Lu Chen brought Hong Chuan to the small tavern and realised that business today was quite good. There were customers occupying most of the tables. Old Ma sat behind the counter with a smile on his face. It looked like he was in good mood.
Lu Chen walked over to Old Ma to greet him, as well as to order a flask of wine. Then, he took a table by the side with Hong Chuan.
They chatted alongside alcohol and it seemed that the both of them got along well. It felt as though they hated the fact that they didn’t get to meet each other earlier. It didn’t take long for them to finish a flask. Lu Chen smiled as he got up and said, “Wait for a moment. I will get another one.”
Hong Chuan was about to reject the offer but Lu Chen had already left. Hong Chuan could only sit back down.
Walking to the counter, Lu Chen slapped the table with a smile, “Another flask, boss.”
Sitting behind the counter, Old Ma chuckled, “Customer, hold for a moment, I will get it for you after I’m done writing down this debt.”
Lu Chen nodded his head, “Fine.” Then, he leaned on the counter as he waited. He first glanced at the customers who were drinking alcohol and then casually looked at the interior beyond the counter, only to see Old Ma scribbling on a paper with a lowered head. There weren’t many things written on the paper, just a single line.
Lu Chen’s face remained nonchalant as he averted his gaze. Then, he noticed Hong Chuan looking over. While a smile, he said, “Hold for a moment. I will be there in a jiffy.”
In the middle of his words, Old Ma had already stood up to take a flask of wine. He passed it to Lu Chen and said, “Customer, your wine.”
“Great.” Lu Chen grabbed the wine and returned back to Hong Chuang’s side.
In the turn of an eye, it was already the noon of the next day. From the straw cottage, Lu Chen brought Hong Chuan up the tea mountain.
The mountainous wind whistled from the top of the mountain and a sight of greenery filled one’s eyes. There was a refreshing fragrance within the wind that brought comfort. It was probably the fragrance unique to the Spirit Tea Leaves. As the both of them walked up the mountainous paths, Spirit Tea Trees filled both sides of the path. Hong Chuan couldn’t help and exclaimed, “I didn’t expect that the spirit in the air would be not bad, to be able to cultivate so many Spirit Tea Trees.”
At the front, Lu Chen heard his words and replied, “These are just the most ordinary Spirit Tea Leaves. Your Kunlun Sect probably wouldn’t take a second look a it.”
Hong Chuan chuckled, “My sect has quite the history, thus it has accumulated quite a few good things. We are also quite known for our tea leaves. If fate allows, I will bring some to Brother Lu.”
Lu Chen smiled, “Sounds great.”
The two of them chatted as they walked along the path. Following behind Lu Chen’s back, Hong Chuan realised that even though Lu Chen seemed to be walking casually, he never hesitated even when a fork appeared in the road, choosing the road to walk on instantaneously. It seemed like he was indeed quite familiar with this mountainous path.
After an hour of walking, the two of them reached the peak of the tea mountain.
Hong Chuan scanned the surroundings and ascertained that they were at the east foothill of the tea mountain. He felt a little sentimental. He smiled at Lu Chen and said, “I am fortunate to have Brother Lu lead the way. Otherwise, I would have really be in trouble.”
Lu Chen waved his hands, saying, “Back then, you lost your way only because it was late at night and the paths weren’t clear to see. If it was the day then, you might not have gotten lost. Oh, the Mourning Ghost Chasm is just over there. Let’s go.”
The two men followed the path to the peak of the east mountains. Traversing the boundary to the back mountain, there wasn’t as many labyrinth-like passages as the front mountain. Most of the time, there were only single passageways. There were even times there wasn’t even a passageway and they had to climb some distances.
However, the both of them were nimble people, so this kind of mountainous terrain was unable to stop them. Around half an hour later, Lu Chen suddenly stopped and pointed to a location in front of him. Turning toward Hong Chuan, he said, “That’s it.”
Hong Chuan’s spirit jolted. He hurriedly took a few steps forward, only to see a 30 radius zhang crater appearing suddenly in the middle of the flat ground. Walking slightly forward, he noticed an entrance that was filled with pebbles, grasses and flowers. Looking downwards, he realised that it was a very deep hole of at least a depth of 100 zhang. The cliffs by the sides were incomparably steep. Some pine trees grew resiliently from the gaps between the stones, adding some life to the depression.
30 zhang -> 100m, 100 zhang -> 333.3m
On the further end of the opposite cliff, he could see water flowing out from some location of the stone cliff. It flowed downwards in a vertical drop, forming a narrow and long waterfall to the bottom of the chasm. Humidity could be felt from the mountainous breeze.
The chasm was massive, and one couldn’t help but comment how mystical and magnificent creation could be. Hong Chuan looked awestruck. After looking for a moment, he couldn’t resist but remarked to Lu Chen, “It is rare for such land to hold such amazing sight.”
Lu Chen smiled, “Back then, when I first came here, I felt about the same as you.” Then, he took a few steps forward to the edge of the chasm. Looking down, he said, “Look at that cliff, don’t you see some nests lodged between the crevices? Those are the nests of the swallows. However, I have no idea whether they are the swallows that you speak of.”
Hong Chuan nodded and said, “This is enough, this is enough. From the looks of the geography, this should be it. Now, I only have to wait for those swallow to go out hunting to catch a few of them, then I would have completed the request tasked of me.”
Lu Chen said, “These swallows only come out in the evening. It is still early, so let’s just rest awhile here.”
Hong Chuan expressed his agreement and looked at Lu Chen. A sincere expression appeared on his face as he expressed his gratitude, “Brother Lu, you have really did me a great favor this time. I am thankful to you.”
Lu Chen smiled and waved his hands, gesturing him to spare with the formalities.
The two of them sat on the mountain and chatted idly about everything. Unknowingly, the sun had started to set and the skies started to turn slightly yellow. At this moment, a bizarre ruckus could be heard from the chasm, as though a commotion had broken out.
Hong Chuan’s eyes lit up. He stood immediately, then he reached out into his embrace and took out a light net. Lu Chen glanced at it and it seemed to be the net fishermen used for fishing.
Hong Chuan turned to Lu Chen and said, “It is fortunate that I was careful to keep this treasure close to me, that’s why I didn’t lose it. Otherwise, it would be difficult to catch those agile swallows.”
“Oh?” Lu Chen’s curiosity arose. From the words of it, the mysterious net in Hong Chuan’s hands seemed to be extraordinary. Thus, he started to study it carefully from a distance.
Hong Chuan didn’t stop him. Holding the mysterious net, he walked to the edge of the cliff and gazed downward as he waited solemnly.