Chapter 319 - A Belated Reunion
Ai Hui was in a daze at Swordsman Training Hall.
He had been awarded with an absolute art for metal elementalists, a Heaven-grade weapon, a thousand essence elemental beans and a thousand Heaven Merit Points.
The Elders Guild’s rewards petrified Ai Hui, not because it was too little, but because it was too much. Ai Hui instinctively felt something was wrong with the rich rewards.
One who was unaccountably solicitous was hiding evil intentions.
There was no free lunch. What lied behind such abundant awards must certainly be a big pitfall. A lot of things were beyond his expectations. For example, Miao Hai’s avengers didn’t come after him, and the awards of the Elders Guild were even more of an anomaly.
He hardly had any contacts with the Elders Guild.
Ai Hui was quite bewildered. Suddenly, he was disturbed and came to his sense.
There was a burst of commotion at the gate while a bunch of people rushed toward him.
Ai Hui was refreshed. Finally!
He whispered, "Lou Lan, get ready!"
Lou Lan nodded vigorously, "Ai Hui, Lou Lan is ready."
As long as Miao Hai hadn’t made any further moves, Ai Hui couldn’t feel relieved. He didn't believe at all that the manipulator behind Miao Hai would accept being defeated so easily.
Ai Hui was not worried about the retaliation attacks. What was worrying was the lack of them.
Now at his own training hall, he didn’t even have to feign defeat.
Ai Hui picked up his Dragonspine and was ready to encounter the enemy.
However, when he saw clearly the first person breaking in, he came to a halt. Because the one in front of him looked familiar, but for a while he couldn’t recall where he had seen him before. After Ai Hui saw the second person coming in, he paused again, as he found that this guy was familiar to him as well.
The excited calls came one after another, which suddenly made Au Hui recall his memory. He finally realized why they looked so familiar.
For a moment, his memory was drawn back to the city soaked in blood, where he could still smell the smoke of gunpowder and hear the screaming of the people fighting in battle. He felt unspeakably cold and sad, as if being caught in heavy rain for a long time.
After a shiver, those cold feelings and memories faded like tidewater. He came back to reality.
"It’s all over." He told himself.
Those standing in front of him were so excited. Their eyes were filled with tears, reflecting the warmth of sunlight.
Ai Hui smiled.
"You are...Black Ge!"
"You are Ming Feng!"
"Lou Lan, it’s been a long time!"
"Ming Feng, Lou Lan is so happy to see you!"
"So shall we have elemental energy soup today?"
"Of course! Leave it to Lou Lan!"
They hugged and gave high fives to each other. Sweet smiles bloomed on every face.
The noise of dense traffic went on and people constantly joined the reunion.
A high building, not far from Swordsman Training Hall.
"What a warm situation! Compared to those cold, pitiless aristocratic families, this is so much more tender." Tong Gui said with emotion, "Have you recorded it all?"
A subordinate beside him said promptly, "Yes, we arranged enough workhands. Don’t worry, they are all very skilled."
A deep sound emerged from behind the copper mask, "We are responsible for letting everybody know the truth."
"No problem!" a subordinate said reverently, "We have arranged for extra people to get in touch with those survivors and asked them how they felt when Ai Hui was called the murderer of his teacher. They all expressed their rage."
Tong Gui turned his face, "Did you encounter any resistance on taking over the checkpoint?"
Yu Jin said indifferently, "Yes, three people were dead and two wounded."
"So, they should already get the information." Tong Gui nodded and turned his face back, "These mirage bean pods must be sent out today."
"The first batch was already sent out." The subordinate said reverently, "Tomorrow morning they will be on the shelves of all bean pod shops. We have reserved all the best places."
Jiang Wei listened to their talking silently.
"You are promoted."
He heard Tong Gui’s voice.
Jiang Wei came to his senses but didn’t seem happy. He asked in a low voice, "Have you been preparing for this from a long time ago?"
