He had turned off all of his communication devices, and separated himself from the rest of the world.
Alone, he entered from Qi Lu and ran towards the west of China.
In reality, he did not know where he was going nor what he wanted to do.
He had experienced a bloody battle on the pacific ocean and even beat Divine Lord Jiu Xiao to a pulp.
It all seemed like a dream.
Even obtaining the sword seemed like a fantasy.
It was like his entire being was in a trance and drifting through consciousness.
He did not know whether to laugh or cry.
In the end, he looked into the horizon, and saw that deep inside a huge mountain, there was smoke rising up.
There was a small and quiet village there.
Chu Yu descended from the sky and walked towards the village.
This small village, hidden in one of the most rural mountainous areas of the west of China, was a small one with a population of just over ten families.
In this day and age, there should not have been anything that would allow one to label it as remote.
Decades ago, a high speed railway was already built, and it connected the country like a giant spider web.
To travel from the South to the North of China no longer took a day, even taking the furthest route required only a few hours.
Especially so in this era of cultivation, as long as one had some level of ability, once he moved at his maximum velocity, he could reach astonishing speeds.
But there were always places in the world that remained secluded, just like the peach blossom garden famously chronicled by Poet Tao Yuan Ming in his work, The Peach Blossom Spring.
These places seemed to have no connection to the outside world.
And this was the feeling Chu Yu got when he reached this remote region.
No matter what changes the outside world was undergoing, this place remained quiet and peaceful.
But from an outsider’s point of view, this place could seem poor and left behind- there was no electricity here even in the modern era.
The water they consumed was also from the springs in the mountains, which were conserved in a pond after they flowed down from the mountain tops.
When Chu Yu came here, he looked very haggard.
Even though his face was still fairly pleasant, his hair was a bunch of white.
His clothes looked torn and tattered as he had not changed since the battle.
With clothes like rags and hair as white as powder, he looked like a homeless beggar.
A small boy, about the age of seven or eight, with short hair and big bright eyes was playing with his yellow dog.
The dog looked at Chu Yu from afar and began barking, with a fearful expression in it’s eyes.
The boy looked up and looked at Chu Yu with eyes full of curiosity.
There were only a handful of people who lived in the village, and he did not recognized who this old man with a head full of white hair was.
"Old Gramps, did you come from the outside?" the boy asked curiously.
Was he calling me?
Chu Yu looked at his own white hair and moved his lips slightly, but did not talk.
At this moment, the little boy’s mother, a young woman in her twenties, stuck her head out of the window and looked at Chu Yu, surprised and stunned.
"You’re from the outside?" she asked.
Her skin was dark and rough, but she was not ugly, and there were remnants of flour stuck to her rough hands.
She looked at Chu Yu and said, "Are you hungry? I’m making some noodles now, I can give you a bowl of them in a bit!".
"Mum, do we even have enough for ourselves?" the boy asked with an unwilling expression on his face.
Noodles were precious as the adults could only leave this place twice or thrice a year to bring some goods back.
This flour was of high quality- one could make noodles from it and steam buns as well.
The thought of it was salivating.
Chu Yu refused by shaking his head and turned away.
The woman looked at Chu Yu with eyes of sympathy as he walked away. She knew he was not an old man as he possessed the facial features of a teenager. But his white hair left her puzzled.
A rugged voice sounded from the inside of the house, "Who’s that?".
The woman replied, "Someone from the outside.".
A young and muscular man in his late twenties emerged from the house .
He had big eyes and looked strong. Standing beside the woman, he furrowed his brows and looked at Chu Yu, who was walking away.
"An old man?" he asked.
The woman replied, "Its a young man, his face was quite dashing actually.".
The man laughed and tapped the woman’s bum, and he said, "Moved your heart?".
She glared at him and said, "He is quite pitiful actually.".
"The world is full of pitiful people, you’ve never been to the outside so you wouldn’t know…" the man said as he shook his head.
Chu Yu could hear the conversation between the two clearly, but he did not pay particular attention to it.
He continued walking in a daze.
The village was especially small, even if one walked slowly, he would reach the other end in about seven to eight minutes.
Chu Yu came to the end of the village, where there was a large reservoir.
An old man was fishing at the side of the reservoir.
A large black dog was by his side.
As Chu Yu approached, the dog spotted him and started barking as it had never seen him before.
"Woof… Woof!" it barked with fear as it could sense Chu Yu’s power with its instincts.
The old man turned around and looked at Chu Yu. He thought Chu Yu was an old beggar at first, but after looking closely, he realised that Chu Yu was a young man with white hair.
