Inquired about the condition of the mountain at the back, Lu Chen nodded his head and asked, “Yes. Do you intend to head to the tea mountain?”
A hint of joy appeared on the face of the youth. He nodded his head and he cupped his hands again once again as he smiled politely to Lu Chen, “May I trouble you with another question… Do you know if there is a location known as ‘Flying Swallow Crag’ on the tea mountain?”
Lu Chen hesitated before shaking his head, “No, I have lived here for quite a long period of time. I am very familiar with the tea mountain but there isn’t a place called Flying Swallow Crag on it.”
The youth was a little surprised. He didn’t expect that he would hear such a reply. He muttered under his breath, “That shouldn’t be. She obviously said that it is the tea mountain of this Clear Stream Village.”
Lu Chen smiled, “Perhaps. Anyway, this is the Clear Stream Village and the tea mountain, no doubt about it. Just that, I have really never seen the Flying Swallow Crag before. Why don’t you try looking for it up there?”
The youth pondered and then nodded his head in agreement, “What you said makes sense.”
Lu Chen turned his body to open up a path for him. He pointed to the green mountain at the back and said, “You can follow this rock pavement by the stream, you will eventually reach the foot of the mountain. Then, there are around a dozen paths you can take up to the mountain. You can just pick any one of it.”
“A dozen paths?” The youth seemed to be a little surprised.
Lu Chen smiled, “There are people growing Spirit Tea Leaves on the side of the mountain facing us. Since there are many people moving to and fro from the mountains, it is natural for there to be many paths.”
The youth came to a realisation and smiled, “No wonder it is called tea mountain. Thank you.” After those words, he proceeded forward.
Lu Chen watched the youth as he passed by him. Glancing shortly at his back figure, he turned around and continued walking on. Then, a sudden yell was heard from behind. It was the voice of the youth from just moments ago, “That big brother over there, can you halt for a moment?”
“Hmm, just this short moment and I turned from a brother to a big brother?” Lu Chen turned around. He wasn’t really put off by his new address. Rather, he looked curiously at the youth who ran over from the distance on the bluestone pavement. Lu Chen smiled, “What’s wrong?”
TL: One is more for addressing strangers while the other one is for addressing close buddies.
A look of apology appeared on the youth’s face. After running over, before he even spoke, he cupped his hands once again as a gesture of respect towards Lu Chen.
Lu Chen shook his head, “You don’t have to be so formal. Judging from how polite you have been, could you be a disciple from Kunlun Sect?”
The youth was shocked. He took a step back subconsciously and asked, “How could you tell…”
This time, it was Lu Chen’s turn to be astonished. He asks the youth with a look of surprise: “Could you really be from Kunlun Sect?”
The youth thought for a moment. He seemed hesitant, but he nodded his head eventually as he admitted, “I am a Hong Chuan, a disciple from Kunlun Sect. May I ask what is brother’s name? Also, how could you tell my origins?”
Lu Chen frowned and smiled bitterly, “I really guessed randomly.”
Kunlun Sect is quite a famous sect in the divine center continent and could be considered as one of the larger sects in the world of cultivators. There are two reasons for the fame of this sect. Firstly, it would be its long history. From the establishment of the Immortal Alliance comprising countless sects from 3000 years ago, there have been the rise and fall of many innumerable sects. There are only two sects remaining in the Immortal Alliance who have a history even longer than it. Kunlun Sect is one of the two. As for the second reason, due to its long history, there are many rules and regulations to this cultivator sect and they are exceptionally particular about formalities. Thus, the disciples from this sect, regardless of their cultivation, are exceptionally formal. The saying goes ‘When meeting someone, show 3 points of respect. When it comes to Kunlun disciples, it becomes 5 points, 7 points.”
That Hong Chuan seemed to be quite conscious of the uniqueness of his own sect. He chuckled and naturally cupped his hands in a bow yet again, “May I enquire big brother’s respected name?”
Lu Chen waved his hand and smiled, “You are a disciple from a respected sect whereas I am just a barbarian from the village, so how can I be worthy of those two words? I am Lu Chen.”
TL: Two words -> Respected name
“Oh”, Hong Chuan replied, and he went on to thank Lu Chen for the directions yet again.
His actions aroused a chuckle in Lu Chen as he said, “Why did you turn back, do you still have any questions?”
Hong Chuan nodded his head, “That’s exactly so. Big brother Lu, I have just recalled something. The Flying Swallow Crag is something some other people told me. However, that person also passed by this location coincidentally many years back, so the names of the geography may not be the same as back then. So, I want to ask you if there is a place here called the ‘Red-beaked Crimson Feather Swallows’?”
“Red-beaked Crimson Feather Swallow?” Lu Chen deliberated and replied, “I have never heard of such swallows. However, now that you’ve said it, a location comes to mind.”
Hong Chuan was overjoyed. He pressed on immediately, “Could you tell me where the location is?”
Lu Chen contemplated for a moment and responded, “The front half of the tea mountain comprise mainly tea gardens. The back mountain is slightly more steep and treacherous and it is split into two foothills, east and west. On the west foothill lies a lake whereas on the east, there’s is a rarely seen natural depression. When the sun starts to set and the sky turns yellow, a few thousand Rock Swallows will fly from the depression to hunt for food. They would turn the sky dark, there is really quite a swarm of them.”
At this point, Lu Chen paused for a moment and then continued, “That is probably the only place that is similar to what you described to me. However, the locals call that place ‘Mourning Ghost Chasm’, I have never really heard anyone call it Flying Swallow Crag.”
Hong Chuan’s was full of delight. He nodded his head as he bowed deeply to Lu Chen, saying, “I am very grateful to the guidance of big brother Lu.” After that, he thanked Chen for another three more times before turning around to leave with large steps.
Lu Chen smiled as he look at Hong Chuan moving hurriedly to the tea mountains. He thought for a moment before he continued moving on towards the village. Not too long later, he arrived back at the tavern.
At the moment, the tavern’s doors were wide open. It was clear that they were open for business. However, when Lu Chen took a peek inside, he realised that the tavern was completely empty. There wasn’t a single customer; the tavern’s business didn’t seem to be going well.
He chuckled and walked in.
Old Ma was sitting behind the counter with a dazed expression. Upon hearing footsteps, a look of joy emerged on his face and he asked immediately, “Please take a seat. What alcohol would you like…”
Before he could say ‘drink’, he saw Lu Chen’s face appearing before him. Old Ma’s body sunk immediately. He humphed and greeted, “Sit anywhere you want.”
Lu Chen smiled, “You sure are unreasonable. Am I not considered a customer? Ignoring how you don’t entertain me, are you reluctant to even give a smile?”
Old Ma smiled patronisingly, “If you are willing to foot the bill, I would be willing to smile for the whole day for you.”
The youth pondered for a moment. He seemed a little hesitant but he nodded his head eventually as he admitted, “I am a Hong Chuan, a disciple from Kunlun Sect. May I ask what is brother’s name? How could you tell my origins?”
TL: Hong Chuan was really polite throughout the conversation, putting himself in a lower position.