, to be more accurate," Tong Gui corrected him and his voice sounded as deep as the echo in the valley, "Although I don’t want to admit it, to be frank, we are on the disadvantageous side. So we’d better get prepared."
"Why are you doing this?"
"Because we don’t want to give up our future without putting up a fight."
Morning sunshine always brought a stream of coolness. But to those diligent ones who enjoyed the soberness and freshness brought by the cool air, it was the start of an exhilarating day.
Wang Xiaoshan got up early as usual.
This was a habit he’d developed when he was in Central Pine City. Ever since he’d met Ai Hui, he kept being assiduous, even if he was now in charge of military supplies. He worked at a large military warehouse. He could get this popular position thanks to his contribution in the Central Pine City war as well as Shi Xueman’s connection.
Wang Xiaoshan was different from other warehouse managers. He was diligent and kept a low profile, and hardly participated in social engagements. He was so indulged in his earth elemental construction method that many of his men called him "mud manager". He wasn’t mad about the nickname, but was proud of it instead.
His father was a craftsman of mud and it was well-reasoned for him to carry on his father’s career. He knew clearly that he could get this position not because he was competent or outstanding, but because of Shi Xueman’s help.
He had no outstanding merits, just as he couldn’t be a good helper to Ai Hui and other friends in those years. It might be the reason why he indulged in earth elemental construction method. Deep in his heart, he had an unreachable dream to help Ai Hui and other friends by being a master in earth elemental construction method.
Every morning, while breathing the cool air, he would always remind himself that the idea was ridiculous.
Well, it was ridiculous indeed.
He was no longer the teenager who loved playing with mud at that time. Having been a mud manager for three years, he understood many things.
This was a mud pond where mudfish could live, but not dragons.
He might be too pessimistic. Shi Xueman was a good person, he thought. He knew that if Shi Xueman asked for his help, he would never refuse. However, he would not help Shi Xueman of his own initiative, maybe because Iron Lady lacked nothing. He was not sure about that. But the picture of Ai Hui kneeling in the heavy rain was rooted deeply in his head.
He couldn’t figure out why. It was neither sympathy nor admiration. Instead, he thought many things fell on Ai Hui’s shoulders alone, when they should have been dealt with by everybody. Was it a sense of guilt or feeling lost? No, not like that. In fact, he wondered, if he could do more, would the result be any different?
Wang Xiaoshan admitted he was irresolute. Even if three years had passed, he couldn’t feel relieved.
However, irresolute as he was, it shouldn’t impact his daily life.
Like every other day, he came to a bean pod shop that he was familiar with. The boss was placing the new bean pods on shelves. Wang Xiaoshan asked casually, "Any new message bean pods?"
Mirage bean pods were not the only mirage products on the market for long. In the high-end market, film-spitting tortoises, with a higher level of safety and sharpness, had replaced mirage bean pods. Sensing the crisis, the wood elementalists didn’t give up. They had been improving the mirage bean pods, resulting in the exploding bean pod tree, a brand-new breed.
They grafted the traditional bean pod trees onto breeding trees, a kind of tree with strong vitality, and got a newly transformed breed - exploding bean pod trees that could duplicate plentiful mirage bean pods within a short period of time.
An exploding bean pod tree could produce tens of thousands of mirage bean pods, which largely brought down the cost of mirage bean pods. Due to the sharp decline in cost, a new thing was brought out: message bean pod.
At the beginning, people recorded interesting things in life using message bean pods and then sold it in markets. Soon, some people found business opportunities in it, such as the Dragonrise Training Hall. A teaching course from Yang Zhen, the owner of Dragonrise Training Hall, in message bean pods had been sold over four million times, and was still on sale now.
Before long, many professional elementalists emerged, who made a living by recording frontline battle progress, new trends of the Elders Guild and disasters in mirage bean pods. The message bean pods became more and more popular, because common people could afford to buy them due to their low price, and the specialty stores of bean pods were everywhere.
