Chapter 335: Only sees the heart and will!
"Gongzi [TN Note: Young master] Xiangma, your father City Lord Bolai, is he well?"
"Very good, he's usually busy with work, I rarely sees him." Li Muyang answered, thinking of the Jiangnan City Lord Yan Bolai that came to see him off at Maple Forest Ferry Crossing.
"Is esteemed grandfather Yan in good health? He severely injured his waist in the battle against Zhou Nation's General Yuan Taiji when he was guarding the frontier. He luckily survived but every time there was rainy weather he would experience lower back pain. He must drink Dragon bone grass steeped in a strong alcoholic drink to treat his back pain. It happens that I served as the commander-in-chief in Broken dragon abyss for many years and Dragon bone grass was only found there, so every year when I returned to Tiandu I would bring several back for esteemed grandfather Yan——" Lu Qingming stated loudly, urging the horse forward together with Li Muyang.
"Thank you Uncle Lu. My grandfather has always mentioned Uncle Lu's favour." Li Muyang said with a smile, but there was unspeakable bitterness inside.
He had said his name was Yan Xiangma without thinking when he rescued Lu Qingming from Strange Taoist.
Firstly, it was because of his own bad taste. Didn't that Yan Xiangmas always said that he was a famous hedonistic young master of Jiangnan city and there was nothing that he dared not do? If he placed all these things on his head that would help a good friend get famous.
Secondly, he could effectively hide his own identity. After all, compared to Yan Xiangma, he had no power and no authority. If people came to retaliate, how would he fight back on his own?
Unexpectedly, the person that he saved was Lu Qingming from Tiandu.
He felt that Lu Qingming wanted to draw the distance between them closer by mentioning his past association with the Yan family. However, Li Muyang didn't know how to respond.
More importantly, the reason that he followed Lu Qingming to Tiandu was to see his parents and sister. However, his parents and sisters were all living in the Lu family's house——Even if he now wanted to inquire about the situation of his parents and sister from Lu Qingming he did not know how to start.
This was the same as throwing a rock to break his own foot, or digging a hole to bury himself.
"Esteemed grandfather father is too polite. We are just juniors in front of him and he watched us grow up." Lu Qingming said with a smile, a haze flashing across his eyes.
A black-clad soldier came galloping over on a horse, reporting in a loud voice, "General, Tiandu is in front."
"Go back to report first." Lu Qingming said in a loud and clear voice.
"Yes. General." One soldier left the group, and the other black-clad mounted soldiers were still scattered around Lu Qingming and Li Muyang.
Li Muyang gazed at the towering city in the distance, excitement fluttering inside of him.
Ever since the farewell in Jiangnan City, he hasn't seen his parents and sister Li Shinian.
It should be said that, he had never been out of town. He hasn't even been to any counties around Jiangnan city. Mother Luo Qi strictly would not let him travel long distances.
It was only when they reached the city gate, that Lu Qingming was certain that they were truly safe.
No one would be stupid enough to run to the entrance of the imperial city to kill a provincial governor of the frontier. Not only would this offend the Lu family, but all officials of the entire West wind kingdom. If they could not even protect someone at the entrance, was this country safe at all?
Of course, it would be the most painful smack in the face for the West Wind royal family. They were not going to allow people to provoke their Imperial power and majesty like that.
Lu Qingming turned round to face Yan Xiangma, smiled and said: "Gongzi Xiangma, we are back."
"Yes. We're back." Li Muyang said foolishly, looking ahead at the tall grey city walls of Tiandu.
"Later Gongzi Xiangma can come to my Lu household for a visit, and try the excellent wine in my Lu household as a token of my gratitude. If Gongzi Xiangma had not saved me, then my dozens of brothers and I would not have the chance of returning to Tiandu. Even if we come back, we most likely would have return as dead bodies." Lu Qingming's voice was deep and low, his eyes drifted down, and a sad expression was crossing his face. When they set off, there were more than 100 brothers by his side. By the time he returned, there were only less than 30 people following him.
It was a long journey back. He could not bring his brothers' bodies with him and could only bury them in the Bamboo sea.
The scenery and landscape were beautiful there, like a paradise. Hopefully it would not disappoint those courageous and righteous soldiers. The only downside was that it was a long way there, which meant it would be difficult for their families to visit them.
Thinking of this, even if he was accustomed to seeing death, hundreds of different emotions still clashed in his heart.
"Sounds good." Li Muyang agreed without the slightest of hesitation.
The reason he came was to see his parents and sister, and now that Lu Qingming invited him voluntarily to his house, his wish had finally came true.
Lu Qingming originally thought that Yan Xiangma would decline his offer; after all, because of Cui Zhaoren's death, the conflict between the two major families had visibly worsened. The Yan family is a vassal of Cui family, if you injure one you injure the other. His family never had any dealings with them and they fought endlessly on the imperial court.
