Numerous emotions flickered across Hong Chuan’s face. In the end, he sighed and said, “I didn’t expect that it would end up like this. Allow me to thank Brother Lu for saving my life!”
Lu Chen grinned. He waved his hands to gesture that it was a small matter and asked, “Right, Brother Hong, I remember that when you left yesterday, you were heading for the Mourning Ghost Chasm right? Why did you suddenly appear unconscious on the lake?”
Hong Chuan hesitated for a moment before shaking his head with a bitter smile on it, “There’s quite a long story to it. Yesterday, when I was at the back of the mountain, I intended to head to the depression. However…”
Perhaps it was due to the gratitude he felt toward Lu Chen for saving his life, he didn’t hide a single thing from him and told him what he met with yesterday.
It seemed that when Hong Chuan was ascending the tea mountain yesterday, because it was his first time there, and not to mention that the Spirit Tea Trees were planted densely in a complex manner around the mountain, creating a labyrinth, Hong Chuan got lost. He had casually picked a path up the mountain, simply choosing a road that lead to the top.
However, when he was halfway up the mountain, he found something amiss. There were always a few paths that appeared before him and he would always choose the one which appeared to lead toward the top of the mountain. However, as he walked, he somehow found himself walking in the wrong direction… Instead of leading to the east foothill, he suddenly found himself on the path that leads to the west.
Thus, Hong Chuan was pertubed and returned back on the path he came from. However, he got increasingly panicked, making increasing mistakes. As he got increasingly lost, the sky turned dark.
When the sun set, the entire tea mountain was submerged into darkness. It was difficult to even ascertain which road was the path. Although Hong Chuan brought along a fire torch-like object, due to the strong mountainous wind, the fire was unable to illuminate a great distance. As he continued walking, he found himself standing before a lake in the mountains.
At this point, Lu Chen burst in laughter, “That is to say, you accidentally reached the Dragon Lake.”
“Dragon Lake?” Hong Chuan asked curiously.
Lu Chen nodded his head, “That’s right. The names were passed down within the village since ancient times. The name of the lake on top of the mountains is Dragon Lake while the pool at the foot of the mountains is Dragon Pool. It is said that the both body of water on the top and at the foot of the mountain are connected. Of course, it is up to you to believe it.”
After those words, Lu Chen smiled and Hong Chuan followed suit. Such far-fetched names were often seen in the divine central continent. There were many places which were named after dragons in the world. Even if there weren’t tens of thousands of them, there were at least eight to nine thousands. There were Dragon Mountains, Dragon Seas, Dragon Lakes, Dragon Veins, Dragon Hills, Dragon Forest and such named places everywhere. This was especially true for remote locations. Also, in each of these places, the locals tended to be able to recount a mystical and ancient legend to you.
Perhaps, this could be due to the fact that the ancient Heavenly Dragon Tribe capable of soaring in the skies and many mystical arts had left behind an ineradicable impression on the humans. However, anyone who had basic knowledge of the world would simply chuckle upon hearing these legends. The reason was quite simple as well: Even if many of the ancient Heavenly Dragons really came rushing down to the mortal world, there were only sufficient of them to play the roles depicted in less than a hundredth of the legends.
Humans were too passionate with their legends, there weren’t enough Heavenly Dragons to fill the gaps…
Hailing from Kunlun Sect which had a long history, Hong Chuan still possessed that kind of basic knowledge. At this moment, he gazed at Lu Chen and chuckled in harmony.
However, after a short moment, Lu Chen frowned once again, “That means, you reached the Dragon Lake on the west of the foothill. But, how did you end up falling in the pool at the bottom of the mountain?”
Hong Chuan shook his head and said, “This was where things got weird. After seeing the lake, I realised that I had been walking the wrong way, so I got depressed. However, since it was already late, I doubted that I could find the way back. So, I decided to spend the night by the lake and head to the Flying Swallow Crag the next day.”
At this point, he stopped for a moment, as though recalling something. He looked at Lu Chen with an apologetic smile and said, “Keng, the Flying Swallow Crag I said refers to the depression. Pardon my words, I am used to saying those words so it is hard for me to change it suddenly…”
Lu Chen burst into laughter and replied, “There is no need for you to be so formal, I get it. Let’s just continue with the story.”
Hong Chuan continued speaking, “Un, eventually, I found a location that shielded me from the wind by the lake. However, in the middle of the night, I heard… a mysterious sound coming from the Dragon Lake and awoke from fright. Then, I saw the calm lake start to billow furiously then a moment later, a mysterious fish suddenly jumped out from the surface of the water with water splashing all around. Silver light radiated from its body and it was exceptionally dazzling, like… like a carp turning into a dragon as depicted in the legends.
Even the calm Lu Chen was astonished and exclaimed, “What?”
Hong Chuan smiled bitterly, “That… That is really what I saw with my own eyes last night. It wasn’t something that I made up after hearing Brother Lu talk about the name of the lake.”
For a moment, Lu Chen turned speechless. Then, he heard Lu Chen saying, “I was stunned at that moment too. Due to the overwhelming shock, I couldn’t help but to stand up. In the end, when I took two steps forward, the mysterious fish turned toward me and glanced at me…”
Going by Hong Chuan’s words, the fish seemed to possess extraordinary powers. Even though he was a cultivator and was protected by his own cultivation, he was still struck by a spell of dizziness and the sight before turned dark. His body fell forward…
After that, Hong Chuan only remembered himself staggering and falling into the lake. The icy cold currents washed through him and afterwards, it all turned blank. By the time he awoke, he was already in this straw cottage.
After hearing Hong Chuan’s words, Lu Chen is silent for a moment. His eyebrows knit tightly together, as though he is contemplating something.
Looking at him, Hong Chuan asked, “Brother Lu, based on your words, you found and saved me at the Dragon Pool at the bottom of the hill?”
Lu Chen nodded, “Indeed, while I was walking around in the night, I noticed some movements at the pool. In the end, I found you floating on the surface of the water. There was indeed no way I could have gone to the Dragon Lake on the top of the mountain to save you…”
Halfway through his words, he suddenly stopped. Then, he started again, “That… Could it be that the legends are true, that the Dragon Lake and Dragon Pool are connected by a secret waterway?”
Alright, I know I translated the ‘pool’ as ‘lake’ for the water at the bottom of the hill previously. Will edit the rest to reflect so.
I get that pool isn’t really appropriate (after all the water is connected to a stream at the lake at the top), but I really can’t find a better word so just bear with it.
…ancient Heavenly Dragon Tribe capable of soaring in the skies and many mystical arts
TL: The author used an idiom to describe the Heavenly Dragon Tribe (腾云驾雾) which could mean soaring in the skies through propagating clouds or possessing supernatural abilities (and an irrational state of mind, but it doesn’t apply in this context). So, it could mean either one or both of them, but I just wrote both of it down anyway.
I also get that it sounds weird that if it is a foothill, why would one lake be higher than the other. The phrase the author used is 山麓 which does mean foothill. Literally, it refers to the part where the slope of a mountain is adjoined to flat land, so the flat land may not necessarily mean ground level. If I had to guess, perhaps the west foothill might be a valley on higher grounds than the Dragon Pool? (At here, I realised my usage of foothill isn’t appropriate also T_T)
Also, technically, the difference between 湖(Lake) and 潭(Pool) for the Chinese character is probably just their depth (With pool being the deeper one apparently). There are many different explanations also like some say lake is closer to the sea etc, but it doesn’t really apply here and in real life, there are exceptions here and there as well.