step seemed to bring him immense pain.
Barely taking a few steps, bizarre black inscriptions emerged and could be seen vaguely on his exposed skin, face, neck, hands and such. Studying closely , the inscriptions seemed to form a picture.
Like a burning inferno.
Lu Chen panted as he sprinted with large steps. The straw cottage became closer and closer. However, the mysterious phenomenon that was occurring on his body seemed to worsen all of a sudden.
In an instant, on the skin at his nape, a ball of peculiar black flames gushed out from beneath his skin and started to burn. In just the blink of an eye, the blood and flesh by the black flames were charred.
Lu Chen howled as his body trembled. He almost tripped. However, courage and willpower from the unknown filled him. Despite the excruciating pain of immolation, he was able to forcibly will himself to remain upright as he continued running toward the straw cottage. It was as though that ordinary looking straw cottage held his straw of hope.
As time passed by, Lu Chen’s condition seemed to be deteriorating at every single instance. Black flames continued to emerge from every single point on his body. The next moment, it appeared on the back of his hand, then his chest, his back, top of his head, thigh, calf, leaving not a single part of his body spared. When Lu Chen finally reached the entrance of the straw cottage, it looked as though his entire body had been consumed by the black flames.
He pushed open the door of the straw cottage and dashed in. The door shut itself immediately afterward. Despite bearing the excruciating pain of incineration by the black flames, he managed to pause for a sudden moment. Then, from a certain location from the top, a stalk of unexceptional gray grass stem floated down.
Haha pardon my lack of vocabulary. Really couldn’t find synonyms for laugh, smile, chuckle, face, laugh heartily, says and speaks. Chinese has really creative ways of phrasing words that mean the same thing.