But three miles away it was a different village, five miles away there were different customs.
There were many strange things in this world.
Lei Zhonglian pulled his surprised gaze away and focused on Miss Jun.
Miss Jun was being carried on this man’s back. That indicated that she could not walk herself.
She was injured on the mountains.
"Young Lady," he shouted, rushing forward to get her.
"These are your family’s people?" the woodcutter asked again.
"Yes, these are my family’s people," Miss Jun affirmed.
When he heard Miss Jun’s confirmation, Lei Zhonglian walked even quicker, but the man raised a hand at him.
"Slow down." His eyes were sharp. "Money in exchange for the person."
This time, his words were much clearer than before, but he was still biting onto the branch.
Lei Zhonglian and Fang Chengyu’s expressions immediately changed.
Was he a kidnapper or a mountain bandit?
"It’s fine," said Miss Jun at their shocked faces. She smiled. "I injured my foot on the mountain. This woodcutter helped me down. I promised him ten taels of silver as a reward."
So it was like that.
He was a woodcutter?
Fang Chengyu and Lei Zhonglian’s eyes turned again to the man.
A grass rope, a hatchet, a wild rabbit.
"What are you looking at," said the man impatiently. "If you look at me again, you'll have to pay for it."
What is this guy saying…
Lei Zhonglian looked slightly embarrassed.
"Uncle Lei, give him the money," said Fang Chengyu. With a smile, he said respectfully to the man, "Many thanks for the help, Uncle."
The man looked at Fang Chengyu, raised his eyebrows, then looked at Lei Zhonglian.
"You child, your legs are bad, but could it be your eyes are no good either?" he asked. He pointed at himself, then pointed at Lei Zhonglian. "How could a confident, handsome, and vigorous youth look the same age as that uncle standing over there?"
Lei Zhonglian looked at the self-proclaimed youth in front of him, his expression put upon.
‘Does this mountain man’s brain have a problem?’ he thought.
Although he had read lots of books which were written about all kinds of people, he really did meet an astonishing person.
‘As expected, the words on paper lack flavor’, Fang Chengyu decided.
This man of youth did not look at him again. He turned his head unhappily to look at Miss Jun on his back.
Because he suddenly let go of her again, Miss Jun had started sliding down his back. She had an arm hooked around his neck.
"Can you stop taking me for cheap?" he said. "If you’re like this, I demand more money."
Miss Jun sighed internally. She raised the hand hooked around his neck and braced herself against her shoulder and pushed. She neatly fell onto the ground.
Fang Chengyu could not help but cry out, "Uncle Lei!"
Lei Zhonglian was about to step forward.
But the man took out his hatchet and placed it on Miss Jun’s shoulder.
Fang Chengyu sat up straight, Lei Zhonglian stiffened and gripped the wooden stick in his hand tightly.
"What are you going to do?" shouted Lei Zhonglian. "Just try touching our family’s young miss."
Unease flickered in Fang Chengyu’s eyes.
He was about to speak when the man laughed. Because he was holding a branch between his teeth, his smile looked grotesque.
"What happens if I do?" he said dangerously, flipping the hatchet in his hand.
Fang Chengyu grabbed his crutches. Lei Zhonglian heard a buzzing in his head. He could hear the sound of his muscles tightening.
But this was no place of bloodshed.
The man flipped the hatchet again. He used the back of his hand to nudge Miss Jun’s head.
"I touched her. What can you do about it?" he asked Lei Zhonglian seriously.
Lei Zhonglian did not know what kind of expression he should be wearing.
The man spat out the tr
ee branch in his mouth. A smiled crooked the corners of his mouth.
"You, a little cripple who hasn’t grown any facial hair, and a useless person who learned the dual spear wielding but has no strength in his right arm. Where did such bravery come to treat me so impolitely?" he said slowly.
His clear voice, when raised or when speaking quickly resembled a joyfully bubbling mountain spring. It infected people with its joy, but because of this cheerfulness, it was somewhat unsteady.
But at this moment, his slow tone was infected with darkness, immediately releasing killing intent.
Lei Zhonglian shuddered, panic in his eyes.
It wasn’t because of his tone that he was shocked. Rather, it was because he pointed out his old skill.
Right then, all he did was walk forward with the wooden stick, and he was seen through.
This feeling was blood chilling and hair raising.
Could it be that he was someone who knew their details?
"Okay," said Miss Jun gently, breaking the stagnant atmosphere. "Uncle Lei, give this big brother the money."
Fang Chengyu also addressed him warmly.
"Big Brother, it was my mistake. I shouldn’t use clothes to judge the person. When I saw you wearing such simple clothing, I treated you as a senior," he said, and then nodded at Lei Zhonglian. "Please give this big brother the money."
Lei Zhonglian stiffly walked over to where the man was standing and took out a money pouch.
The man took it. He squeezed the hatchet between his armpit, upended the bag and weighed it in his hands.
"Big Brother, take it and go. We have put you through a lot of trouble," said Fang Chengyu.
The woodcutter scoffed.
"What do you take me for? Could I be a bandit or some hoodlum?" he said. He diligently took out ten taels, then threw the rest back to Lei Zhonglian. "How much we said is what I’ll take. I’ll cheat neither the old nor young."
At this, he turned to go.
He walked honestly, without any hint of deceit, so Lei Zhonglian relaxed marginally. But Miss Jun called out to him.
"Noble Son," she said.
The man stopped and turned around.
"What I spoke of, have you thought about it?" said Miss Jun, looking at his chest. The Immortal Ziying Plant was stashed away there. "I can give you the price you want."
She gestured at Lei Zhonglian and Fang Chengyu.
"Just like you said, we are a weak girl, an ill body, and a destroyed skill. For us to travel like this, we definitely must have some capital. I can give you any price you want."
Any price. This was no small promise.
At Miss Jun’s words, Fang Chengyu’s expression remained calm without any suspicion. Lei Zhonglian’s face was wooden and uncaring.
The man smiled.
"Young lady, there are some things that money can’t buy. Don’t feel like I’m bullying you. If you want to talk common sense, you are not part of Heaven’s edicts."
He did not wait for her to say anything more. He swaggered off, soon disappearing into the mountain forest.
Disappointment showed on Miss Jun’s face as she watched his retreating back.
Yes, she would have fallen to her death down the cliff when she grabbed the Immortal Ziying Plant.
Now the plant was no more, buther life was preserved.
This should be one of life's inevitabilities.
Just like the five thousand taels she lost at the Lantern Festival.
Nothing was nothing. What could be obtained must be let go. Miss Jun propped herself up on the ground.
When Lei Zhonglian confirmed that the man was out of sight, he let down his guard. Only the layer of sweat on his back was left. He rushed forward to help Miss Jun.
"How are you?" asked Fang Chengyu, looking at Miss Jun.
"I'm fine. It's just a superficial wound," she said. She lifted up her skirt and pulled off her sock and shoe.
Lei Zhonglian hastily moved his gaze away. He heard Miss Jun ask for clean water and medicine from the carriage.
While he was going there, Miss Jun took out the herbs Fang Chengyu needed and gave them to him to steep.
Fang Chengyu watched Miss Jun wrap her wound.
Her ankle was exposed, showing the gash and underlying flesh.
"Does it hurt?" he asked.
This seemed like nonsense, but sometimes people wanted to ask questions they already knew the answer to. It was a way to alleviate their pain, to take it onto yourself.
"If my foot hurt it would be better," he said.
Miss Jun smiled at him while washing off the wound.
"Wouldn't your foot hurt?" she asked.
Fang Chengyu looked at her.
"I am used to pain. A little more pain is nothing," he said.