Lu Chen stares at the lady before him. Under the morning rays, her snow-white skin and slightly flushed face makes her look like the most beautiful peach blossom in the world. Enchanting and alluring, she exudes a charm that dazzles others.
After a short moment, he nods his head, “Alright, I’ll bring you there.”
Ding Dang cheers as she tugs on Lu Chen’s sleeves happily. Her eyes twinkle with warmth as she smiles, “Thank you, I knew that you were a good person!”
Lu Chen smiles at her words and continues, “The Dragon Lake is on the west foothill behind the tea mountain. We will take at least four hours to get there. Do you want to make some preparations f, or should we set off now?”
Ding Dang clenches her fist excitedly and anxiously, “Let’s set off now!”
The tea mountain isn’t a towering mountain. Looking at it from the foot of the mountain, it looks ordinary. However, as the adage goes, a horse who runs towards the mountain dies of exhaustion. The moment you start walking up the mountains, the feeling turns completely different. This is especially so for Lu Chen and Ding Dang, who is in the midst of treading up the mountain now. Given how they aren’t cultivators, making them no different from ordinary humans, it is difficult for them to walk up the mountainous paths.
Of the two, Lu Chen’s physical body is clearly much stronger than Ding Dang’s. On the way upwards along the mountainous paths, his footsteps are light. Furthermore, as he is familiar with the roads on the tea mountain, he freely brought Ding Dang around the countless labyrinth-like intersections along the mountainous path.
On the other hand, although Ding Dang was spirited at the start, after an hour of walking, her face slowly pales and beads of perspiration flows profusely down her face. Her breathing slowly deepens. Just by a look, it is clear to see that she has never done menial labor or ran long distances in her life.
After walking a little further, Lu Chen sees that Ding Dang is about to collapse, so he stops to grant her a moment of breather. Without a second word, Ding Dang finds a rock by the path and sits limply on it while gasping for air.
Lu Chen shakes his head and says, “How can you walk up the mountain in your state? Should we head back down?”
Although Ding Dang’s face is frighteningly pale, she is persistent on this matter. She resolutely shakes her head and says, “There’s no need for that. I will be fine after resting for a moment.”
Lu Chen shrugs.
After resting for around a tea’s time, Ding Dang stands up and towards Lu Chen, who is sitting by her side, she says, “Let’s continue.”
Thus, the two of them continue to advance ahead. The mountainous wind blows and the tea trees cloaking the mountain rustles, creating a sight reminiscent of a green ocean.
Ding Dang’s stamina is mediocre. On the journey afterwards, she would be fatigued to the point of being unable to move after a short distance. Lu Chen could only stop along with her so that she could rest to regain some strength. Due to the frequent stops, much time was wasted. Initially, going by Lu Chen’s estimations, he expected to reach the Dragon Lake within four hours. However, due to the unexpected delays, they only caught sight of the calm lake on the top of the mountain after half a day of effort.
Despite having so much time of his wasted, Lu Chen remains patient throughout the journey. From the start to the end, he never got frustrated at Ding Dang. On the other hand, Ding Dang feels embarrassed and apologised repeatedly to Lu Chen along the way, but Lu Chen simply responded with a smile.
Lu Chen was a little surprised that Ding Dang could persevere all the way to the Dragon Lake, and his opinion of her improved. When they are finally by the lake, he points to the calm water surface and says to her, “This is the Dragon Lake.”
Taking two steps forward, Ding Dang feels a cooling mountainous breeze that carries some humidity caressing her face. She couldn’t resist taking a deep breath and satisfaction, along with pleasure, appears on her face.
She is about to proceed further ahead when Lu Chen suddenly pulls her from behind, startling her. She turns around and asks, “Why?”
Lu Chen glances at the Dragon Lake in the distant and says, “Don’t get too close to the lake.”
Ding Dang asks, “Why?”
Lu Chen replies, “I have heard someone say that there is a peculiar fish in the Dragon Lake. It is of massive size and something is off about it. It is possible that it could hurt someone.”
Ding Dang widens her eyes and asks, “Did you see it?”
Lu Chen shakes his head and says, “I heard of it from someone. I came here a few times but have yet to seen it.”
Ding Dang couldn’t resist chuckling, “Then, you still believe in the rumors?”
Lu Chen shrugs with a smile, “Who knows. Anyway, the scenery can be seen from afar as well. It would be best not to approach the lakeside.”
“Un.” Ding Dang nods her head and looks at Lu Chen. “Lu Chen, thanks for bringing me up here. I will be fine alone from now on, you should return first.”
Lu Chen is taken aback. Bewildered, he asks, “What? Then how will you get down from here?”
Ding Dang waves her hands and smiles, “I am not a child. I can find my own way back. I would like some time to myself, so you should go back first.”
Lu Chen went silent for a moment. He looks up at the sky and says, “It is no longer early, so by the time you get down the mountain, it could already be night. It would be harder to find your way then, are you sure you can manage?”
Ding Dang hesitates for a moment, but her face is still determined. She nods her head vigorously and says, “I will be fine, don’t worry. I just want to have a private moment here.”
Lu Chen stares at her for a moment and chooses not to say anything about it. He simply nods his head and replies, “Alright then, take care.” After which, he turns around to walk back down on the path he came from.
Ding Dang watches as his back gradually miniaturizes and a complicated expression flashes across her face. It seems to contain a tinge of warmth, gentleness and apology. However, she soon turns around and continues gazing at the tranquil lake.
Yet, at this moment, footsteps sound from her back again. Ding Dang turns around and she is taken aback. It is Lu Chen returning back here. Lu Chen walks towards her with big strides and stuffs something into Ding Dang’s hands.
Ding Dang lowers her head to take a look, it is an ignitable paper roll. Then, she hears Lu Chen’s flat voice, “If it is dark by the time you walk down the mountain and you find yourself lost, find a few logs and light them up. Then, wave them in the direction towards the foot of the mountain. If you’re lucky, I might come and fetch you if I happen to catch sight of it. However, if I have forgotten about it or if I have already slept, then you can only blame yourself for your ill-luck.”
Ding Dang closes gently closes her fingers and grabs the ignitable paper roll in her palm. Then, she lifts her gaze and stares at Lu Chen as emotions ripple in her eyes. After a short moment, she flashes a charming smile and nods her head, “Alright!”
Lu Chen chuckles and turns around to leave. This time, he doesn’t turn back. It didn’t take him long to disappear for him to disappear into the distance.
Ding Dang stares at the back of that man as it slowly fades. Her eyes twinkle, and it is hard to tell what thoughts are lingering in her mind right now.
…a horse who runs towards the mountain dies of exhaustion. (看山跑死马)
The saying comes from the idea that the mountain is huge, so even though it is in sight, if you try to approach it, you will realise that it is still a far distant away.
It means that even though something may seem easy, it is actually difficult to carry out.
Really looking for an editor :X I like my work to be on standard, but recently I’m finding myself at a loss on trying to translate some imagery/phrases. It’s like on the tip of the tongue but due to my low level of cultivation, I’m unable to extract it >: