Chapter 99: Departure
Finally, Han Li entered the village, advancing step by step.
As he walked through the village entrance, he heard a burst of joyous sounds from musical instruments. Strangely, not a single person could be seen as he walked through the village’s small streets.
Han Li’s heart stirred. The empty streets and the joyous sounds were memories from his childhood that he couldn’t be more familiar with. This was clearly someone’s wedding celebration. Everyone in the village would celebrate and join in on the fun.
Han Li lifted his spirits and slowly spread out his spiritual awareness. By doing so, he discovered that both young and old had gathered together at the village center as he expected. However, the place they had gathered at felt so familiar to Han Li. Was this not the house where he had lived?
Han Li was surprised by no small amount.
“Could it be…?” Han Li had a faint guess at last.
He sped up his pace, hastily passing by many households and turning many corners until he saw the sight the before him.
Several hundred villagers were surrounding an earthen courtyard.
Inside the courtyard, there were many tile-roofed houses that were in better condition than the houses nearby. A large banner with celebratory words hung from each entrance. In addition, there was a small group of instrumental performers that was making quite a bit of noise at the front of the courtyard.
There were some villagers who stood, others who crouched, and a few who were not paying attention and simply sitting on the ground. Gathered into groups of three and four, they whispered and sometimes engaged in heated arguments. Some continued to look at the courtyard with envy.
In addition, there were many children joyfully chasing one another under adult supervision.
Seeing this familiar scene, Han Li’s mind was distracted for a time. In this split second, it was as if he had returned to his childhood from long ago and was with the other children, chasing them while making lots of noise.
“Zeze! The Han Family’s fourth daughter truly has good fortune. I heard the husband is a state official from the city, a truly studious and scholarly individual.”
(TL: “zeze”- the sound of a tongue clicking.)
“Truly? And she is going to be his legal wife? She’s going to have the status of an official’s wife!”
(TL: Legal wife as opposed to being a concubine.)
“I heard that the Han Family had delivered a frighteningly large dowry: several dozen taels of snowflake silver!”
“They are truly wealthy!”
The village women’s noisy gossiping roused Han Li from his stupor.
“The Han Family’s fourth daughter? Isn’t that my little sister?! Could it truly be the day of my little sister’s wedding?” Han Li felt a burst of vague emotions continuously surging inside him.
Though what he thought remained a mystery, Han Li hid behind a large nearby tree several steps away, attentively and unwaveringly staring at the courtyard gate.
Suddenly, someone shouted from a distance, “The sedan chair has arrived! The groom has come to receive the bride!”
(TL: “花车” literally means “decorated carriage”. Nowadays, it refers to parade floats.)
Upon hearing these words, the villagers were in an uproar, instantly becoming a boiling cauldron of voices!
“The bride has emerged!”
“The bride has emerged! Quickly come and see!”
The clamoring even surpassed that of the shrilling children. Han Li’s spirit shook as he fervently continued to watch the courtyard gate.
Creak. The wooden courtyard gate opened. More than a dozen men and women came out, escorting a young woman wearing a red wedding dress in between them.
This young woman’s chin was sharp, and her appearance was graceful, belonging to a girl 16 or 17 years old. At this moment, her face was bashful.
Han Li widely opened his eyes and attentively observed this young woman’s appearance, trying to find some resemblance with the little sister from his memories.
Aside from her general facial appearance and the corner of her eyes, he found no other trace of familiarity from his olden days. The rest of her appearance could no longer be associated with the little sister from his memories.
“Sigh! A girl changes eight times from childhood to womanhood. These words truly makes sense!” Han Li bitterly smiled and then swept his gaze to the people at her side.
“This fatty is third uncle. I can already tell who he is with a single look. He’s just as fat as before!”
“That large tanned person at the side is Eldest Brother Han Tie. That woman close to his side should be his wife!”
Han Li’s mouth muttered as he called their names out one by one. This somehow made him relax a little.
When his gaze fell upon an old gray-haired couple, Han Li ceased speaking.
Motionless, he blankly stood behind the tree. His expression became extremely complicated.
Among these emotions included happiness, timidness, and bewilderment.
His parents had aged far greater than Han Li had anticipated. When he had gone up the mountains, he remembered that his mother’s hair was jet-black color. However, all of her hair was ash-colored now. In addition, his father’s originally straight back was now hunched over.
Han Li remained speechless, while his mind became dizzy like a ball of paste. Because of everything that had occurred, he didn’t notice that it was already dawn.
By the time he cleared his head, his little sister had already sat in the red silk sedan chair and carried off into the distance. Following closely behind was a scholar mounted on a large cyan horse.
Han Li focused his sight to look at the sedan chair that was moving further away. He gazed at his parents in the crowd, and then closed his eyes.
After he had deeply engraved the appearances of his parents and several kin into his heart, he turned around. His face expressed unwavering determination as he walked toward the village’s exit with large strides.
Han Li knew that if he were to walk across the village entrance once more, he would come across these people and spend the rest of his life here.
He clearly knew that ever since he had gained insights in the Eternal Spring Arts and learned about the existence of Immortal cultivation, he had walked on a path completely different from that of ordinary mortals.
Regardless of whether there would be misfortune or happiness, prosperity or hardship, he would never regret his choice!