Everyone offered their compliments immediately, and a few girls were exceptionally excited. Ding Dang was initially happy, but the joy turned into rage. She humphed, “Such sweet words!”
The youth shook his head with a smile and passed the drawing to Ding Dang. After smiling at her, he turned around to leave.
Looking at the figure of the leaving youth, she opened her mouth to speak but eventually closed it without uttering anything. She suddenly heard a cold voice from the crowd, “You slut, flirting with guys again.”
The crowd turned silent immediately. Then, some people started to laugh. There were both males and females among those laughing. The males laughed lecherously whereas the females had a biting edge to their laughs. Theirs were significantly louder than the males.
Ding Dang’s mouth twitched and her face darkened. She spun around and left with large steps. Very quickly, she passed the rock bridge to the east bank. From the looks of it, she seemed to be heading home.
Lu Chen stood behind the crowd and he stared indifferently at the scene. Then, he turned to look at the scholar who was walking along another road on the west bank. He muttered to himself, “How annoying. Why do young beautiful pimps always do better?”
The one drawing and the one being drawn have left. Naturally, the spectators also dispersed. As they left, many of them were chatting, of which, most were discussing about the scholar as they praised his handsome looks and his outstanding drawing skills. There were also a few who were talking about Ding Dang, mocking how shameless she was for hooking up around. Then, they started to express their worries for the scholar and hoped that he would not fall for the tricks of the slut.
Lu Chen returned to the east bank and yawned out of boredom. When he passed by the large scholar tree, he peeked at the fish cage by Old Yu’s side and it was empty, as he expected.
He sat on the other side of the large stone and asked, “Old Yu, did you catch anything today?”
“Nothing.” The old fisherman did not seem to notice the ridiculing intentions in the words and replied the question honestly.
Lu Chen chuckles, “I think that you won’t catch a single thing even if you fish here for your entire life.”
The old fisherman was solemn for a moment before replying with the usual calm and dazed voice, “There are fishes in the water here.”
“Tsk!” Lu Chen stared at him. In a split moment, he lost all interest and he thought to himself that there were many weird people in the world. “Anything that pleases you. If you say that there are fishes here, so be it. Serves you right to waste your entire life here. Eventually, wouldn’t it all end in naught!”
Normally, at this point, both of them would have nothing else left to say. However, today, for some unknown reason, Old Yu turned around to look at Lu Chen and replied slowly, “That’s not it. I had seen a large fish with spirit marks. As long as I catch it and present it to the immortals of Thousand Autumn Sect, I would be able to start cultivating.”
“A fish with spirit mark…” Lu Chen couldn’t help but chuckle. He smiled, “Oh, if you really do manage to catch it, then the fish wouldn’t be just worth a thousand Spirit Stones. It is definitely more than enough for you to cultivate at the Thousand Autumn Sect. However… Be careful not to get eaten by the fish.”
Old Yu stared at Lu Chen with a confused expression as he muttered, “Fishes do not eat humans.”
Lu Chen leaned over laughing as he patted Old Yu’s shoulder. Without further words, he glanced at the clear river stream before standing up to leave.
By the time, the sun had already risen and was shining on Clear Stream Village. The ray of the sun reflected off the clear stream. The shade of the chinese scholar tree did feel cooling, with only small cracks of sun rays managing to fall through the dense tree crown.
Lu Chen walked out from the shadow of the tree and just as he was about leave, the sun rays under the shadow of the tree flickered. A new shadow seemed to have suddenly appeared at a certain corner of the chinese scholar tree.
Lu Chen stopped.
He turned around to look in the direction of the flicker, only to see the root of the big chinese scholar tree. A part of the root tangled and protruded out of the ground, grabbing the soil tightly. There were green grasses growing by the tree root.
A bizarre expression emerged on Lu Chen’s face. His eyebrows were knit together, as though he was thinking about something. He seemed to be a little uncertain, a little nervous and even a little disgusted. However, he calmed down very quickly and his expression returned to normal. He walked casually to the root and kicked his leg around, then bent down to remove one of his shoes, as though he was trying to lean over to hit the mud off his shoes on the tree root. His gaze quickly shot toward that region.
A shadow seemed to tremor in front of him again.
This round, Lu Chen was able to witness it clearly. That was a very peculiar image. It was a little scrawled, just like meaningless vandalism carved onto an inconspicuous part of the tree root. There were a few lines with differing thickness which conjugated together. Vaguely, it seemed to look like a crude and eerie tree.
Looking at the wound on the bark, it was probably carved not too long ago, not exceeding a single day.
Lu Chen face was chilled. He placed his shoe back on and walked towards the giant rock. He glanced at Old Yu who was quietly fishing and lied down.
He leaned on Old Yu’s back and shut his eyes. He listened to the swishing sound of the river flow and the rustling of the leaves. Everything seemed to turn peaceful. Just like his life in this village, it had been peaceful for so many years.
Until he opened his mouth and broke this silence, “Old Yu, allow me to ask you a question.”
“Oh…” The old fisherman replied dully.
“You have been sitting here for the past two days right?”
“Yes.” The old fisherman replied.
Lu Chen cushioned the back of his head with both of his hands as he stared at the green tree crown on top. There were a few fragmented rays of sun through the leaves. He asked, “Was there anyone who came here?”
Old Yu responded, “No. You know it, other than you and Old Ma, no one in the village likes talking to me.”
“Oh”, Lu Chen responded. Then, he continued, “I thought that there were a few newcomers to the village. You might make some new friends.”
“He..he…” Old Yu laughed deeply. It sounded like the air bubbles the gray fishes in the stream released, before they burst.
Lu Chen sat up. Then, patting away the dust on his bottom, he walked away without looking at Old Yu.
Walking away from the large chinese scholar tree, he took a few steps towards his straw cottage but he stopped abruptly. After pondering for a moment, he turned around and walks back.
At this moment, another man came face to face with him. Upon seeing Lu Chen, he politely cupped his hands and asked, “This brother over here, may I ask if the mountain at the back is the tea mountain?”
Lu Chen looked at him. This was also a young man. He was wearing a cloak and a sword hung by his back. There seemed to be traces of weariness from journeying on his face, as though he had just rushed here from afar. Judging from his appearance, he did look like one of those ordinary wandering cultivators who travel the world in pursuit of dao.
The author always uses a word to express that Ding Dang speaks in a feminine and coy manner (especially when she is angry), though coy isn’t very appropriate in the context, so I never used it.
Such sweet words -> Saying that the guy uses words just to please girl (It is kind of a derogatary term in the context)
I used slut, but the phrase is fox spirit, which in ancient China, they would disguise as beautiful ladies to attract guys.
“Hehe…” Old Yu laughs deeply. It is just like those bubbles from the gray fishes in the stream, before it bursts.
TL: The description should be describing his laughter, but I don’t really get how it is applied so I will leave it to be.
Just a basic explanation of Xianxia (at least for this story)
The goal of most people in xianxia is to cultivate to a point where they become immortals. Basically, the stronger you get, the longer you live.
So, in order to succeed in this, they pursue knowledge and enlightenment (dao is something like enlightenment as well)
In xianxia, there are often herbs and treasures nurtured by the energy of the world which when consumed/used, can boost their strength significantly.