For some unknown reasons, Ding Dang’s heart skipped a beat. She looked at her palms and there were two beautiful and radiant Spirit Stones on it, reflecting brilliant light into the surroundings. What seemed to be a faint light of a rainbow lingered around the Spirit Stone, making it look even more enchanting.
Lu Chen tugged on Ding Dang’s clothes with a bright smile on his face. Ding Dang lowered her head and hesitated for a moment before eventually walking slowly behind him into the room.
The gentle spring breeze that seemed like a lover’s hand gently caressed the mountains and the village. The trees, flowers and grass within the courtyard trembled slightly. There were still remains of glistening dew on the corners of the flower petal.
After the panting died down, under the gentle and soft blanket, they lied peacefully on the bed. Everything beyond the room seemed to have been isolated to a faraway dimension, as though they were the only two remaining in the world.
Exceptionally peaceful and tranquil.
Ding Dang sat up slowly. Using the blanket to cover the skin from her chest down, she leaned on the wall by the bed, traces of red still lingering on her face. Her gaze was gentle like the flowing water. Then, she noticed the three paintings hung on the opposite wall.
She stared at those paintings. After a long time, some change occurred in her eyes. Suddenly, she felt something and lowered her head to take a look, only to see that the man beside her had turned over to stare at her.
“What are you looking at me for?” Ding Dang asked.
Lu Chen chuckled. He gently fondled Ding Dang’s cheeks and sincerely said, “You are really beautiful.”
Ding Dang bit her lips for a moment and smiled. She seemed a little happy, but her eyes gazed towards the opposite wall again. After a short moment, she mutters, “Lu Chen.”
“I don’t want this anymore.”
Lu Chen glanced at her and smiled, “I don’t understand. What do you not want?”
Ding Dang took a deep breath and replied, “I don’t want you giving me Spirit Stones and me sleeping with you.”
The smile on Lu Chen’s face faded. However, he didn’t seem to be furious. He stared silently at Ding Dang and after a moment, he asked, “You mean that, you do not want to use your own body to trade for Spirit Stones anymore?”
Ding Dang nodded her head, “Yes.”
“Oh.” Lu Chen said, “Alright, I get it.” Then, he climbed up, grabbed his clothes by the side and wore them.
Ding Dang was still leaning by the wall as she stared at him blankly. After Lu Chen was done putting on his clothes, he turned around to look at Ding Dang and hesitated for a moment, “Can you tell me the reason behind your sudden decision?”
Ding Dang shook her head solemnly.
Lu Chen smiled, “You can’t produce anything and you don’t have any other means of earning Spirit Stones. How do you intend to earn the remaining Spirit Stones?”
Ding Dang pursed her lips and muttered, “I have my own ways.”
“Alright.” Lu Chen shrugged his shoulders and walked toward the door. In the midst of this motion, his gaze swept across the white walls of the room and lingered for a moment on the three paintings. Then, he turned toward Ding Dang and commented, “You are quite beautiful in those paintings.”
Ding Dang burst into laughter. Her white shoulders hugged the blanket even more tightly to cover her chests. As she laughed, a surge of joy rushed through her and her laughter grew louder and louder. Eventually, when Lu Chen was about to step out of the entrance, he heard her shouting, “Thank you.”
Lu Chen’s footsteps halted. He turned around and smiled toward the one in the house, “There’s no need to thank me. I also enjoy being with you.”
After which, he waved his hands and leaved with large strides.
Inside the house, Ding Dang stared at the back view of the leaving man. She bit her lips as her smile slowly disappeared. Then, she pulled the blanket even closer, covering her body tightly, as though she felt cold.
There weren’t any other customers in the tavern. Thus, Lu Chen sat at the opposite to the shopkeeper, Old Ma. Old Ma poured a cup of wine for him and said, “I don’t think that there is anything going on.”
Lu Chen glanced at him and said, “What do you mean?”
Old Ma slightly adjusted himself to move his plump body into a more comfortable position before replying, “About the event over the insignia of the Three Realm Divine Cults, even though I have found quite a few suspicious people, I have looked into them these few days and it seems to be unrelated to them.”
Lu Chen nodded his head. He grabbed the wine cup in front of him and drank a mouthful. After a moment of silence, he suddenly asked, “What about the new villager Li Ji?”
Old Ma shook his head and said, “He isn’t related to the demonic cult. He is a mere mortal.”
“Oh.” Lu Chen responded. For some reason, he appeared to trust Old Ma’s words a lot. Even though he may look peaceful on the surface, there seemed to be a tinge of gloominess on him.
Old Ma didn’t notice it and continued, “However, speaking of this Li Ji, there seems to be a few rumors on him recently. It is said that he isn’t from a normal family, but a distinguished one. Initially, his family was extremely rich but after the several accidents, his family fell into decline and ended up in the current state it is in.”
Lu Chen frowned as he gazed at Old Ma, “Distinguished?”
Old Ma chuckled, “That is what the rumors say. It is probably true as well. Li Ji may not skilled in anything else, but his skills with qin qi shu hua is one to behold. Right, it is said that he himself once claimed that in the past, due to the great wealth of his family, his family is acquainted with quite a few cultivator sects. Once, an elder of a sect did him a favor, checked on his roots and said that they were are extraordinary. Not only is his Five Element Spirit Compass in his spirit sea suitable for cultivation, of the Five Element Divine Pillar, he possesses both the metal and water pillar, otherwise known as the rarely seen Jinshui Lingmai.”
Zither, chess, calligraphy and painting
Jinshui Lingmai -> Metal water bloodline
Lu Chen released his grip on the wine cup on the table. He smiled, but didn’t reply to Old Ma’s words and a look of contemplation appeared on his face.
Old Ma paid no heed and continued, “Thus, it has been spreading around in the village that as long this Li gongzi gathers 1000 Spirit Stones and pays a visit to the Immortal Discerning Mirror in the Thousand Autumn Doors, he would definitely be accepted as a qinchuan disciple.”
Gongzi -> ~Gentleman
Qinchuan disciple -> Refers to a disciple who would learn from one of the higher tiers directly
Lu Chen pondered for a moment before asking, “That is to say, that Li Ji isn’t an ordinary person?”
“Isn’t that so?” Old Ma smiled. “Right now, there are quite a few people who are busy boot licking him, especially those ladies. They surround him all day long frenziedly. Sigh, he is young and handsome, not to mention his underlying talent. How envious.”
Lu Chen smiled. He pushed the wine cup forward and requested, “Wine.”
When the sky darkened, Lu Chen walked on the bluestone pavement by the clear stream. The night breeze felt a little chilly. Under the night sky, the clear stream reflected a different view from the day. The water that glimmered in between the shadows of the trees looked like shards of mirror. The crystal clear water shined as it reflected every single ray of light.
Qin qi shu hua
Zither, chess, calligraphy and painting.
This is known as the four greatest art an academic must be skilled in. It is indicative of a person’s upbringing (People who are skilled in these are said to be more cultured)
The chess in it refers to both Chinese Chess and Go (also known as Wei Qi in Chinese)
Refers to a disciple who would learn from one of the higher tiers directly due to their overwhelming talent. Unlike other disciples, who probably only has access to ‘public and basic skills’, they would tend to be privy to the secret arts within the sect (Often depending on their own master)