He didn't expect him to accept so readily.
"It's more and more hard to see through this young man." Lu Qingming thought to himself.
They spurred the horses to full speed. The City gate was right ahead.
Before the city guards could obstruct them, a burning-hot gold medal greeted them.
Above the black metal, there was a fancy and ancient character 'Lu' emitting a faint glow.
The guards straightened their back and saluted, allowing the group of frontier soldiers to enter the city.
"Lu family's master has returned."
"I really had a great time today." Li Shinian said grinning. "Tiger pouncing fist, Spiritual Vulture Temple and the Royal garden are all really famous places. I've heard about then in Jiangnan. On my way to Tiandu, I kept thinking that I must visit them. I didn't expect that it would take me so long before I visit these places."
Cui Xiaoxin's cheeks were rosy because she had accompanied Li Shinian to too many places today. Although tired, she was in an extremely good mood.
The rumours that Li Muyang killed Cui Zhaoren, had created a barrier between Cui Xiaoxin and Li Shinian. Now they were able to break the barrier and restore the close relationship that they had before in Jiangnan.
"If you're free tomorrow, I can take you to Maple Mountain and Thousand Buddha Temple. The bodhisattva of Thousand Buddha Temple is very efficacious, and answers to any wishes. Why don't we go——"
"Why don't we go pray for my brother, right?" Li Shinian finished Cui Xiaoxin's sentence.
"If Li Muyang can come back safely, even if I go everyday for 3-5 years, I'm also willing." Cui Xiaoxin sighed softly. "Compared to life, this is nothing."
The smile on Li Shinian's face faded. "If my wish is fulfilled, then I'm willing to abstain from eating meat and pray to Buddha for my entire life."
Cui Xiaoxin understood Li Shinian's mood, she knew that no words could relieve her sorrow from the sad news of the death of her brother. This was also her intention of visiting her and taking her around these few days.
She held Li Shinian's little hand tightly and softly said, "Then it's a promise? Tomorrow we will go pray at Thousand Buddha Temple."
"Yes. Tomorrow we will go to Thousand Buddha Temple to pray for him." Li Shinian firmly said. "If Bodhisattva can really bless and protect my brother, I——will be a Buddhist nun."
Cui Xiaoxin interrupted at once, "You only need to be sincere. The Bodhisattva does not look at appearance, only sees the heart and will."
"That is my heart and will." Li Shinian's eyes were swollen and red, as she softly explained, "When I was very small, I disliked him because he was dark, I disliked him because he was ugly, I disliked him because he was stupid, I disliked him because he was not good at anything, I disliked him because mother would always protects him, she keeps all the delicious food for him——At that time I thought that Father and Mother also values sons more than daughters, so they treat us differently because he is a boy I am a girl. So for a long time I disliked having such a brother."
"Later, one night I was woken up by a noise outside and I looked into my brother’s room that was brightly lit. I saw father and mother in brother's room. His heart was weak and his breathing was rapid. He was red and boiling all over. His body was getting hotter, and it looked like he was going to burn up. Father kept fetching water from the well and mother covered him with soaked towels. As soon as she placed the towels on him the water was instantly soaked up by his body, there was steam coming from him——"
"From that night, I realised how hard it was for my brother to live. I realised——I realised why my parents treated him better than me. They were worried about him, worried that he may leave us at any time. There was always a possibility that——that he would leave us forever. From that day on, my heart also ached for my brother, and I began to treat him like my father and mother did——"
As she continued, tears were pouring down her cheeks.
Cui Xiaoxin's eyes were also red. Clutching Li Shinian's hand, she said comfortingly, "It's okay. It'll be fine. Li Muyang is extremely fortunate and blessed, he has survived such a dangerous time, how would something bad happen to him now? I'm sure he will come back. We will go to the Thousand Buddha Temple tomorrow to pray for him, Bodhisattva will surely bless his safe return——"
Li Shinian nodded heavily. "Yes. I'm sure he'll come back. I'll be waiting for his return."
The carriage came to a stop at the back door of the Lu household, and Li Shinian jumped out of the carriage and said to Cui Xiaoxin, "Xiaoxin, thank you."
"What are you being so polite about? We're friends."
"There are some things that I can't talk to others about, I can't even mention my brother's name in front of my parents otherwise Mother would be more upset. She is now down with an illness——I have to pretend that I'm fine and comfort her every day. But my heart also feels very uncomfortable——Fortunately you came, I can tell all my pain and sadness to you. Now my heart feels much better."
Li Shinian waved to Cui Xiaoxin. "See you tomorrow."
"See you tomorrow." Cui Xiaoxin smiled. "I'll come pick you up tomorrow."