Recently, the popularity of message bean pods gave rise to a professional message-collecting group, called message village. Each message village produced its own message bean pods including several message beans with different contents.
Seeing Wang Xiaoshan, the boss of the bean pods shop smiled warmly and said, "Good morning, Manager! We have new arriving message bean pods. You must check them out. They are definitely going to be popular, for the content was about The Lightning Blade!"
Wang Xiaoshan didn’t expect that, "The Lightning Blade? Ai Hui?"
"No wonder you can be a manager. You can even remember a figure from ages ago!" the boss of the bean pods shop said flatteringly, "He is a controversial figure. In those years, people argued about him drastically. Now they have things to argue about again."
A figure from ages ago… Yes, it’s ages ago.
Wang Xiaoshan said without hesitation, "I will have one of each kind!"
Then he went back to his room hurriedly and shut the door.
In the dark room, he stared at the mirage blankly.
"As agreed by the Elders Guild, I hereby announce that Wang Shouchuan, the deceased teacher of Central Pine Academy, is honored with the title of Master. As a teacher of Central Pine Academy, Master Shouchuan had been working conscientiously with perseverance and consistency for decades. He had played a key role during the battle in Central Pine City. Besides this, the school of thought that he created was unique, unprecedented and meaningful…"
"His great deeds blessed every one of us. And his disciple, Ai Hui, followed in his footsteps and devoted himself to studying his teacher’s theories. He had killed the Sand Sentinel to prevent people in the Peace City from suffering. This is a brilliant contribution. Therefore, Ai Hui is rewarded as follows…"
"An absolute art for metal elementalists, a Heaven-grade weapon, a thousand essence elemental beans and a thousand Heaven Merit Points."
A beautiful woman appeared on the mirage.
A beautiful woman might not be convincing, but she was at least attractive enough to keep people listening. Moreover, the topic itself was hot.
The gorgeous woman talked vividly and movingly.
"The significant award by the Elders Guild is unexpected, but does make sense. Needless to say, Master Wang and his wife earned great achievements. Everyone living in the Avalon of Five Elements should remember the miracle that they created in Central Pine City at the expense of their lives. In those years, Ai Hui earned great achievements on the battlefield as well. After fading out for three years, he reappeared with a lofty stance. As the successor of Master Wang, Ai Hui bears pressure far beyond the amount that his age should take. The rumor of Ai Hui being the murderer of his teacher hurts our hero the most. Just as people in those years shouldn’t forget that Master Wang and his wife fought for the city at the cost of their lives, now we shouldn’t forget as well that when we were isolated, a young hero stood out and led us to fight to the end. At the most crucial moment, he was fearless and bore all the responsibility and criticism. He saved us."
"He is accused of being ruthless for sacrificing his teacher in exchange of this feat. At the same time, he is admired as a tragic hero, who assumes the unbearable heaviness of his fate and lives in seclusion for three years. So, what is the truth? Only the survivors in Central Pine City know. They witnessed the whole process of the miracle in Central Pine City, from the beginning of the crisis to the ending. When the information that Ai Hui was living in seclusion in the Peace City spread, how did those survivors in Central Pine City react to it?"
"We noticed that many survivors in Central Pine City came to visit Ai Hui. We were lucky to record the event of their meeting. There were tears in their eyes. They hugged and sent regards to each other excitingly."
"This is a belated reunion!"
The gorgeous woman in the mirage choked with sobs.
"We also interviewed several survivors in Central Pine City for their opinions on Ai Hui being called the murderer of his teacher. They all believe it’s slander and feel angry about it. For those who are interested, please watch the C bean and D bean in this bean pod, ‘Under the Name of Survivors’…"
Thinking that Ai Hui could get rid of the accusation of murdering his teacher, Wang Xiaoshan felt extremely excited.
Exactly at the same time, when he saw Ai Hui whom he had been thinking about all the time, he smiled with tears in his eyes.
Long time no see, Ai Hui!