Surprised, he pointed at the bench beside him and asked, "Do you want to sit down?".
Chu Yu sat down beside him.
"You’re from an outside village?" The old man asked.
Chu Yu nodded.
"You… can’t speak?" He asked again.
Chu Yu shook his head.
The old man sighed and continued, "At an age so young, what problem is there in your head that you can’t find an answer to? How did you end up like this?".
Chu Yu did not answer.
The old man said, "There are some empty houses in the village, I’ll get someone to look one up for you, you should just stay here!".
He sighed again and took out a box of cigarettes. He offered Chu Yu a stick, which Chu Yu declined, and lighted one in his mouth and indulged in a puff.
"The young people in the village, almost all of them went away, it’s much emptier now. The younger girls all said something about being able to cultivate and become immortals, and they all left as well." said the old man.
Chu Yu sat there quietly without saying a word. Seeing a fish moving in the water, he pointed it out to the old man.
The old man lifted his rod, and a large carp appeared as it flailed wildly.
The old man laughed and said, "That’s dinner for tonight! Now that I think of it, this reservoir has been here for ages! From the Ming Dynasty, when our ancestors moved here, this reservoir was already here. The water’s deep enough for the fish to survive winter, that’s why the fish here are big, but they’re all so picky, they usually won’t go for the bait. Young man, you must have some good luck!".
The old man unhooked the fish and threw it into the cage full of jumping fish.
The black dog sat there guarding it, still staring at Chu Yu fearfully.
The old man was quite happy, on normal days, there were never visitors in this village for a few years at least.
People from the outside must have had various insights, so the old man was glad to engage in conversation.
"Seeing you like this, something must have happened at home right? You must learn to look at the world with an open mind, there’s nothing that can’t be overcome in this world." said the old man as he continued smoking his cigarette, holding it with his thin and wrinkled hands.
He continued. "My partner left me a few years ago, when she was still here, she was quite annoying actually! She had long hair but was short on experiences in the world. Hey, your hair is pretty long too, young man, why would you keep such long hair?".
The old man stopped halfway, noticed Chu Yu’s long white hair, and carried on speaking, "Its a good thing I know how to shave heads, when we go back I’ll help you shave your head, then your new hair would be black again!".
He started talking about his life again, "When she was still here, she would nag at me endlessly. She would always want to gossip. But now that she’s gone, my heart feels so empty, I miss her nagging and her noodles…".
The old man had wanted to encourage Chu Yu, but somehow, he began going on about himself, and now there was a sad expression on his wrinkled face.
The fishing line sank into the water, and the old man immediately tried to lift the rod up.
As the fishing rod began bending, the old man exclaimed, "We’re in luck today!".
The tension in the line was audible.
The black dog got excited and began walking about, still steering clear of Chu Yu.
The old man tussled with the fish for a long time, and when he finally triumphed over it, a humongous carp emerged from the water.
"We can roast it!" said the old man as he threw it into the cage.
"That’s definitely enough now, let’s go young man, we have to live fulfillingly!".
After saying this, he grabbed his rod with one hand, and with the cage in his other hand, he stood there and looked at Chu Yu.
Chu Yu stood up and followed behind him.
Satisfied, the old man nodded his head and talked to Chu Yu as they walked, "When I was young, the state sent some volunteers here to teach us. Let me tell you, my teacher then was so beautiful! My only wish then was to grow up and marry someone as pretty as her. But it was a pity, she only taught here for three years or so and contracted some blood disease… What was it again? Leukemia was it? She died here, and we buried her in a grave on the top of the mountain. The grave is now full of flowers all planted by me. What do you think? Why did such a good person not live a long life? Don’t be sad young man, you will definitely live for a long time…".
Two days later, the old man dragged Chu Yu to introduce him to some of the other villagers.
"This cultured and learned man is from the outside, from today onwards, he will be your teacher!" proclaimed the old man.
A group of small kids, along with their parents, stared curiously at this handsome man with a shaved head.
"Is he a monk?" asked a little girl.
"He must be!" another boy said.
The only one who was suspicious was the young boy he had met on the first day.
"Wasn’t this the old man I saw that day? Why did he shave his head? He converted and became a monk? He doesn’t look that old.." the young boy thought to himself.
The mother of the boy asked, "Village Chief, he’s a mute, how can he teach?".
The old man replied, "Who said he was a mute? He can speak!".
He turned and confirmed what he had just said with Chu Yu, "Young man, say something will you?".
"Yeah," Chu Yu said as he nodded his head.
As a result, this nameless small village had a new member, a dashing new member that delighted the young women of the village and put the men on red alert.