Hong Chuan was slightly astonished as well. Only after a brief moment did he continue, “Looks like this is the only plausible explanation. That being said, Brother Lu, you have been living in this village for quite awhile. Have you heard of any legend about the mysterious fish in the Dragon Lake?”
Lu Chen shook his head. “I have never heard of it. Dragon Lake and Dragon Pool, other than those awe-inspiring name, there has never been anything that happened in these lakes all these years. They are just like a puddle of dead water, no one has ever saw… mysterious fishes.”
Somehow, just before the last two words, he stopped abruptly for a brief moment.
Hong Chuan sighed, not noticing this anomaly. Then, with a relieved tone, he said, “No matter what, I really have to thank you, Brother Lu. Otherwise, I really might have died in grievance just like that.”
Lu Chen chuckled, “It is just a small matter, you don’t have to think too much of it. Right, what plans do you have? Do you still intend to go to the Dragon Lake to investigate the matter?”
Hong Chuan contemplated for a moment and shook his head, “There is something weird about that giant fish in the Dragon Lake. With my current level of cultivation, I doubt that I am capable of subduing it. So for the time being, I don’t intend on seeking it. If there is a chance in the future, I will invite some of my powerful seniors over to look into the matter.”
Lu Chen nodded his head and replied, “That’s good.”
Hong Chuan climbed down the bed and tried walking around the house. Looking at his movements, Lu Chen asked, “How are your injuries?”
Hong Chuan replied, “It shouldn’t be a big problem. It’s just that I suffered a little bit of trauma, causing my blood flow to become erratic. I should be able to recover with a day’s rest.”
Lu Chen smiled, “That’s for the best. How about this, since you have already rested here for the night, you might as well stay here for the day. Tomorrow, when the sun rises, I will accompany you to the chasm so that you can accomplish your task. This way, you won’t have to worry about getting lost.”
Hong Chuan leaped with joy immediately. His face even turned slightly red from embarrassment as he exclaimed, “Brother Lu, are you serious? I, I…”
Lu Chen chuckled, “I’m just bringing you there, it’s not a big deal. After all, we are all out in the big world, what does helping out one another counts as?”
Hong Chuan bowed with a sincere look on his face. He stared at Lu Chen and said, “Brother Lu sure is a warm-hearted person. I don’t know how I should express my gratitude to you.”
The disciples of Kunlun Sect were known for being extremely polite. After accepting such a favor from Lu Chen, Hong Chuan felt immense gratitude toward him. Not mentioning how he kept trying to thank him, he even insisted on gifting him something as a token of appreciation.
Lu Chen could only smile while rejecting his goodwill, repeating that it was just a small matter. However, Hong Chuan insisted and, from him, Lu Chen found out that this disciple of a renowned sect had been asking for directions all the way here, especially upon reaching Clear Stream Village. Before Lu Chen, there wasn’t anyone who would bother with him. Everyone looked at him in wariness and disgust and they tried their best to avoid him. None of them were willing to talk to him.
After hearing those words, Lu Chen was also surprised. After thinking about it, he replied, “Wu… Brother Hong. I think they probably thought that you were here to rob them of their opportunities. After all, the people here had been working for an entire lifetime just for that single chance. Although they might not know you, there is always a chance that you might steal an opportunity away from them…”
Hong Chuan stared in shock and asked, “Just for this?”
Lu Chen smiled bitterly as well, “Other than this, I can’t think of any other possible reasons. However, they wouldn’t behave like this normally. Oh, right!” His eyes twinkle as he scans Hong Chuan from head to toe and says, “It must be because you were carrying a sword that day. You had the look of a wandering cultivator. If so, you would be much stronger than us mortals. If the cultivators from the Thousand Autumn Doors were to come, they would definitely prioritise people like you who already have a foundation. That’s the reason why they refused to talk to you.”
Only now did Hong Chuan come to a realisation. For a short moment, he couldn’t find any words to say. However, the contrast between Lu Chen and the other villagers caused him to feel even more grateful to Lu Chen. In the end, he started on another wave of formal ceremonies to express his gratitude. Lu Chen found that a little difficult to cope with.
In the end, Hong Chuan offered a gift once again to express his appreciation.
Lu Chen rejected it once more, though his attitude toward the rejection wasn’t as strong this time. Yet, an awkward situation arose. Just seconds before, Hong Chuan who was determined to make Lu Chen accept his present, suddenly realised that not only the long sword tied to his back was missing, even his luggage and fortunes were all missing…
In that moment, the two men in the straw cottage stared at one another. A long period where neither of them said anything passed. Or rather, they didn’t know what to say.
Then, Lu Chen laughed dryly and said, “You might have lost it in the water yesterday night. Are there any important items inside that went missing?”
In this instant, Hong Chuan’s face turned so red that it was on the verge of becoming purple. From the look of his face, he seemed to feel so ashamed that he almost wanted to draw his sword to kill himself.
Looking at the sight, Lu Chen began to worry for him. Fortunately, Hong Chuan didn’t seem that inflexible. After a short moment, with a tearful face, he said, “There isn’t any important items inside. However… That… I… Sigh, I’m really sorry to Brother Lu!”
Lu Chen looked at his depressed face. It was a little hilarious, but somehow, he felt a surge of warmth in his heart. Then, he shook his head and replied warmly, “Brother Hong, do I look like a greedy person?”
Hong Chuan was surprised and immediately raised his head to interject, “No no no, I don’t mean that!”
Lu Chen smiled, “If that’s so, there is no need for you to be so depressed. For us to meet in such a big world, it could be called a type of fate. So, why should you get upset over mere monetary fortune. Come, let me bring you to the village to have some good wine. To get drunk with an acquaintance, it is a type of joy in life.”
On those words, he stood up with a smile and guided Hong Chuan out of the straw cottage, all the way straight to Old Ma’s tavern.
Hong Chuan looked at Lu Chen from the back. For a moment, he didn’t know what to say. Complex emotions could be seen in his eyes. Lu Chen looked like a mere mortal and in comparison, he was a disciple of a reputable sect. Their social positions were so extremely distant from one another. But somehow, in that instant, Lu Chen’s back seemed to be growing bigger and bigger.
Walking past the clear stream, a thought flashed through his mind suddenly: “Could he be one of the talented people in this world whom father once talked about? For such a person to be buried in a rural village, it is such a pity.”
Naturally, Lu Chen wouldn’t know the thoughts of the embarrassed Hong Chuan who was following behind him. Actually, Lu Chen and Hong Chuan had unintentionally forgotten a fact. That was, as long as it was a mortal, there wasn’t anyone would face a cultivator so calmly. That was because of the wide gap between their strength as well as their social position.
However, to Lu Chen, everything can’t be more natural. He acted so naturally that even Hong Chuan didn’t notice. In fact, he did not even find anything amiss with the situation.